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Why Ruby Leigh’s Knockout Performance "From Another Planet” Won Over Reba
You can absolutely feel the palpable heartache in Ruby Leigh's cover of a forlorn country classic.
LeAnn Rimes' "Blue" may be a song about heartache, but for Team Reba member Ruby Leigh, it represents a golden ticket to the Playoffs on Season 24 of The Voice. The Four-Chair Turn Contestant from Missouri absolutely commanded the stage Monday night (November 13) with an ululating, goosebump-inducing cover of the forlorn classic that Rimes originally recorded when she was just 11 years old.
"This song shows off my yodeling," 16-year-old Leigh explained ahead of the performance. “But it shows I can also sing high and low. "I was 11 when I learned the song. I’m like, ‘If she was 11, I can do it. I have to try it.’"
Season 24 Mega Mentor Wynonna Judd was so blown away during rehearsals, she likened the young musician to country legend, Patsy Cline. "Something there is very spectacular, and I think she’s got such a future," she said. "She’s unique in a way that country music needs."
Coach Reba McEntire's only word of advice for Ruby was to "get in character" and really convey the song's message of profound sadness. In other words, "Don’t do anything that makes us think that you’re happy." She wasn't kidding!
"Make sure that your low notes are just as healthy as your high ones," Judd advised.
The three-way Knockout pitted Leigh against the impeccable talents of Ms. Monet (who sang "The Best of My Love" by The Emotions) and Rachel Nguyen (who performed "Die From A Broken Heart” by Maddie & Tae).
Watch Ruby Leigh sing "Blue" by LeAnn Rimes on The Voice Season 24 Knockouts
Niall Horan was first to offer up his thoughts once all three performances had come to an end. "Ruby, you are on a different planet," he said. "It's amazing what you do with your voice and the power that comes out of it."
John Legend seconded that astonishment at Leigh's otherworldly skills: "It's like you're from another planet. I don't get how, at 16, your voice has this power and roundness. You're so perfect for Team Reba on her first season on The Voice. You guys were a match made in heaven," he said.
Gwen Stefani, on the other hand, praised Leigh as being "original" yet forcefully redolent of "something so classic."
And that's exactly why McEntire picked her as winner. "Ruby reminds me of old country," the Coach concluded. "We need that tone, that yodel, that country feel."