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"Holy Crap": Hear Why Reba Did a Last-Second Turn for “Powerhouse” L. Rodgers 

Rodgers’ emotional cover of a Rolling Stones classic had all four Coaches feeling the love.

By Benjamin Bullard

When the mic picked up L. Rodgers letting out an apprehensive sigh amid the silence before her Season 25 Blind Audition on The Voice, Reba McEntire sensed a little bit of stage fright. “Oh, bless her heart!” the Queen of Country mouthed quietly just as the music cued up — and then, it was L.’s turn to make a statement.

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

The 34 year-old Baltimore native put her heart and soul into a swirling cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” drawing cheers from the audience even as the seconds ticked down without a turn from any of the Coaches. But when Rodgers capped her big-voiced performance with a delicately pretty high-pitched vocal run, McEntire knew this was one Artist she had to have on her team.

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

Watch L. Rodgers’ Blind Audition on The Voice Season 25

L. Rodgers performs on The Voice Episode 2506

Though it seemed for a moment like Rodgers would be going home without a Coaches’ turn, McEntire had a perfectly airtight explanation for why she waited until the last possible second before smashing her big red button of approval.

“I was just blown away with your vocal, and I was just listening and listening, and I’m like, ‘Holy crap! I’ve gotta turn around for this one!’” said McEntire. “I love your voice; I love the roundness, the fullness of it. You’re a powerhouse!”

RELATED: Reba McEntire Did an A+ Gwen Stefani Impression & Nailed Her Signature Gesture

Rodgers said her recent diagnosis of autism has answered a lot of childhood questions she once had about where she and her music were meant to fit in. “I absolutely think my autism is a huge reason why I was hyper-focused on singing,” she explained. “I swear it makes me a better songwriter. I see patterns in everything.”

A pattern definitely developed among the Coaches after Rodgers’ performance, with more than one admitting they were inspired by her optimistic and “infectious” personality.

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

“Your vibe is very infectious, and I love how passionate you are about your vocals,” said John Legend, “but also about just this moment and soaking it in — I love that!”

Chance the Rapper was feeling the love, too: “I have so much love for you it’s crazy!” he said. “Just an infectious joy: There’s something radiating off you. I’m really happy you get to work with Reba!”

McEntire, as it turns out, was pretty happy, as well. She said, “When L. Rodgers started to sing, I thought, ‘Wow! Emotion, clarity, range, power — everything you look for in a great singer. I think she’s terrific! Everything touched me about her voice. She was meant to be on my team!”