This recap contains spoilers.
Plainview singer Marina Chello duked it out one-on-one on Monday night's "The Voice" Battle Round, going up against Massachusetts native Ricky Duran as they belted out "Valerie" to retain their spot on Blake Shelton's team.
Wearing a long-sleeved gunmetal minidress, over-the-knee black suede boots and long crystal earrings, the 37-year-old Chello strode confidently into the boxing-ring set opposite Duran, 29. The two traded lyrics and occasionally sang in unison to the up-tempo lost-love lament, written by the English indie band The Zutons and popularized by the 2007 Mark Ronson-Amy Winehouse cover.
John Legend was the first coach to speak afterward. "Marina, I think you have an excellent voice," he said. "You looked so confident up there — it looked like you were really having a good time." However, he added, "If I were to pick, I would pick Ricky."
Gwen Stefani also went against Chello. "It was such a tough battle because I kept bouncing back and forth" between the two singers, Stefani said. "Marina, your voice kept getting better and better — each time you would show a little bit more of what you can do. But I have to agree with John," citing Duran's "star quality and stage presence."
Things looked up when Kelly Clarkson assured Chello she did not agree with her colleagues. "I think your voice — whooo!" Clarkson enthused. "You were like, 'Yes, I want to win.' Like, you both are completely captivating. I actually think that both of you bring out the other's A-game."
Clarkson went on to not-so-subtly hint that she'd like to steal either one of the singers.
Their coach, Shelton, deliberated his decision.
"You guys did everything that a coach could ask you to do," he told them. "You took the notes, you listened, you came out here, you gave it 150 percent. You're way overdue for a break in music, both of you. … Marina, you kept building on your performance. You know, every time you thought Ricky was just going to run away with this thing, you would do a run. You would do something [demonstrating vocal range] … And now here I am having to make a decision, and it's literally awful. ... "
Prefacing his call on who'd take the round by saying he was picking the better performer of that particular song and not based on other circumstances, Shelton declared Duran the winner.
He immediately went on and hit his Save button — which coaches can only use once a season during the battle rounds and was introduced as a new rule this season — to keep Chello in his team.
A beat later, Clarkson hit her Steal button, and made the case for bringing Chello over to her team.
A nervous Chello remarked how much the decision was like her blind audition, in which both Shelton and Kelly turned their chairs for her.
"I'll stick to my guns," she said. "I'm coming home. I'm going with Blake."
Although Clarkson was disappointed, she good-naturedly accepted Chello's decision.
Shelton went on to tell the camera that he was convinced Chello would surprise viewers as she continued on the singing competition.
"This girl can fricking sing," he said.