Country Star Turned Down ‘Voice’ Before Blake Shelton Got the Job

Blake Shelton

NBC Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton is the self-proclaimed “king” of NBC’sThe Voice,” but he was not actually the first choice to be a coach on the show.

Shelton was one of the original coaches on the show alongside Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine. Shelton is the only original coach left on the show, as he’s now joined by Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend.

It turns out, however, that Shelton’s reign on the show could have been completely different if NBC had gone in their original direction with the show.

Reba McEntire Was Approached First

According to Country Now, country music star Reba McEntire was approached to be on “The Voice” before Blake Shelton was. During an interview on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen,” McEntire talked about turning down the role.

“It’s very true,” she said at the time. “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 go find another job or hope you like your nighttime job.”

She added, “I couldn’t do that day in and day out. I just couldn’t do it, so I did pass on it.”

McEntire acknowledged the great work that Shelton has done on the show, however, saying that he was the “perfect choice” to be a coach, though she does regret not saying yes all those years ago.

“Oh sure,” she told Cohen. “I mean, after you see a very successful show that’s been running, what, 15 years? Uh, yeah! I’m like, ‘Shoot, I should’ve done that.'”

Is Shelton Leaving ‘The Voice’?

Shelton has not said explicitly that he will be leaving “The Voice” anytime soon, but he has hinted at his possible exit from the show in the near future multiple times.

In an interview with Hoda Kotb when he was guest-hosting “Today With Hoda & Jenna” on March 31, 2021, Shelton hinted at when he might think about leaving the show for good and officially retiring from the Hollywood scene altogether, which would include “The Voice.”

Shelton has talked about leaving his life in Hollywood many times, and he’s even taken shots at his fellow “The Voice” coaches because they love living and working in Hollywood.

Kotb asked him if he could picture himself and his now-wife Gwen Stefani “just out in Oklahoma; not jetting all over the place… just kind of living a simpler life when you look way, way down the road?”

“I hope that’s not too far down the road,” he told her. “Ten years sounds like way too long to me. I’d like to see that sooner than later.”

He added, “I mean, we’ve both pretty much taken it to the limit as far as our careers go and touring and now the television thing. It’s been fortunate to accomplish a lot of things. But, hopefully, at some point, we get a chance to live some life.”

It’s likely Shelton will continue on “The Voice” for at least a few more seasons, however. He has poked fun at rumors that he was being replaced, leading fans to think he’s sticking around.

“The Voice” has not yet been renewed for season 22. If the show is renewed, then it will return in the fall cycle of 2022, likely in mid-September.

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