Reba McEntire Recalls Turning Down Blake Shelton's Role on 'The Voice'

Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton
Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night

The country music legend was asked to be a coach before the show approached Blake Shelton.

Reba McEntire may have had a storied career in country music and on TV, but the 65-year-old music icon has definitely turned down her share of big roles. During Tuesday night's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, McEntire confirmed the rumor that she had been offered the opportunity to be an original coach on The Voice

One fan sent in a question noting that McEntire was originally slated to have a seat in one of the show's big red chairs. When she passed on the opportunity, the seat went to fellow country singer, Blake Shelton

"It is very true," she confirmed. "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. I couldn't do that day in and day out. I just couldn't do it. So I did pass on it." 

McEntire served as a mentor on Team Blake in the show's premiere season in 2011. She's since returned as a celebrity mentor. 

"Blake is the perfect choice. He's done a wonderful job," she said of the original coach, whose fame increased thanks to the reality competition series. 

"Now that you've seen the show, do you think, 'Oh, maybe I've overestimated the criticism that I would have to give?'" WHHL host Cohen asked. 

"Oh sure! I mean, after you see a very successful show that's been running, what, 15 years? Uh, yeah!" McEntire joked. "I'm like shoot, I should have done that."

This isn't the first time McEntire has turned down a hit role. In February 2019 she revealed on WWHL that she had originally been offered Kathy Bates' role in the 1997 Oscar winning film, Titanic, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts. 

Shelton is the only remaining original coach on the NBC show. McEntire turning down the role inadvertently led him to meet and fall in love with his fellow coach, Gwen Stefani. The couple announced their engagement earlier this year after five years of dating.

One role McEntire didn't turn down is hosting the 54th Annual CMA Awards with Darius Rucker. The show will air live on Wednesday, at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT on ABC.