The gloves are about to come off. Another fall means another new season of The Voice, and the upcoming 24th installment of the singing competition series is already promising a slew of entertaining dynamics amongst the coaches.
In a new video uploaded to The Voice’s official YouTube page on Monday (Sept. 18), season 24’s coaches — John Legend, Gwen Stefani, Niall Horan and Reba McEntire— enjoy their first day on set. For McEntire, the day was something of a crash course in how the coaches operate on The Voice, with season 24 marking her first appearance as a coach. She served as a battle advisor in seasons 1 and 8, and during season 23, McEntire acted as the overall Mega Mentor for every team, advising artists ahead of the knockout rounds.
“It’s day one of season 24 blind auditions, we’re back!” Horan announces at the beginning of the video. “The reigning champ is here. It’s like the first day of school, come on!” Last season, Horan won The Voice — on his first attempt! — alongside 19-year-old contestant Gina Miles.
In a relaxed roundtable discussion between the coaches, McEntire asks, “Am I supposed to like y’all? Be mean to you? Is there something that I need to know to let me win?” Legend quickly interjected that “you’re supposed to direct all the artists my way,” prompting an aghast “your way?!” echo from McEntire. Throughout its lengthy history, The Voice has become synonymous with the playful competitiveness that permeates every configuration of the coaches’ panel — from Blake Shelton and Adam Levine’s early friction to Horan and Shelton’s “father-son” rivalry last season.
On May 15, NBC announced that McEntire would be joining The Voice as a coach. Earlier this year, when asked if she thought she’d make a good replacement for Shelton — who hung up his cowboy hat at the end of last season — McEntire revealed that she was almost one of the original Voice judges. The country music icon told ET that she was originally offered a role on the show before it debuted in 2011.
After a few seconds of McEntire and Stefani gushing over how “cute” Horan’s Irish accent is, the “Can’t Even Get the Blues” singer got serious about her first day on set. “The blind auditions were so much harder than I thought they were going to be,” she said. “They block you, and it’s just so devious! But a lot of fun too!”
In a clip of her addressing the crowd, McEntire joked, “Everybody’s just as sweet and kind offstage as they can be. When they come on the stage though, they kinda change their personalities!” “They’re real mean… especially Gwen,” she teased before breaking out into a fit of laughter.
Season 24 of The Voice premieres on Sept. 25 on NBC at 8/7c. Watch Reba McEntire get into the groove of being a Voice coach above.