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Two strong country contenders went up against each other during the grueling season 13 knockout rounds on “The Voice” on Nov. 7

Twenty-year-old Megan Rose, who began her journey on Team Miley before taking up a spot on Blake Shelton’s team, started things off with a rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Smoke Break.”


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Megan wore a fashionable fringed jacket during her performance, and showed just enough ease and sass while pacing back and forth onstage.

After her performance, fellow Team Blake contender Red Marlow, 40, slowed things down with a breathtaking cover of Craig Campbell’s country hit, “Outskirts of Heaven.”

Red simply strummed on his guitar and leaned into the microphone to deliver the faith-filled lyrics during his moment in the spotlight. It was clear that he put so much emotion into the tune at the suggestion of key adviser Kelly Clarkson, who assisted both aspiring stars in rehearsal.

“Red, I know you’re country. The way you tell a story, and the way that you sing, you’re just a really unfiltered and unpretentious, great country singer,” coach Adam Levine said after the knockout round. “And, Megan, when you hit those big soaring notes, I was like, ‘Damn! This girl.’”

Miley Cyrus followed up Adam’s comments by telling Red that he was “already so established. It wouldn’t be weird to say that you’ve just come off a big tour.” She then called Megan “a headstrong country female that also can be a little bit rugged” at times.

As for coach Jennifer Hudson, she said, “You are country Red. Then Megan, it took a minute for you to get into it, but when you got in there you hit that money note, and I felt that and it captivated me.”

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Blake, who could only keep one singer for his team, echoed Jennifer’s sentiments, telling Megan that her “nerves must’ve played a part” in her performance as he felt like she “took a half step back” from what he heard in rehearsals. Even though he admitted that she proved herself by showing off her powerful range, he chose to keep Red for his team.

“Red, I feel like you represent a time in country music that goes back maybe 15 years ago, or maybe more then that, which is awesome,” Blake said.

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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