But it was Matthew Schuler’s night for Team Christina Aguilera. The 20-year-old from Yardley, Pa., brought church to the stage with his emotional take on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
The son and grandson of ministers, Schuler offered a passionate tribute to his gospel roots that left his mother – watching from the audience – in tears and his coach praising his follow-through on her advice to “be fearless.”
“There is something so magical and the room becomes silent and then you just lift it up, the applause. Everyone is just with you and behind you,” Aguilera praised. “You are a gift and you are so blessed. I appreciate you, and I am very humbled and very happy you chose me as your coach.”
Also earning major respect from her own coach Monday was Kat Robichaud, who seemed thrilled when Cee Lo Green, who saved her last week, directed her to her rock roots on AWOLNATION’s “Sail.”
Wearing shimmering silver hot pants, the 29-year-old from Raleigh, N.C., offered up plenty of rock drama and a first for The Voice: Falling back into the audience from the stage, she crowd-surfed, never skipping a beat.
Coach Blake Shelton took notice. “I loved watching Kat. She’s like a lion walking around a herd of antelopes in this audience. When you fell over, I said, ‘There’s no way she can sing through it,’ but you sang through it. It was amazing.”
Shelton‘s team also delivered some strong performances, most notably Cole Vosbury, 22, who shined on the R&B hit “Adorn” by Miguel. Sounding like a raspy merge of Joe Cocker and Edwin McCain, the Shreveport, La., native got a standing ovation from the judges.
“Every time Cole gets on stage, I think he brings a gun to a knife song,” Shelton enthused. “It’s more than you expect and it squashes you.”
Shelton got a different kind of flavor out of Louisiana’s Ray Boudreaux, who impressed last week with some “swamp pop” from his home state. Taking on John Legend‘s soulful “All of Me,” the 25-year-old drew screams from the women in the audience.
“Ray is sexy and you can’t blame me for that,” Shelton joked.
“It was almost kind of a dynamic yet controlled and blistering performance,” Levine told the 22-year-old. “You just turned into a rock star before our very eyes.”
“I love the way you make me feel. I forget to think,” Green told the Colts Neck, N.J., student. “I just get lost in it momentarily.”
He then paid her the ultimate compliment. “I want to download the version of that record.”
The Voice continues Tuesday as the Top 12 are narrowed down to 10. For the first time, viewers can use the show’s new “instant save” function, which will also be in place during live eliminations on Nov. 19, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3. For a five-minute window during eliminations, Twitter users with public accounts can vote online to save one artist in the night’s bottom three by Tweeting that singer’s voting keyword along with a show hashtag.