updated 10/22/2012 AT 10:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/23/2012 AT 7:20 AM ET
The Voice is all about aspiring singers reaching for their dreams. But as Monday night’s battles showed, getting to the top can be challenging – and as much about courage and confidence as it is about talent and encouragement.
“I don’t know how to coach anyone to play it safe,” Cee Lo Green said. “The real reward is the risk you take.”
Green pitted two singers against each other who were fighting their own personal battles. Katrina survivor Alexis Marceaux’s challenge was to loosen up her technically trained style. Daniel Rosa needed to conquer his nerves – and this was his second time on the show.
Belting out a spirited version of Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me,” Rosa triumphed with a powerful voice that won over Green.
Team Adam’s Brandon Mahone and Nicole Nelson also struggled offstage. Nelson counted on her experience over high school student Brandon to give her an edge, but the pair ended up to be almost evenly matched. “You have so much old soul and you have the chemistry,” advisor Mary J. Blige told them.
Even though both excelled at singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Nelson came out the victor. However, Adam Levine grappled with dismissing Mahone.
“@BrandonsDreamz deserved a #steal - that was a killer performance. Your confidence onstage tonight was inspiring,” he Tweeted.
No one had more to prove than MarissaAnn on Christian Aguilera’s team. At 15, she was the youngest competitor and she had to blow the judges away in order to better Devyn DeLoera. Their electrifying rendition of En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” made them both fierce contenders for a spot on Team Christina, but DeLoera ultimately took the prize.
But just as MarissaAnn thanked Aguilera for her guidance, coach Blake Shelton went in for the steal.