The Voice could’ve looked very different. Though he’s now the only coach to have appeared on all 17 seasons of the NBC reality show and is a staple on the popular series, it turns out that Blake Shelton actually almost never got his coaching role on the singing competition. Originally, producers had someone else in mind.
Blake revealed in a new interview that another country star almost nabbed the seat he’s sat in for the past eight years. He admitted that those behind the scenes initially wanted to bring Reba McEntire on board for the show.
It turns out that the legendary country singer was originally asked to be in Blake’s seat, with the longtime coach then only being asked after the “Fancy” singer turned NBC’s offer down.
“If I’m not mistaken, they wanted Reba to be a coach on ‘The Voice’ first. I hope I’m not saying something I shouldn’t say. It’s out there now,” the “God’s Country” singer said, per Pop Culture.
“But they wanted Reba,” he continued of producers’ first choice, adding that “they knew they wanted a country artist” as a coach and would’ve hired her instead if she’d said yes. He revealed that he was next in line because he’s also a country star and because of his association with Reba.
The two have a connection that goes way back, as her then-husband, Narvel Blackstock, was also her manager and was in contact with producers. Narvel is the father of Brandon Blackstock, who is Blake’s manager and the husband of current Voice coach Kelly Clarkson.
“So, Narvel told them Reba can’t do it, but [said] ‘hey, I got this other guy that I manage that’s got all the time in the world,'” he joked of his freer schedule before he joined the show.
“For whatever reason, [Reba] couldn’t do it, or they just decided it wasn’t the thing for her at the time,” Blake added, as he admitted that she was busy with Malibu Country and is such a huge star, she probably thought the idea of The Voice wasn’t that appealing.
“It sounds dumb, right?'” he said of the show’s concept of being the wrong way around and waiting for a contestant to sing to hit a button.
“It sounded weird to probably anybody they pitched it to,” the singer confessed.
Of course, Blake eventually nabbed his coaching chair on the NBC series back in 2011 alongside Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and CeeLo Green. It’s also thanks to the show that he met girlfriend Gwen Stefani, who he’s been dating for the past four years.
Blake’s latest revelation that he almost didn’t score his gig on The Voice came shortly after he opened up about the one thing about the show he still despises.