Why Reba McEntire Turned Down The Voice Before Blake Shelton Became 19-Time Coach

Looks like things could have turned out very differently on NBC's hit singing competition The Voice.

During a Tuesday appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Grammy-winner Reba McEntire, 65, revealed that she declined an offer to be a coach on the show before newly engaged Blake Shelton took the position in 2011.

"It is very true," she told Cohen, 52. "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."

Though she didn't want a seat of her own among The Voice's red chairs, she feels Shelton, 44, is a great fit. "Blake was the perfect choice," she said. "He's done a wonderful job."

McEntire does, however, feel she may have missed out on a great opportunity. When asked if she regrets turning down the offer for the show that's now in its 19th season, she responded: "Oh, sure! I mean, after you see a very successful show that's been running, what, 15 years? Uh, yeah! I'm like, 'Shoot, I should've done that.'"

Coincidentally, Shelton remains the only coach to appear on all 19 seasons of the show. Other stars including his fiancée Gwen Stefani, 51, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera and Usher have also appeared on the show through the years. Shelton and his bride-to-be along with John Legend and Kelly Clarkson are this season's coaches.

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Shelton first shared that McEntire was tapped for the spot before him while chatting with reporters at his Ole Red bar in Nashville in November 2019, Taste of Country reported. He said at the time: "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. For whatever reason, she couldn't do it, or they just decided it wasn't the thing for her at the time."

This isn't the first gig the Reba star has declined. During her February 2019 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, she shared that she could have played Margaret "Molly" Brown in Titanic. Kathy Bates ultimately took the role.

McEntire appeared on Tuesday's episode alongside fellow country star and CMA Awards co-host Darius Rucker, 54 — the awards show will air Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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