It's hard to imagine The Voice without Blake Shelton as a coach — he's been there for all 22 seasons of the show, after all — but back when the televised singing competition was first gearing up to launch, show executives had a very different country coach in mind: Reba McEntire.

That's right: Before The Voice premiered in 2011, McEntire was the show's first choice for a coach to round out the country lane. Shelton revealed that piece of trivia back in 2019, stating "For whatever reason, she couldn't do it, or they just decided it wasn't the thing for her at the time."

In a recent interview with ET Online, McEntire looked back at her decision to pass on the show. "I got [a look at] the Holland version of The Voice," she recounted. "They sent it to me, and I said, 'I can't see me doing that.'"

Specifically, the singer says, she felt that the show would be too much of a time and location commitment. "Because, you know, I'm a gypsy at heart," she went on to say.

Shelton is now preparing to retire from The Voice after Season 23, leaving the country coach slot open for the first time in the show's 11 years — so, has McEntire had a change of heart about participating as a coach on the show? After all, The Voice has become one of the most prominent televised singing competitions over the course of its time on air, and most country stars would be tempted to take their turn in Shelton's big red coaching chair.

When asked if she'd give the show a different answer today, McEntire made the possibility sound pretty slim — but she didn't outright deny it.

"Who could fill Blake's shoes?" the singer replied. "To fill Blake's chair? Wow. That's gonna be tough. He did a great job, and kudos to him."

In the meantime, Shelton and McEntire have another thing in common: They both lent their name to entertainment venues in Oklahoma, with Shelton helming the Tishomingo outpost of Ole Red, and McEntire recently opening her brand-new Reba's Place in nearby Atoka.

Reba McEntire Pictures Through the Years:

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