Alexis Marceaux and Daniel Rosa on "The Voice" (Tyler Golden / NBC )
They didn't bring their horses and bayonets -- nor did they discuss foreign (or domestic) policy or go at each other in split screen -- but the contestants on "The Voice" continued to battle it out in pairs Monday night, just before President Obama and Mitt Romney faced off in their final presidential debate.
As "The Voice" battle rounds rolled through Night 5 -- with more to go -- this phase of the competition started to feel as endless as the race for the White House. But fear not, we'll move on to the knockout rounds soon enough, with voting on the live shows set to commence the very week we'll go to the polls to cast our ballots in a different sort of vote. (There will be five hours of "The Voice" -- spread over three nights -- during election week, so start gathering your snacks now.)
Here's what went down on "The Voice" on Monday:
Pairing: Alexis Marceaux, who is recovering from the trauma of Hurricane Katrina, versus Daniel Rosa, who is recovering from a lack of confidence
Song: "Whataya Want from Me"
Thoughts going in: Rosa, whose "Voice" audition last season went nowhere, showed good musical instincts and an emotional delivery, but needed to believe in himself. Marceaux, who is classically trained, over-enunciated her words but displayed impressive vocal control. Rosa might have had the edge in likability. Guest mentor Rob Thomas, for instance, was moved to declare, "I love Daniel."
The performances: Pretty even match. Both singers rose to their particular challenges, with Rosa coming off as confident and Marceaux loosening up a bit. But when Rosa went in to hug Marceaux afterward, he got a leg up in my estimation.
The response: The coaches were split, with Adam Levine saying Rosa sings with all his soul, and Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera finding Marceaux's vocal and performance technique superior. CeeLo Green had the ultimate say, though, and he picked Rosa, saying he felt more connected to him.
Winner: Daniel Rosa
Steal? No, though Shelton later said he was "kicking" himself for not having snatched up Marceaux.
Pairing: Brandon Mahone, a teenage singer from Chicago's mean streets, versus Nicole Nelson, an earthy singer from a Vermont artist compound
Song: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Thoughts going in: They're both so good, it seemed a shame one of them would go home. Nelson seemed to have a clear advantage in terms of experience and sheer vocal power. But Mahone was a favorite during auditions.
The performances: Nelson seemed to be holding back, likely because Levine had asked her too. Nevertheless, even hampered, she seemed to outshine Mahone.
The response: The coaches were split, but Levine apparently had no problem reaching a verdict. Both had met their challenges, he said, but the winner of the round was Nelson. He did come onstage to give both singers hugs, though, telling Mahone he'd "killed it," which was sweet.
Winner: Nicole Nelson
Steal? No, confounding all of us, including Levine, who chided Aguilera, "You should have taken him."
Pairing: 20-year-old small-town Texan Devyn DeLoera versus 15-year-old Long Islander MarissaAnn
Song: "Free Your Mind"
Thoughts going in: The deck seemed stacked against MarissaAnn, who we were reminded is the youngest performer in the competition.
The performances: MarissaAnn gave a rousing, Aguilera-esque performance, in terms of delivery, if not voice. DeLoera did fine, but didn't really distinguish herself.
The response: Again, the coaches offered differing opinions, but after praising MarissaAnn for stepping up and surprising her, Aguilera surprised us by picking DeLoera.
Winner: Devyn DeLoera
Steal? Yes, Shelton used up his last steal for MarisaAnn. "I was really blown away by her performance," he said.
Pairing: Brian Scartocci versus Loren Allred
Winner: Loren Allred
Pairing: Ryan Jirovec versus Cassadee Pope
Winner: Cassadee Pope
Pairing: Joe Kirkland versus Samuel Mouton
Winner: Joe Kirkland
With only a handful of matches to go, we're nearing the end of the battle rounds. Who are your favorites?
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