Sometimes The Voice tips off its panel for next season during high-profile, current season episodes.

It's why fans suspected Reba McEntire would replace Blake Shelton ahead of Season 24 when she appeared as a mega mentor during Season 23. Hardly anyone figured NBC had done it again during last December's finale.

  • McEntire and Dan + Shay are currently coaches on Season 25 of The Voice. 
  • This week, the reality show will feature the third and fourth battle episodes.
  • Live episodes will begin next month.

Related: What Does the Winner of The Voice Get?

In December, Keith Urban was one of several artists to sing during the finale. He must have done well, because the show just announced he's returning as a mega mentor this spring.

The "Messed Up as Me" singer has a most unusual path to this role — as far as we can tell, he's the only person to score a major role on two different versions of the show.

When The Voice began in Australia in 2011, Urban was one of four coaches. He only stuck around for a single season, but returned for Season 10 and Season 11.

Talking to Taste of Country Nights earlier this year, Urban said he'd love to return to television, but offered no hints that a return was imminent, unless you really read into the brevity of his comment.

A path from mega mentor to coach is far from certain. While McEntire was the first mega mentor (before her, each coach had their own), the next year the show repeated the formula and brought in Wynonna Judd to join Chance the Rapper.

Chance the Rapper is a current coach, but Judd is not. No announcement has been made about the coaches for Season 26.

Blake Shelton's Winners From 'The Voice': Where Are They Now?

How many of the nine Team Blake winners from The Voice can you name? Blake Shelton is the show's winningest coach, and several have had hits at country radio and beyond. Several more have shifted genres, changed their name or just flat-out gone missing. Here is the latest on every Team Blake winner from The Voice.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

More From KIKN-FM / Kickin' Country 99.1/100.5