FILE - This April 3, 2011 file photo shows hosts Reba McEntire, left, and Blake Shelton onstage at the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. McEntire is ending her run as host of the Academy of Country Music Awards. Sheís stepping aside after a record 14 appearances, the last two with co-host Blake Shelton, who will return on the 2013 edition of the awards show.
(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, file)

Reba McEntire Confirms That 'The Voice' Could've Had Team Reba Instead of Team Blake

During a recent appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Reba McEntire confirmed the rumor that NBC's The Voice could've had Team Reba instead of Team Blake.

More specifically, NBC asked McEntire to be the primary country music star in one of The Voice's Big Red Chairs before the series hired her fellow Oklahoma-born superstar, Blake Shelton.

"It is very true," McEntire confirmed, as quoted by ET Canada. "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."

Besides not wanting to be the country singer equivalent of Simon Cowell, McEntire was occupied at the time with her short-lived ABC TV show Malibu Country.

Narvel Blackstock, McEntire's ex-husband and manager, suggested Shelton, a different member of Starstruck Entertainment's roster, to NBC.

McEntire's decision opened the door for Shelton to gain more than a larger mainstream outlet than just about any other current country stars' side gig. Shelton's role on The Voice positioned him to meet Gwen Stefani, his fiancee after five years of dating. The songbirds turned lovebirds once again share judges chairs, this time with Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.

Despite passing on a judge role, McEntire served as a Team Blake mentor during the show's premiere season. She's since appeared as a celebrity mentor for contestants with Nashville in their sights.

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It's not the first time McEntire's confirmed an entertainment rumor on Cohen's show. In February 2019, she told Cohen that she was the first choice for Kathy Bates' role in 1997's Titanic, but those pesky scheduling conflicts got in the way.

McEntire and fellow Grand Ole Opry member Darius Rucker will host this year's Country Music Awards (CMA Awards) on Wed., Nov. 11.

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