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LI contestant on 'The Voice' calls her Battle Round 'exhilarating'

Marina Chello, of Plainview, performs during Monday's Battle

Marina Chello, of Plainview, performs during Monday's Battle Round on NBC's "The Voice." Credit: NBC / Justin Lubin

Marina Chello, the Plainview catering-hall manager who retained her place on Blake Shelton's team on "The Voice" Monday night, says it was "exhilarating" watching her Battle Round performance on TV and reliving that moment recorded weeks ago on Universal Studios' Stage 12.

"It was amazing," Chello, 37, told Newsday Tuesday. "Even though I knew what was going to happen, it was still fresh. I was nervous all over again. It was exhilarating, honestly. I'm just so proud and happy with the outcome," in which although she lost to her battle partner, Massachusetts singer Ricky Duran, 29, Shelton almost immediately used his once-a-season "Save" to keep Chello alive.

What was going through her mind in the interim? "I felt a little disappointed, but honestly that second felt a lot shorter than what was televised. I know there was time between when Ricky got his win and when he walked off the stage, but your mind goes blank it those moments — the crowd is going wild, the coaches are clapping and there's so much going on that that moment went so quickly. And before [host] Carson [Daly] could even say anything, Blake pushed his button. 

"I didn't even have time to fully process it," she continued, saying there was "a very short feeling of 'ohmigod, am I possibly going home?' But it was so quick I didn't have time to fully digest it and have a strong emotion. That's the reason I stayed with Team Blake" when rival coach Kelly Clarkson hit her "Steal" button to try to get Chello to join her team, "because he didn't give me a chance to think that I was going home."

Rather than having a viewing party, the Uzbekistan-born Chello, who was raised largely in Forest Hills, Queens, watched at home with her family including husband Michael, a mechanical engineer, and their 5-year-old son, Nathan.

"Every time I would hit a little note or do a little run, he would turn to me with a beaming smile on his face," she said of her child. "That felt so good. Like, he saw John Legend on 'Sesame Street' the other day and it was, 'Mommy, he works for "Sesame Street"! Mommy, you know that guy!' "


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