The singer reveals why she said no to what would become Blake Shelton's gig.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
November 25, 2020
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Reba McEntire CMA Awards
Credit: Jason Kempin / Staff / Getty Images

Can you imagine NBC's hit singing competition show, The Voice, without Blake Shelton serving as coach? We can't either.

But what if we told you that Reba McEntire was the original pick for the popular television series? Hmmmm...maybe we could envision someone else in Shelton's coaching chair, after all. Well, as it turns out, McEntire was actually tapped by the show to serve as a coach for the show's first season—which aired in the spring of 2011—though the country star decided to turn down the opportunity.

In a recent episode of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Cohen inquired on behalf of a fan query as to why McEntire passed on joining the show as a coach.

"It is very true [that I turned this opportunity down.] It was a very popular show in Holland, I'm pretty sure, and I watched the tape, and I said, 'no, I'm going to pass on that,' because I don't think I could ever be able to tell somebody that they're terrible or you know, ‘go find another job,’ or ‘hope you like your nighttime job.’" she replied in the segment. "I couldn't do that, day in and day out. I just couldn't do it. So I did pass on it." (Even though she passed on what became Shelton's gig, McEntire has spent plenty of time on the show, having served as a guest mentor multiple times throughout the series.)

“Blake was the perfect choice. He’s done a wonderful job," McEntire continued, adding that of course she has some regret after seeing the show skyrocket to success. Watch the full clip below.

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Is country crooner Blake Shelton your all-time favorite coach on The Voice? We're pretty torn between him and Kelly Clarkson. But then there's Blake and Gwen Stefani's love story. And ever-likable John Legend. And always relaxed Alicia Keys. And...

We're just glad to tune in from our couch and not have to be the one in the coaches' chairs making those tough decisions.