Why Reba McEntire Was The Voice’s First Pick NOT Blake Shelton

Jill O'Rourke
|2 weeks

Can you imagine country star Reba McEntire coaching The Voice? It almost happened when the show first started. Reba was apparently NBC’s first choice to represent country music on the show, but they ultimately hired Blake Shelton instead.

According to Taste of Country, Blake revealed this during a panel discussion at his Ole Red bar in Nashville last month. We wonder how the show might have been different if Reba had said yes to NBC’s offer.

Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire host the 2012 ACM Awards.

Reba McEntire Almost Coached On ‘The Voice’

“If I’m not mistaken, they wanted Reba to be a coach on The Voice first. They knew they wanted a country artist to be a coach on The Voice to fill that lane,” Blake said. “For whatever reason, she couldn’t do it, or they just decided it wasn’t the thing for her at the time.”

NBC apparently contacted Reba’s former manager and ex-husband Narvel Blackstock about it before the show started in 2011. Although she turned it down, Narvel apparently pitched Blake as a replacement, and the show went with him instead.

However, Reba McEntire has still appeared on The Voice over the years. She was a mentor for Team Blake in the first season, and later returned in Season 8. In 2011 and 2012, Reba and Blake even hosted the ACM Awards together.

Interestingly, Narvel Blackstock is the father of Brandon Blackstock, who is married to current The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson. Brandon is Blake’s manager. Small world!

See the Top 10 on “The Voice” Season 17.

‘The Voice’ Top 10 Artists Are:

Team Blake and the rest of the Top 10 will perform live on Monday night’s new episode of The Voice. The artists were narrowed down to ten last week, and we can’t wait to see their performances.

Here’s who’s left in the competition:

Will Breman (Team Legend)
Marybeth Byrd (Team Legend)
Ricky Duran (Team Blake)
Kat Hammock (Team Blake)
Hello Sunday (Team Kelly)
Jake Hoot (Team Kelly)
Katie Kadan (Team Legend)
Joana Martinez (Team Gwen)
Rose Short (Team Gwen)
Shane Q (Team Kelly)

Will Blake get his seventh win this season, or is it another coach’s year to come out on top? We’ll find out soon.

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit