Blake Shelton Says There's 'No One Better' Than Reba McEntire to Replace Him on 'The Voice' (Exclusive)

The country star is saying goodbye after 23 seasons -- but he has nothing but praise for his replacement!

Blake Shelton is saying goodbye to The Voice after 23 seasons -- but he couldn't be more thrilled about his replacement!

NBC announced on Monday that country music legend Reba McEntire will officially be stepping in for the departing coach in the next season of the long-running singing competition, set to premiere this fall.

Reba will draw from her iconic career as she shares her expertise with hopeful up-and-comers, joining veteran coach John Legend and returning coaches Niall Horan and Gwen Stefani.

When ET's Cassie DiLaura spoke with Blake ahead of The Voice's live semifinals on Monday, he shared how excited he was to have Reba taking over his coveted spinning chair.

"[There's] no one better than Reba, honestly," he raved. "To be honest, and I don't mean this as a dig to anybody, I'm shocked that they got her. I mean, Reba is an icon. Getting her to even be a mentor on the show, I was going, whoa! There's been a handful of artists over the years, like Dolly [Parton], and we had Bette Midler, we've had Taylor Swift... Reba is one of those to me that's like, 'Oh my god, we got Reba! Reba's coming in!' Even though I know her on a friendship level, I've never gotten away from that."

While he's had some nostalgic moments throughout his final season, Blake says he's comfortable with his decision to walk away from the singing competition and explore other projects.

"I'm excited. I'm in a good place about this, you know? I don't have any regrets about it," he shared.

"I'm definitely going to miss it at times, but it's time. I mean my gosh, I saw a little blurb where somebody caught Adam Levine going into a party, and they said 'What do you think about Blake leaving?' and he turned around and said, 'It's about time,'" Blake added with a laugh, referencing ET's interview with the Maroon 5 frontman at this year's Vanity Fair Oscars party. 

"He's right, it is about time," Blake agreed. "This has changed my life in a lot of ways, but it's time to let one of these new up-and-coming artists become a coach -- like Reba. That'd be a good break."

Despite his jokes, the country star couldn't be more excited about Reba taking over the coach's chair and passing along her wisdom with young performers -- sharing how she's inspired him throughout his own career.

"She's one of my heroes," Blake noted. "You know, Reba was one of the reasons I even moved to Nashville. She was from Oklahoma, from a small middle-of-nowhere town and made it. So she was my inspiration and to always see her in that light, it's not gonna get better to represent country music than Reba."

ET spoke with the season 23 coaches ahead of the premiere, who all shared how excited they were to be on the show for Blake's final season.

"I texted him," Kelly Clarkson shared. "If he was gonna do a last season, I wanted to make sure I was there."

However, the talk show host insisted that she won't be letting nostalgia affect her competitive nature.

"If [Blake] wins, I am very happy for him, because that is super cool to win on the last season and he's literally the show, from its conception," she conceded. "But, like, I'm not, like, rooting for him to win. I'll be happy for him if he does, but I'm obviously trying to win myself."

The Voice's two-part finale airs Monday, May 22, and Tuesday, May 23, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Fans can vote for their favorite artist, starting Monday night at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET, by using The Voice's official app, or voting online at