Donny Van Slee And Josh Sanders Bring Reba McEntire To Tears With Performance Of A Luke Combs Hit On The Voice

Reba McEntire had tears in her eyes after watching Team Reba’s Donny Van Slee and Josh Sanders perform a collaborative…


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

March 26, 2024

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Donny Van Slee, Josh Sanders; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Reba McEntire had tears in her eyes after watching Team Reba’s Donny Van Slee and Josh Sanders perform a collaborative cover of Luke Combs’ “When It Rains It Pours” during The Voice Battles.

The pair of artists confidently strummed their guitars while showing off their incredible vocal talent through the fan-favorite country song. Donny delivered the first verse with Josh joining in shortly after, both earning a round of applause and cheers from the audience. In addition to their epic singing abilities, these artists proved that they know how to command a stage. 

The panel of judges appeared to be pleased with the performance as they were seen nodding their heads the entire time and those who knew the words were even singing along. 

Donny Van Slee, Josh Sanders; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC
Donny Van Slee, Josh Sanders; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Changing Chance The Rapper’s Views On Country Music

Despite the fact that country music isn’t typically Chance The Rapper’s genre of choice, he was so impressed by their delivery that he said, “Y’all just threw down. I don’t even listen to country music. I might download that song.”

He went on to say that Donny was the first to catch his attention and then dubbed the aspiring contestant a “clear-cut star.” However, once Josh’s vocals came into play, Chance realized it’s not going to be easy for McEntire to have to decide who stays and who goes home. 

“Josh, you have some crazy runs that you were doing and it became like a neck and neck thing. I’m going to be honest, either one, you don’t lose. Either way, you win. Great job,” Chance added.

 Josh Sanders; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC
Josh Sanders; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Dan + Shay Believe Luke Combs Would Be Proud

Dan Smyers, one half of the double chair and the country duo Dan + Shay, was quick to comment on Donny’s surprise spin that he threw into his performance before breaking out into the upbeat chorus, which made for an eye-catching moment.

“That was great performance, guys. Any Luke Combs song is tough to sing and y’all stepped up and killed it, man. I love the energy. I love the crowd interaction. Donny, you had a nice little spin there that fired me up before the chorus.”

Aside from their stage presence, Smyers got honest with the contestants as he admitted he preferred hearing them individually versus together. 

Donny Van Slee, Josh Sanders; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC
Donny Van Slee, Josh Sanders; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

He continued, “I honestly think you guys shined better individually than when you guys were singing together, singing harmonies. Personally, I thought Josh, you had a little bit more control of your vocals, but I really love both of your voices. I agree with Chance, you guys got what it takes to go far in this show and that was a great song choice for both of you guys. It was a great performance.”

Chiming in from the other half of the double chair was Shay Mooney, who shared that his friend Luke Combs would have been “proud” to see how they handled his fan-favorite song. However, he had to agree with both Smyers and Chance that Josh may have come out on top in terms of having the stronger set of vocals. 

John Legend Gives His Thoughts

John Legend was last to share his thoughts before letting McEntire make her final decision. He took the time to speak to each artist, giving them a mix of praise and helpful guidance that they can take with them as they continue to grow in their careers. 

Donny Van Slee; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC
Donny Van Slee; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

“Donny, I loved when you did the spin. It was like you were preparing mentally. You were like, ‘y’all, I’m about to spin,’” he joked before giving some honest feedback to Donny. “I just really enjoyed how much you looked like you were enjoying yourself. There was a moment, it was like a quieter part of the song and your voice was down in that lower part of your range and the rasp was so beautiful and cool. That was one of my favorite parts of your performance.”

When it comes to Josh’s delivery, Legend appeared to be just as impressed with the control over his voice, which he described as “pure” and “clear.” 

“It was just really well executed. When I’m thinking about what Reba’s going to decide, Donny’s voice is more interesting to me, but I felt like Josh executes a little bit better.” 

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Reba McEntire Makes The Final Decision

Once they heard from each member on the coaching panel, it was time for Reba McEntire to decide which contestant would be crowned the winner of this round. 

“I feel like I’ve known you forever. When we got to be in the rehearsal, I just felt like we bonded and that was really, really special to me,” the female songstress said with tears building up in her eyes. “This is going to be a tough decision. Donny, your performance was cute as a button. It was fun. I enjoyed watching you and your choreography was spot on. I don’t know who came up with that, but you did a really good job. Josh, your runs, when you hit the high notes, everything was perfect. Whatever you got from this song, ‘When It Rains, It Pours,’ it worked for you. Way to go on that.”

Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC
Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

She then declared Josh Sanders the champion of this battle.

“Love You, buddy. That was so hard,” she later added. “Donny is a huge talent. It just flows out of him on stage, but I chose Josh because vocally, Josh just stepped up to the plate. I think America’s going to fall in love with Josh.”

Josh was overcome with joy and an extra dose of motivation to continue making McEntire proud as he walked off the stage knowing he’s staying in the competition.  

“Alright, let’s go Team Reba,” he said from backstage. “It’s time to show her that there’s a different side of me. There’s a side that can dig in and really take things to the next level.”

The Voice airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.