"The Voice" showdown: Let the battle rounds begin
Amanda Brown, Trevin Hunte on "The Voice." / NBC
Competition became stiff Monday night as the battle rounds got under way on NBC's "The Voice."
With the blind auditions over, it was time to get down to business, and "The Voice" gang did that with the help of some additional celebrity mentors. Mary J. Blige teamed with Adam Levine; Cee Lo Green linked up with Rob Thomas; Blake Shelton recruited the vocal styling of Michael Buble; and Christina Aguilera sought help from Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong.
Monday night saw pairs performing duets, but there was a twist, too: Coaches could "steal" a contestant eliminated in another battle. See how it all went down:
Casey Muessigmann vs. Terry McDermott for Team Blake
Wrestler/country singer Casey Muessigmann got the night started with a rendition of Kansas' "Carry On, Wayward Son," alongside Scottish singer Terry McDermott. This was a tricky one, as both contestants did well. Even Aguilera told Shelton, "You've got a tough decision."
Shelton said they both had "powerful voices" but in the end he chose McDermott because "he knows what his voice is a little more."
Bryan Keith vs. Collin McLoughlin for Team Adam
Bryan Keith and Collin McLoughlin battled it out with a duet of Sublime's "Santeria." Shelton called their performance "a lot of fun." Levine chose McLoughlin, which left Keith up for grabs. Both Green and Shelton hit the "steal" button, but McLoughlin went with Shelton.
Diego Val vs. JR Aquino for Team Cee Lo
Diego Val and YouTube star JR Aquino were up next for a performance of Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl." Green chose Val because he "can do something stranger" with him.
De'Borah vs. Nelly's Echo for Team Christina
De'Borah and Nelly's Echo hit the stage next to perform The Police's "Message in a Bottle." All four coaches were impressed, but it was up to Aguilera to choose who would stay on her team. She sent De'Borah to the next round.
2Steel Girls vs. Gracia Harrison for Team Blake
Mother and daughter pair, 2Steel Girls, sang alongside Gracia Harrison on a version of The Dixie Chicks' "Sin Wagon." Aguilera and Levine both praised Harrison's performance, as did Shelton, who chose her to advance.
Amanda Brown vs. Trevin Hunte for Team Cee Lo
And in saving possibly the best duet for last, Green paired up Amanda Brown and Trevin Hunte to sing Mariah Carey's "Vision of Love." The performance was so good that all four judges gave the contenders a standing ovation. Aguilera called their duet "hands down the best performance we've had in the battle rounds so far."
Clearly faced with a difficult decision, Green said, "I should not have paired y'all together. I'm mad...I don't want to lose either one of you." Green eventually went with Hunte, but Brown wasn't about to go home empty-handed. All three coaches tried to "steal" her, using their best persuasive tactics. Levine even compared Brown to the likes of Carey or Aretha Franklin; Brown went with Levine.
The face-to-face duets continue Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.
Tell us: What did you think about Monday's episode of "The Voice"?
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