Country star Reba McEntire revealed in a recent Newsweek interview that she is “loving” her new role on THE VOICE and is learning how to judge gently.
“It’s a well-oiled machine, so getting in at this time is marvelous. Everybody knows the game plan, from the crew, the producers,” McEntire said. “Everybody on the show is so nice, so sweet and have been so helpful. I’m loving it.”
Reba shared why she didn’t want to be a judge when the show first started. She has a hard time with the rejection aspect of it, but she now overcomes that by seeking advice from her fellow judges.
“I can’t be a mean judge. I mean, when I turned it down 15 years ago, when they wanted me to do THE VOICE, I said, ‘I can’t tell anybody that they’re horrible. I can’t say to somebody, ‘Well, is your mama gonna meet you at the bus station? Because you’re going home.’ I can’t do that,’” she said.
Reba also revealed in an interview from 2020 that she believed it would take a toll on her if she had to repeatedly give bad news to contestants.
“So I learned from John, Gwen and Niall. Every day that we’re working on THE VOICE, I’m learning more from them how to let ’em down easy if they don’t get picked up, coach ’em, and if you can give them any advice whatsoever. Like if none of the coaches turn around, they’re going home immediately,” the singer said.
“And so it’s good just to say, ‘If you want to come back again, try it again next season, maybe a song that suits you, one that you’re really comfortable with and that really shows your talent,’ give them advice, and encourage them to come back,” she said.
Newsweek also asked McEntire how it feels to take Blake Shelton’s place and judge alongside Niall Horan, Gwen Stefani and John Legend.
“It’s a lot of pressure, because nobody can replace Blake Shelton. He’s a huge personality and a wonderful person,” she said. “So I’m just getting in there trying to have fun and represent country music as best I can.”
Movieguide® previously reported on THE VOICE’s teaser introduction for McEntire:
MSN reported, “The video opens with [Niall] Horan, 29 — who won last season — cutting into a cake that reads ‘welcome THE VOICE coaches’ as [Gwen] Stefani, 53, and [John] Legend, 44, walk through the door.”
…Country music starts blasting through the speakers. The judges look around in confusion to see the curtains open as McEntire stands on stage in a sparkling outfit with a large “Reba” sign behind her. “Well, hey there!” she says. “It’s just so good to be here!”
McEntire has been both a country artist and actress for many years. She joined THE VOICE to replace former coach Blake Shelton after he left to focus on family.