‘The Voice’: Niall Horan Uses Blake Shelton to Land a Country Singer

Reba McEntire got a warm welcome during the season 24 premiere of The Voice on Monday — not just from her fellow coaches but also from the contestants.

The country superstar — who takes over for Blake Shelton following his departure from the show earlier this year — got a surprise during the very first Blind Audition of the season, when singer Jordan Rainer took the stage to perform one of Reba’s biggest hits, “Fancy.”

Reba was impressed, turning her chair first, only to be immediately followed by Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan. John Legend waited it out but ultimately turned as well, making Jordan the season’s first four-chair turn. 

“It was written by a strong woman, it was made famous by a strong woman,” Jordan said of songwriter Bobby Gentry and Reba, respectively, when asked why she chose the song to audition, “and it represents, lyrically, what women do to survive and I am a woman who has done what I’ve had to do to survive.”

The other coaches knew they had a tough uphill battle to win, with Gwen noting, “This is tough. The queen is here, you sang her song, and I’m Gwen Stefani doing ska music from Anaheim, California.” However, Gwen did play the “Blake card,” noting that she could call up her hubby for help selecting songs for Jordan.

“Is that fair?” Reba asked. “I’m gonna call Keith Urban!”

Niall also had a Blake surprise up his sleeve, however. When Reba started making her country-heavy pitch to Jordan, he hit his button and Blake’s voice rang throughout the studio.

“Niall is like a son to me,” Blake’s voice announced. “Niall is a global superstar. Niall is an attractive guy.”

“I’m so mad at him right now!” Gwen said of her husband agreeing to Niall’s antics.

“I told you our relationship was strong!” he fired back. Watch the full audition below and tune in tonight to see who Jordan chooses!

When ET spoke with the coaches ahead of the season premiere, Reba said that Gwen, Niall and John have welcomed her to the show “warmly, like a sister.” However, she noted that the friendly vibes go away when it’s time to get down to business.

“They’ve helped me, they’ve guided me and taught me, and then after I learned up to that point, then they say, ‘You’re on your own,'” she recalled.

“We still want to beat her,” John agreed with a laugh. 

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. PT/ET on NBC.


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