The Voice has been a big hit for NBC since the show began in 2011, and has gone on to air up to two seasons every year, with it now being in Season 19. The popular singing competition has had several celebrity coaches come and go over the many seasons, but there is now only one original coach remaining, and that's Blake Shelton. The country music superstar seems to love his gig on the series, but it turns out that another famous name was offered his chair before that first season: Reba McEntire.
Not only is Blake Shelton's name now synonymous with The Voice, but he has even gone on to be the coach to have one of his singers win the most, with seven champions under his belt. His playful feud with former coach Adam Levine (who left suddenly and with a bit of controversy after Season 16) is one of the things that helped drive the competition for most of its run. So, it's nearly impossible to think of anyone else occupying Shelton's rotating seat.
While appearing on Watch What Happens Live recently, Reba McEnitre fielded a question from a fan about whether or not she was originally asked to act as a coach on The Voice, and both admitted that she had been approached to do it and revealed why she said no, telling host Andy Cohen:
It is very true. 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 has had a long and successful career in country music, having released her first solo album in 1977. She's often called "The Queen of Country," has sold over 75 million records around the world, and has a whopping 91 award wins, which range from Grammys, the Academy of Country Music, American Music Awards, Billboard, People's Choice, and many others, including her 2018 Kennedy Center Honors award. Basically, Ms. Reba ranks as a G.O.A.T. when it comes to country music, so it makes total sense that The Voice would have tried to snap her up to help out contestants.
Of course, when Andy Cohen followed up and asked whether or not McEntire now wishes that she had accepted the offer, seeing as how coaches on The Voice are pretty much never mean when turning singers down, she gave him a resounding, "Oh, sure!" And, this might be why she's shown up on the program a couple of times to help guide singers as an advisor to Blake Shelton himself (in Season 1) and to all of the coaches in Season 8.
While Reba McEntire clearly would have been an outstanding coach on The Voice, it's still pretty hard to imagine the show without Blake Shelton's trademark humor. And, I'm sure he's glad she turned the job down, too, seeing as how he met his fiancée, Gwen Stefani, while working on the show. Plus, it seems as though McEntire is willing to come on whenever possible to help out, so we may get to see more of her on the show as time goes on.