Legend went head-to-head with fellow coach Niall Horan for four-chair singer Mara Justine on Monday's Season 24 premiere. Horan brought out an enlarged, red foam finger from the ceiling with the words “pick Niall” written across it, while Legend invited Justine to perform an impromptu duet of his song “All of Me” onstage.
The episode ended on a cliffhanger when coach Reba McEntire asked Justine whom she wanted to select as her coach.
“Coming into this, I thought John Legend was a gentleman. How wrong was I,” said Horan during Tuesday’s continuation of the audition. “He’s playing dirty right now.”
Legend’s dirty game seemed to do the trick, as Justine opted to join Team Legend.
“I had to get Mara on my team,” said Legend, calling Justine “soulful.” “She’s got amazing tone, amazing power in her voice. Take that, Niall.”
Here’s what else went down on Tuesday’s episode.
Reba McEntire nabs teen country singer with yodeling, audience signs
Teen country singer Ruby Leigh charmed the coaches with her riveting rendition of “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by Patsy Montana, earning the 16-year-old a four-chair turn.
“I truly never heard anything like what you just did,” Legend said. “When you started doing the yodeling, it was like, ‘How is a human being able to do the things that you’re doing?’ You can win ‘The Voice,’ honestly.”
McEntire, a country music veteran, was touched by Leigh’s tribute to Montana. “I’m very flattered, very proud of my heritage that you’re singing this song,” she said. “Matter fact, my mama could yodel, and she taught me how to yodel.”
At the request of coach Gwen Stefani, McEntire gave the coaches and studio audience a taste of her musical pedigree by yodeling live onstage.
McEntire took her pitch a step further by asking the audience for their opinion on which coach Leigh should pick. Audience members proceeded to pull out signs in the shape of McEntire’s iconic red hairdo and chant her name.
McEntire’s yodeling and audience backup sealed the deal. Leigh chose Team Reba in the end.
“Ruby could be a star and have a huge following because she’s not afraid to go against the grain of nowadays,” McEntire said. “Team Reba is off to a great start.”
Howie Mandel fangirls over Reba McEntire during surprise appearance
McEntire has fans in every corner – including the judges panel on “America’s Got Talent.”
“It is so great this season to have the one and only Reba joining our coaching panel,” Daly said, only to be interrupted by Mandel yelling, “Reba, woo! The Queen of Country.”
“I love Reba,” said Mandel when asked by Daly why he was at “The Voice” taping. “We’re right next door shooting (the) ‘AGT’ finale.”
An overjoyed Mandel then walked onstage to have his “I love Reba” t-shirt signed by McEntire. “Would you be still?” McEntire told Mandel, to which he replied, “I can’t, I love you.”
John Legend wins ‘firecracker’ 4-chair singer after singing with contestant's daughter
Top-notch vocals are a staple on “The Voice,” but a tug at the heartstrings can also strike the right chord.
“You were singing (the song) like your life depended on it, which is a powerful thing to witness. It’s very mesmerizing,” Legend said. “You were executing the song with great skill as a vocalist too.”
McEntire was also impressed by the 36-year-old’s stunning stage presence, calling him a “firecracker.”
But Legend wouldn’t throw in the towel that quickly. After Owens revealed Legend is “one of my inspirations,” the “Nervous” singer joined Owens for a brief singalong of the R&B ballad, which featured Owens’ young daughter Evelyn Ann.
Legend’s sweet serenade worked its magic, as Owens joined Team Legend.
“I’m still a four-chair king, baby,” Legend said.
Reba on 'The Voice': An exclusive sneak peek at Season 24 with the new country icon judge
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'The Voice': John Legend, Niall Horan vie for singer Mara Justine