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How Ashley Bryant Overcame Hearing Loss & Scored a Last-Second Chair Turn 

Bryant stole the Queen of Country's heart with a fiery rendition of Carrie Underwood's "Last Name."

By Josh Weiss

Sometimes, The Voice Coaches like to keep us on our toes, hovering their palms over the coveted red button, right up until the last minute. It's nerve-wracking as all heck, but there's no denying... it does make for some darn fine television.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

That's exactly what happened on Monday night's episode of Season 25, when Reba McEntire (now in her second go-around as Coach) turned her chair around during the final moments of Ashley Bryant's Blind Audition. The 26-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky stole the Queen of Country's heart with a fiery take on "Last Name" by Carrie Underwood.

RELATED: Every Blind Audition on The Voice Season 25, Broken Down by Team

"The more she sang, the more I fell in love with her voice," Reba explained. "I was really worried, having another Coach that is in the Country vein [referring to Dan + Shay], so I did a last-second push and snuck in there without anybody else turning. I think she can go far on The Voice."

Watch Ashley Bryant's Blind Audition of Carrie Underwood's "Last Name" on The Voice

Ashley Bryant appears in Season 25 Episode 3 of The Voice

Bryant securing a spot on Team Reba is even more inspiring when you take into account the fact that she's 30% deaf in her right ear. As John Legend pointed out after the audition, he won Season 16 with contestant Maelyn Jarmon, who also deals with the obstacle of hearing loss. "The sky's the limit for what you can do on this show," he said. "I know it's a challenge you have to work through, but I know you can do it, okay?"

"Once I made the decision to pursue music full-time, I thought everything was gonna go good, and then my world got flipped upside down," Bryant remembered. "In April of 2019, I had got into a car wreck. The airbags didn't deploy and the seatbelt didn't lock, so I pretty much broke my face on the steering wheel. I had a fracture in my nose, stitches in my mouth. My right ear suffered the most injury and then eventually, I lost my hearing in my right ear because of it."

RELATED: An Official Recap of Team Reba on The Voice Season 25

She continued: "I absolutely worried, 'Am I gonna lose my hearting completely? Am I gonna be able to sing?' It was definitely a scary thought. It's been a huge adjustment to my life. Not only did I have to learn how to read people's mouths and try to understand what they're saying, but then I also had to learn how to sing with an imbalance. Music has helped me get through hearing loss. It continues to push me to learn things and step out of my comfort zone and take risks and learn to love myself that I am."

To celebrate their new partnership, Reba and Bryant left the stage to enjoy some delicious chicken tenders.

How to watch Season 25 of The Voice

New episodes of The Voice premiere Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC and next day on Peacock. To watch all of Season 24, click here.