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Reba McEntire Talks the "Pressure" of Coaching The Voice After Blake Shelton

"Nobody can replace Blake Shelton," the "Fancy" singer says. 

By Jackie Manno

Reba McEntire, like Blake Shelton for 23 seasons before her, is the main country presence on Season 24 of The Voice. And while McEntire isn't filling Shelton's shoes, per se, she's still (understandably) feeling some pressure. 

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Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

"It's a lot of pressure, because nobody can replace Blake Shelton. He's a huge personality and a wonderful person. So I'm just getting in there trying to have fun and represent country music as best I can," she told Newsweek in a recent interview. 

So far, she's having a blast. "It's a well-oiled machine, so getting in at this time is marvelous," she told the outlet. "Everybody knows the game plan, from the crew, the producers. Everybody on the show is so nice, so sweet, and have been so helpful. I'm loving it." 

RELATED: Listen to All of Reba McEntire's Biggest Hits Before She Joins The Voice

Reba McEntire talks why she originally passed on being a Voice Coach

Reba McEntire in the middle of pushing a button while sitting in a judges chair for The Voice.

McEntire was originally offered a position as a Coach when The Voice was in its conception stages. However, she ended up passing on the offer. In her Newsweek interview, she elaborated on this choice.

"I can't be a mean Judge," she said. "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's since changed her tune — and realized that no one is a mean Coach! "I learn from John [Legend], Gwen [Stefani], and Niall [Horan]," she said. "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. 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." 

Split images of Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Reba McEntire, and Niall Horan on The Voice.

RELATED: Reba McEntire Is Having "Too Much Fun" on Vacation with Her Boyfriend: See Pic

As for how McEntire thinks she herself would do on The Voice, she hypothesized, "I don't think anybody would turn around for me. Honestly, I don't. If they would, I'd be thrilled to pieces. But what an opportunity these kids are having, and some of [them] aren't kids. Some are 16, 17 years old, and some people that come on The Voice are in their 30s and want to give it a go and are having fun with it. But what an opportunity to be seen by that many people all over the world for just a few minutes, whereas it would have taken me years at my concert levels to get in front of that many people." 

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