For the first battle of the night, McEntire tasked her country team members, Reby Leigh and Al Boogie, with a daunting task. She asked the pair to put their own personal touch on one of the most quintessential country songs of all time, Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”
During the coaching session prior to taking the stage, McEntire encouraged Leigh and Boogie to not only lean into the emotion of the song, but to focus on connecting with everyone in the audience.
For their take on the country staple, Leigh and Boogie seemed to really give it their all. They made it a point to listen to McEntire’s previous advice, working the entirety of the stage and looking out to the audience as much as possible.
Leigh and Boogie didn’t let connecting with the audience get in the way of their vocal power either, the pair each earned their own nods and looks of approval from the judges as they hit notes and took their own creative liberties. Press play below to watch it for yourself!
At the conclusion of their performance Niall Horan kicked off the feedback applauding both of the artists: “That is so good, so fun! Great song choice.”
Coach Gwen Stefani focused in on Leigh, “I forgot you were 16, Ruby. Just the way your presence is on stage, you just didn’t look like a teenager, didn’t sound like a teenager. I had chills up and down my body…”
While the coaches offered up massive amounts of positive feedback for Leigh and Boogie, it was ultimately up to McEntire to make the difficult decision. After telling the pair that she loves them both, the music hit maker ultimately decided to advance the 16 year old Leigh to the knockout rounds.
The Voice airs on Monday and Tuesday nights at 8PM EST on NBC.
The Top 40 Country Songs of 2023, Ranked
The best country songs of 2023 fit snugly over your life and experiences. Each is written from personal experiences, but somehow, translate as if they were custom to each of us.
We’ve loved, we’ve longed, we’ve lost and we’ve cut loose in the country.
Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes