'The Voice' contestants Mary Miranda, left and Cathia. (NBC )
And so the Battle Rounds on "The Voice" have come to an end. Tuesday night's final matchups were the last before next week's Knockouts, which will include no steals, no second chances, we were warned – just two singers from each team squaring off, hoping to stick around in the face of instant elimination.
But before we get there, the coaches needed to complete their teams. As Tuesday's battles kicked off, only Usher still had a steal left to spend. And we had to wait for the very end to see him use it.
In the evening's first battle, Shakira gave us "youth versus experience," as the show deemed it, pitting Brandon Roush, a long-haired, 19-year-old teacher of autistic children, against veteran rocker Shawna P., the season's oldest contestant. "I would be very frustrated to lose to a 19-year-old," Shawna P. says, understandably. "That would suck."
Roush, meanwhile, said his heart dropped when he learned of Shakira's song choice, Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," which seemed tailor-made for the elder singer's gritty voice. In fact, Roush was right to be concerned. Shawna P., whose voice Usher said was like "fine wine" and Adam Levine called "bad-ass," moved on to the next round, and Roush was sent home.
Having sung first, Shakira's team also sung last. In the final matchup, two Latin pop-singing teens -- Mary Miranda, 17, from Cuba, and Cathia, 19, from the Bronx – tackled Shakira's "Antes De Las Seis," in Spanish. During initial rehearsals, Cathia, who'd made a point to learn the song, seemed to have the advantage. But by the time the two stepped into the ring, Miranda, a radiant, baby-faced beauty, had captured her coach's attention.
After admiring her "charisma" and vibrato, the "Hips Don't Lie" singer, a fan of food metaphors, compared Miranda's sweetness to cotton candy and chose her to advance. Cathia had her admirers, though, including Usher, who used the season's final steal and swiped her for his team.
In the middle of the hour-long show, sandwiched between Team Shakira sing-offs, two distinctive singers from Team Adam – laid-back Hawaiian hunk Duncan Kamakana and lush-voiced music student Sarah Simmons – dueled on Lady Antebellum's "Wanted You More." (Their guest mentor for the occasion was Lady Antebellum's lead singer Hillary Scott – no pressure.)
After the lovely duet, Shelton gushed to Simmons that she was "one of my favorite singers I've ever heard in my life," and others praised Kamakana's sex appeal, you knew who'd won: Simmons. Kamakana remained laid-back even in departure, saying he knew it had to end at some point and that at least he'd fallen to the person he'd pick to win the whole thing.
Also advancing were Team Usher's Michelle Chamuel (knocking out Chelsea M.), Team Blake's Justin Rivers (sorry, Morgan Twins), and Team Adam's Amy Whitcomb (sending home Latin singer Agina Alvarez).
Levine and Shelton seem to think Simmons has a serious shot at the win. Do you have any favorites, at this point?
'The Voice' recap: Big battles, broken dreams