The May 15 semifinals saw quite a few things go down on “The Voice.” First, they marked the beginning of the live episodes where fans had the chance to vote for the Top 8 as they sang for a spot in the finale. Then came the surprise appearance of Reba McEntire.
Earlier in the day, “The Voice” released its season 24 set of coaches. With Blake Shelton in his final run on the show, the NBC program will bring in McEntire as one of the new coaches. She will join Niall Horan in his second season with Gwen Stefani and John Legend both returning. Chance The Rapper and Kelly Clarkson will not be back for the next seasons.
Reba McEntire Is Very Familiar With ‘The Voice’
This isn’t her first time showing up at the singing competition. She served as this season’s Mega Mentor during the Knockouts round which aired on April 17 and April 24. She also was a mentor for the Top 12 in season 8.
“It’s always a lot of fun to give advice because I study people when they perform,” McEntire shared during the Knockouts premiere episode on April 17. “I want to be touched when they’re singing to me.”
Her return also marked a full circle for Shelton. McEntire first appeared on “The Voice” in its inaugural season in 2011. She came on as an advisor to Shelton during the Battles.
‘The Voice’ Let McEntire Surprise the Live Crowd
A little more than an hour into the two-hour episode, “The Voice” returned from a commercial break and there sat McEntire in the chair typically occupied by Shelton as Clarkson, Chance The Rapper, and Horan sat in their usual spots.
The country icon was asked what she’s looking forward to the most about this new opportunity, to which she said she’s always appreciated the “hospitality” of the show. She said she’s also looking forward to the competition side of things as opposed to the mentoring that she’s done in the past.
“To be able to come in and form my team, I’m so looking forward to it,” McEntire said before Shelton walked back over to his chair and said he still has a week.
Shelton added that seeing her accept the coaching position is “unbelievable” before demanding his chair back, “For god’s sake let me finish the show.”
When Will Reba McEntire Officially Debut as Coach?
NBC has not announced an official start date for season 24 other than it will be returning in the fall. The premiere date remains a mystery, but the network did say it will continue airing episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays when the Blind Auditions begin.
This will be a first for the show with the absence of Shelton, who has been a coach on “The Voice” since its first season. Clarkson and Chance also will not be a part of the season.
Stefani will be back in the chair after sitting out one season. She last appeared in season 22. This will mark her seventh time as a coach after debuting in season 7. Meanwhile, Legend also will be back after serving in the role from seasons 16-22.