Reba McEntire to Join ‘The Voice’ as Mega Mentor

As the new season of the NBC singing competition show, The Voice, gets underway, there are major changes afoot.

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For one, longtime coach and multi-time winner Blake Shelton is retiring from the show after this season. Shelton has since suggested country artist Neal McCoy to replace him, though it doesn’t look like that is set to happen.

What does seem clear, however, is that everyone’s favorite redhead, Reba McEntire, is set to join the upcoming season (No. 23) as a “Mega Mentor.”

Also this season, the coaching lineup will look a lot different from previous seasons. Season 23 will include standout hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper, along with longtime coach Kelly Clarkson, Shelton, and newcomer Niall Horan of One Direction. McEntire will join the show to mentor contestants who make it through the Battle Rounds and head to Knockouts, which are set to kick off this spring on April 17.

McEntire, a Country Music Hall of Famer and three-time Grammy Award-winner, was an advisor for Shelton in the show’s first season. Perhaps there is more in store for McEntire. Shelton has noted, as far back as 2019, that McEntire was the show’s first choice when looking for a country artist coach in 2011, saying, “For whatever reason, she couldn’t do it, or they just decided it wasn’t the thing for her at the time.”

McEntire, who has sold more than 58 million albums worldwide, told ET Online, “I got [a look at] the Holland version of The Voice. They sent it to me, and I said, ‘I can’t see me doing that.'” She said that the show required too much of a commitment, adding, “Because, you know, I’m a gypsy at heart.”

Coaches aside, the show will also include some new formatting, including a “playoff pass” beginning on March 27 for the Battle Rounds. The playoff pass will allow singers to advance past the Knockouts and into the Playoffs. Each coach will have one playoff pass, along with the one traditional “steal” of an artist.

The new season of The Voice kicks off on March 6 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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