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Watch 16-year-old yodeler join Reba McEntire’s team on ‘The Voice’

The real trick to leaving an impression during The Voice Blind Auditions is to give the coaches a taste of exactly what you can do as a singer. Season 24 contestant Ruby Leigh, 16, does just that when she uses her audition to make sure the coaches know her secret weapon: the girl has a killer yodel.

When Ruby Leigh, from the small town of Foley, Missouri, gets up on stage with her guitar and confidently gives a no-holds-barred country western performance, John Legend turns almost immediately. But when she hits the yodel section of her cover of Patsy Montana’s “I Want to Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” the other three coaches — Reba McEntire, Gwen Stefani, and Niall Horan — quickly follow suit.

Ruby puts on a fun, energetic performance, and it’s easy to predict whose team she’s going to choose — only one coach is moved that Ruby picked a Patsy Montana song — but that doesn’t mean the coaches are phoning in their pitches. John praises Ruby’s “clear and precise” vocals and then notes that with a yodel that forces people to ask “how is a human being able to do the things that [Ruby’s] doing?” she could take the whole competition. Gwen even tries to show Ruby that she can yodel, too, before telling the young musician that it’s “powerful” to see her up there, so young but with such style and presence.

But Gwen isn’t the only yodeler on the panel — if you think Reba can’t pull off a little yodel, you’re kidding yourself. Reba’s mother passed on the gift of yodel to the Queen of Country, who doesn’t have to be asked twice to show off her skills. “I can’t believe what’s going on in this audition,” Niall says, in disbelief at what his fellow coaches are up to. It’s a treat for everyone!

Ruby Leigh.
Greg Gayne/NBC

And yet, Reba has even more tricks up her sleeve: Demonstrating that she and Ruby have a lot in common isn’t enough for her, so she decides to take an audience poll of who the young singer should choose. Wouldn’t you know it, the audience is all ready with cardboard cutouts of Reba hair to don. Reba has won the audience vote and, unsurprisingly, she wins over Ruby Leigh, too, who finally declares herself for Team Reba.

While the other coaches bow down to the country star, they aren’t about to let those masks go to waste. John, Niall, and Gwen all take a turn with their Reba hair — John even throws a little yodeling in for good measure. It’s nice to see them all in good spirits, since all three of them seem to know Reba just bagged a contender. “Congratulations on winning The Voice, Reba, your first season,” Gwen tells the first-time coach.

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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