Blake Shelton On Reba McEntire Joining ‘The Voice’: ‘It’s Meant To Be’

Blake Shelton is speaking out about Reba McEntire taking his place on The Voice. The “No Body” singer will have his final turn in the red swivel chair on the Season 23 finale on May 23, with McEntire filling his spot next season.

The position of being a coach on the inaugural season of The Voice was first offered to McEntire, who declined the invitation. But now, Shelton says the timing couldn’t be better for the Country Music Hall of Fame member to join the cast.

“I’m excited about Reba coming on board,” Shelton tells E! News. “It’s meant to be, I think. I think from the versions of the story that I’ve heard, she was the original coach that they wanted here on The Voice, to be the country representation. And so now that I’ve had my run, for her to finally get the job that she was meant to have to begin with, it will be fun. I know she’s a fan of the show, and so she’s probably had ideas of how she would do this for a long time anyway.

“I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like for those kids to get a chance to work with Reba,” he adds. “She’s one of my heroes. She’s an icon.”

Shelton’s wife, Gwen Stefani, will return to coach on The Voice next season, joining McEntire, John Legend and Niall Horan. While Shelton will remain a fan of the show, the 46-year-old says it is unlikely he will return, in any capacity.

“Me coming back would almost be like, you know when you graduate high school, you don’t want to go back to the prom with your girlfriend, who was a junior when you were a senior,” he says with a laugh. “Then you’re that guy that’s still going to the high school prom. I gotta be cooler than that.”

When asked what the highlight of his time on The Voice has been, Shelton says it is without a doubt meeting Stefani, whom he wed in 2021.

“I met my wife while I was here, so I would say that’s been easily the best thing,” Shelton says. “That’s been the best thing about my entire career journey, really. No one could have ever predicted that. I’m embarrassed for her, actually. Outside of that, I think the biggest surprise for me has been how much I’ve learned about music. Just when you think you know it all, you learn when you work on this show, that there’s just so much cool music out there to learn.

“New music, old music, different genres, different artists,” he continues. “I came into this show as a coach, thinking that I knew a lot. And I did know a lot of country music, but I didn’t know crap about anything else, and so now it’s been fun to be exposed to all kinds of different music.”

While his farewell will be bittersweet, Shelton is trying to enjoy his remaining moments on the show that helped make him a superstar.

“I’m trying to take it in,” Shelton says. “I’ve never really been good at taking in the moment while it’s happening. I’m trying to do that. Gwen and I talk about that a lot. She’s like, ‘Just try to take it in.’ But we both struggle with that, whenever something cool is happening. For me, this will be the first season that I’ve ever not performed on the show. I just want to sit back and watch it all happen and enjoy it.”

The Season 23 finale of The Voice will air on Tuesday, May 23, at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC / Tyler Golden