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"You SANG That": How Ashley Bryant's Voice "Rang Through the Room" & Won Her Battle

Sometimes the best part of The Voice is watching an unlikely singer rise to new heights.

By Matthew Jackson

NBC's The Voice is a compelling show in large part because its contestants are not static. Their talents, and what they do with those talents, don't just stay the same week-to-week. We get to watch them grow and improve over time, and that means that unlikely stars are born in every round of the show.

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. 

This week, Team Reba saw just such a star rise, when a singer who just wanted to perform onstage one time triumphed in a major Battle.

To lead off Tuesday night's show, Coach Reba McEntire showcased singers Ashley Bryant and Elyscia Jefferson, with McEntire choosing a song she herself has previously covered, Beyonce's "If I Was a Boy," for the two vocalists. 

RELATED: Every Battle on The Voice Season 25 So Far

"Sometimes, opposites attract," McEntire said during rehearsals. "One's country, one's R&B, both girls have great range, and I thought that would really bring out the best in them."

Bryant and Jefferson entered the Battle as true opposites, and not just because Jefferson landed three Chair Turns in her Blind Audition, and Bryant snuck through with just one last minute Chair turn from McEntire. Singing professionally in a band with her family has made Jefferson a polished, seasoned pro, while Bryant started singing only for herself, and didn't even know how to work out vocal harmonies until the more trained singer, Jefferson, taught her how. 

All of this meant that, going into the Battle, Jefferson seemed to have the edge. Then Bryant started to sing.

Ashley Bryant and Elyscia Jefferson Sing Beyonce's "If I Was a Boy" on The Voice Season 25 Battles

Both singers started the range-challenging song with low notes, and had to progress up into their comfort zones. As the song went on, high notes challenged both vocalists, and it became clear from the Coaches' faces that Bryant was proving something with her performance. 

"Ashley, you surprised me, man," Coach Chance the Rapper shouted after the song ended.

Dan Smyers, one half of the Coaching duo Dan + Shay, echoed Chance's surprise, and praised Jefferson's work on the song to the point that he just wanted the duo to keep singing.

"Ashley, you showed a new side of your voice in this performance with all the runs, and I think you crushed it," Smyers said. "Elyscia, your control is just like one of the best in this entire competition right now. I was really impressed. I wish y'all would've kept goin' and sang more songs."

But it was Coach John Legend who gave perhaps the most definitive summation of Bryant's triumph in the moment.

"Ashley, you sang that song," he said. "When you were hitting those big notes, it was ringing through the room, the way you sustained it. It was brilliant, it was beautiful, you are just a wonderful, wonderful singer."

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

Though the Coaches went back and forth on who should win the Battle, Legend's commentary came last, and he made sure to highlight that he felt it was Bryant who gave the best performance. Then it was McEntire's turn to weigh in.

"When y'all started singing, I thought 'Oh, I shouldn't have picked this song,'" she said. "That very low note, I know, that's hard to do, it's scary, you don't know what's going to come out, but then you sailed past that, and it was so good, I was so proud of you."

While she also praised Jefferson, McEntire then awarded the battle to Bryant, whose powerful vocals seemed to overwhelm the room and make the decision a little easier.

"Ashley's a great singer," McEntire said. "I think her biggest strength is her powerful voice. She can sing anything."

As for Bryant, getting past the Blinds and into the Battles was a triumph all its own. Now, she's ready to prove she can be a champion.

"I'm gonna prove to Reba that I'm her country girl on her team and I'm ready to take it all the way to the top," she said.

For more from Ashley Bryant, keep watching The Voice Season 25 on NBC Mondays at 8/7c and Tuesdays at 9/8c, streaming the next day on Peacock.