Blast from the past Billy Gilman snuck through his “battle round” of The Voice on Monday night, facing off against the dynamic Andrew DeMuro on Michael Jackson’s inspiring better-world anthem “Man in the Mirror.”
Trading vocal jabs in the musical ring, Gilman and DeMuro went note for note on the soaring hit, each pushing their vocals to their upper limits. But neither singer could score a knockout blow, as coach Blake Shelton noted after the performance.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more evenly matched battle,” he said, while also describing Gilman’s voice as a laser cutting through everything around it.
For their part, both Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus actually thought the competitors made a great pairing, with Keys adding that both artists brought extra positivity to the song, all about changing the world one person at a time. In light of suffering around the globe, Keys said it made her feel “like maybe everything isn’t as bad as it seems.”
With not much help coming from his fellow judges, team leader Adam Levine was left to decide who stays and who goes. After praising both hopefuls for their hard work, he explained that he always chooses battle champs based on whom he feels can win the whole show – and that was Gilman.
With tears in his eyes, Gilman – who at 11 years old became the youngest artist in history to place a single in country’s Top 20 with 2000’s “One Voice” – moved one step closer to ultimate victory on Season 11 of The Voice, but he’ll have plenty of stiff competition. The battle rounds continue tonight.