Gwen Stefani’s absence on The Voice Season 24 is notably felt as Blake Shelton, her longtime partner and former co-coach on the show, decided to step away, giving his wife the spotlight. This season introduces country legend Reba McEntire as Shelton’s replacement, a transition that Stefani initially found daunting.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Stefani expressed her initial apprehension, saying, “That was like scary for me, ’cause like, Queen of Country. She deserves all the respect… Like, how do you, like, fight against her?” However, Stefani revealed that a pre-season dinner with the Season 24 coaching team, which included McEntire, Niall Horan, and John Legend, helped ease her nerves.
“We ended up going all out to dinner before [the season] to just kind of have that gel moment,” Stefani added. “It’s been amazing and an honor, obviously, to get to know her, and there’s still more to go. Like, I still get to know her more.”
McEntire acknowledged the weight of filling Shelton’s shoes, saying, “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. Despite the challenges of coaching without Shelton, Stefani expressed her pride in his accomplishments, stating, “I have to figure out who this new Blake is gonna be. But, I’m just so proud of him. He’s brought so much joy, he’s so talented, and I know people just wait around to laugh and watch him on TV, so, I feel sorry for everybody because he’s gonna be gone. I just am so proud of him.”
In a conversation with other Voice coaches on Today, Stefani admitted missing Shelton during her coaching duties, saying, “It’s really different being on the show without him. I miss him so much on the show, you know what I mean? But, at the same time, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was gonna be.”
Regardless of whether Shelton returns to The Voice in the future, Stefani can always count on having her husband waiting for her at home.
Don’t forget to tune in to The Voice Season 24, airing Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.