Blake Shelton will be leaving The Voice following the two-part season finale next Monday and Tuesday after being a coach for 23 seasons.
With one country icon leaving, it’s only right to have another country icon replace him. Cue Reba McEntire!
NBC announced this past Monday that McEntire will be replacing Shelton as a coach, after she’s already had affiliation with the singing competition this season as a mentor.
While everyone is sad to see Shelton depart, both he and Reba are beyond excited for her to pick up the gig.
Speaking with People after Monday’s episode, she admitted to having “big boots” to fill in Shelton’s absence.
“The country lane — I’m taking over for Blake so I’m gonna represent country music,” she proudly declared. “[He’s got] big boots. I don’t know what size those boots are, but they’re big, so I’m gonna really work hard to make him proud.”
Not only will she be competing to be a coach, but she’ll have some competition in the fashion department against fellow coach Gwen Stefani.
“I do understand that I need to go razzle-dazzle with Gwen being on there,” she joked. “Gwen’s always got the nicest outfits, so I really need to step up my game on that.”
Despite having to compete with her colleagues, she’s “excited” and honored to be serving alongside Stefani, John Legend, and Niall Horan for the new season starting this fall.
“John and Niall [are] all really funny and clever, and always have so many smart things to say, so I’ve got my work cut out for me,” she admitted. “I’m most excited about basically getting started, and I’m sure that I’ll have lots of help, lots of advice, lots of people coming around saying, ‘You can do this. You can do that.’ And I’m not afraid at all. I think it’ll be a very fun adventure.”
While Reba is worried about filling Shelton’s shoes, the “Honey Bee” singer told ET that there’s “no one better” than Reba to take his place.
“[There’s] no one better than Reba, honestly. To be honest, and I don’t mean this as a dig to anybody, I’m shocked that they got her,” Blake confessed. “I mean, Reba is an icon. Getting her to even be a mentor on the show, I was going, whoa!”
“There’s been a handful of artists over the years, like Dolly [Parton], and we had Bette Midler, we’ve had Taylor Swift,” he added. “Reba is one of those to me that’s like, ‘Oh my god, we got Reba! Reba’s coming in!’ Even though I know her on a friendship level, I’ve never gotten away from that.”
While he’s happy to see Reba fill those cowboy boots of his, Blake’s still sad to leave the show that he’s been a part of since the very beginning.
“I’m definitely going to miss it at times, but it’s time,” he said. “This has changed my life in a lot of ways, but it’s time to let one of these new up-and-coming artists become a coach – like Reba. That’d be a good break.”
Looking forward to next season, Shelton can’t emphasize enough how much it means that Reba will be his replacement, having a personal connection with the singer who was one of his “inspirations” as an up-and-coming country music star.
“She’s one of my heroes. You know, Reba was one of the reasons I even moved to Nashville,” he recalled. “She was from Oklahoma, from a small middle-of-nowhere town and made it. So she was my inspiration and to always see her in that light, it’s not gonna get better to represent country music than Reba.”
The Voice’s two-part finale premieres next Monday and Tuesday, May 22 and 23, at 8 PM on NBC.