Superstar coaches Chance the Rapper, Dan + Shay, John Legend and Reba McEntire are vying to have the best group of singers on “The Voice” this season, but Team Reba has a clear advantage.

Elyscia Jefferson and L. Rodgers — who both hail from Baltimore — rocked their blind auditions and filled the last spots on the country superstar’s squad in this week’s back-to-back episodes of the reality competition series.

“It feels really good to know I have another talent from my hometown on my team,” Jefferson told The Banner.

The 20-year-old, raised in Owings Mills and now residing in the Glen Burnie area, was surrounded by music growing up. Her father was a musician with a studio in their basement, and her grandfather owned a church where she sang gospel.

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“Since then I’ve just been diving deep into music, falling in love with it and figuring out what it means to me,” Jefferson said. “I just had to find my own pocket with it and where I fit in.”

She fit in seamlessly, it appears. She joined her family’s band, Sound Connection, at 17. At the request of her father, she learned Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” — the song she performed during her blind audition on “The Voice” last week.

“I chose that song because it puts me in another zone when I perform it,” she said. “It makes you want to get up and dance, and it just feels so good. I figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime moment so when I was onstage all I could do was have fun, kill it and put passion into it. Now the rest is history.”

Jefferson’s high-energy performance received a chair turn from everyone but Legend, who said he regretted his decision and compared her to R&B superstar Brandy. Chance the Rapper praised Jefferson’s tone, while Dan + Shay said her talent was “effortless” and complimented her vibrato. But it was McEntire who came out on top, to the visible surprise of Jefferson’s parents. “You inspire me; you’re young and incredibly talented,” the three-time Grammy Award winner said.

Jefferson said she picked McEntire as her coach because of the songstress’ vocal skills, star power and longevity in the music industry.

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For Rodgers, McEntire was always the goal. The 34-year-old revealed that, even in her preproduction interviews, she said, “the other guys are really great, but I really want Reba.”

Rodgers, 34, discovered her passion for singing when she was 4 years old after her father, a guitar player, overheard her singing along to Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” She eventually started training at an early-childhood music program at the Peabody Institute and went to college at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York for musical theater.

For her performance in front of some of the music industry’s biggest names, Rodgers chose the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” which she found fitting for the moment.

“When I talk about storytelling, expressing emotion and being transparent and vulnerable, those are some of my biggest things as a singer,” she said. “The words are so good. Wild horses couldn’t drag me away from this dream of being an artist, so it was perfect.”

It was a high-stress audition. With two teams already full, only Legend and McEntire were up for grabs. No chairs had turned as Rodgers was finishing her song, so she let out a series of high notes — and McEntire spun around with roughly three seconds to spare.

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As McEntire called Rodgers a “powerhouse,” Rodgers couldn’t hold back her admiration. “You have touched my soul throughout my entire life. My wife and I are currently rewatching ‘Reba.’ I love all of you so much,” she said as she gestured at the other judges before turning back to McEntire, “but I gotta say you’re my favorite.”

Rodgers told the crowd that she has autism, “so if I seem a little odd, it’s OK, my brain just works a little bit differently than everybody else’s.” Legend, who said her “vibe is very infectious,” immediately responded that her autism is her “superpower.”

Rodgers said that interaction gave her a “sense of validation. Even though I don’t look for validation as an artist, that moment made me really happy and proud.”

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Although “The Voice” is used to help with professional singing careers, Rodgers’ personal life has already been affected by it. She said she has several new friends from her team, including Ashley Bryant, who is having a wedding that Rodgers may sing at, and, of course, Jefferson.

“How cool is it that we have two badass Baltimore women?” Rodgers said, barely containing her excitement. “I’ve probably watched Elyscia’s audition more than I’ve watched my own. I actually wanted to try to sneak into the studio to watch her audition when she told me what she was performing because that’s one of my favorite songs and she killed it.”

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Jefferson said she “already loved L. Rodgers instantly after meeting, but when she told me she was from Baltimore I knew that it was just fate for us to connect.”

Even on a national television show and a team coached by one of Nashville’s biggest stars, the Smalltimore factor is in full effect on “The Voice.”

“It’s just so funny but also cool to see how much of a small world that Baltimore is,” Jefferson said. “Just to see the talent that comes from our city.”

Taji Burris has covered the Baltimore music scene since 2015 for outlets such as The Working Title and The 4th Quarter, and now at the Baltimore Banner.

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