Superstar country duo Dan+Shay weren’t expected to become the first coaching duo on “The Voice” until season 25 kicks off early next year. But they had to step into their new roles early, temporarily replacing current coach Niall Horan for part of the season 24 Knockout Rounds when he ran into some scheduling conflicts on his concert tour.
As Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney filled in for Horan during his team’s rehearsals, they had to learn the ropes quickly — and claim they couldn’t even get fellow country star Blake Shelton, who was a coach on the show for 23 seasons, on the line for a little advice.
Here’s what you need to know:
Dan+Shay Got Advice From Niall Horan, But Not From Blake Shelton
As Dan+Shay prepped to perform on the CMA Awards, airing on ABC on November 8, 2023, they told Audacy’s Sabrina From Queens that they’ve had no luck getting in touch with Shelton for tips on “The Voice.”
Back in 2021, during season 20, they served as Team Blake’s Battle Round Advisors in season 20.
“We tried to call Blake, he stopped answering our calls,” Smyer joked. “I think he changed his number, got too big time.”
Smyer then backtracked, saying, “No, Blake’s amazing,” and added that “Reba is amazing,” too.
“It’s an honor for us to do it,” Smyer continued. “It’s been a crazy experience, it really has. I don’t know why they chose us, but we got a big ol’ double chair — two chairs, one button. We gotta be locked in.”
Dan+Shay did get some insights from Horan, though, as seen on the November 7 episode of “The Voice.” The pop star FaceTimed with the duo to get them up to speed before they took over.
“I know you’re coming on here for season 25, so it’s good practice for you guys,” Horan told them.
“It’s gonna be so much fun,” Smyers responded. “Obviously, we’re always here for ya.”
“I’ll send you all the info on the team, I’ll send you videos, I’ll introduce them to you all so you can get to know everything before you rock up here,” Horan said.
Mooney then joked that if Horan’s team wins, he hopes they can get credit for that added to their Wikipedia page.
Dan+Shay Have Already Taped Season 25’s Blind Auditions, Too
Though the season 24 Knockout Rounds are airing now, Dan+Shay actually have several months of experience under their belts, since Blind Auditions for seasons 24 and 25 were filmed in July.
According to 1iota, which handles the ticketing for the show’s audiences, “The Voice” taped the season 24 Blind Auditions from July 10 to 14. The season 25 auditions, which won’t air till spring of 2024, were filmed on July 24 to 27 with Dan+Shay joining fellow coaches Reba McEntire, Chance The Rapper and John Legend.
Before filming began, Dan+Shay shared in an Instagram post on June 30 how pumped they were to get started on “The Voice.”
“We have never been more excited for anything in our entire lives,” Smyers said in the clip.
Meanwhile, Dan+Shay are nominated for “Vocal Duo of the Year” at the 2023 CMA Awards and are scheduled to perform their single “Save Me the Trouble.” They’ll also head out their “Heartbreak on the Map” tour in 2024.
“We’re excited,” Mooney told Sabrina From Queens. “We’ve gotten to play a couple of shows but not really that many. So I’m excited to kind of have that full-circle moment. You write, you record, you put out the album and now getting to hear the fans sing back the words to new songs — it’s just a magical feeling.”