Barrett Baber and Dustin Christensen Meet Unlikely Fate, Battle With ‘Walking in Memphis’ on ‘The Voice’
When Blake Shelton chose teammates Barrett Baber and Dustin Christensen to duke it out during The Voice Battle Rounds, their worst case scenario had come true. The two singers had met early on in their journey on the show, becoming quick friends, but they figured the odds were slim they’d get on the same team, let alone have to battle each other to stay.
“We were roommates for a month, so we’d talk about it, like, what if we both make a team? What if we’re both on the same team? What if — worst case scenario — we had to battle each other?” Christensen tells Taste of Country. "It was such slim odds; we would just laugh about it."
But sure enough, as the Battle Rounds names were announced to the contestants two by two, they slowly realized their options for opponents were dwindling ... save for each other.
“Finally they get down to the last people left, and Barrett and I just look at each other like, what in the world?” Christensen recalls.
“It was unbelievable,” Baber adds. “I looked over at him and we just both started shaking our head and laughing. I think we both sort of like dreamed that into existence."
The guys — who dubbed themselves the #Bronado — were assigned Marc Cohn’s "Walking in Memphis," which brightened their spirits immediately, as they're both huge fans of the tune. Luckily, because they're friends, they were able to work together in arranging a version of the song that allowed them both to shine.
“We knew right away we could do something special with the tune,” Baber remembers. “We made a decision that this wasn’t going to be your everyday Voice battle, and that we were going to make it more about creating something undeniable."
While most people competing against each other would be tempted to outdo the other in order to earn their spot in the competition, Baber and Christensen say that wasn’t the case for them.
"We weren’t going to try to out-sing each other,” Baber insists. "I was going to do everything I could do to make his performance better and he was going to do the same for me, and just send that out into the universe."
The finely-tuned rehearsals and cooperation paid off in a major way for the duo, who knocked their battle out of the park. The guys say coach Shelton, along with guest advisor Brad Paisley, made them comfortable and helped make that performance even better.
“Blake mentioned to me that I needed to step up my game in the performance aspect,” Christensen says. “I’m used to having a guitar or sitting at a piano, so that was kind of a new thing for me."
“One thing Brad and Blake gave to us, something I’ve really started to believe and understand in the last few years, is that it’s the little things that matter now. There’s such a slight and small distance between being good and being great,” Baber adds.
Both artists have been in 'the biz' a while — both aged 35 and have seen their fair share of ups and downs in the music industry — but because of their experience, they also have a poise and maturity that allow them to work hard and put on a great showing, even under pressure.
Baber's harmonies and pure country sound and Christensen's warm, gravelly tones blended seamlessly when it was time to make magic happen, and all four coaches gave the singers a standing ovation. That also meant Shelton had an impossible decision to make.
"You're both two of the best singers in this competition," coach Adam Levine said.
"That was idiotic to put you two together," Shelton furthered.
Though they both nailed the unique performance, Baber's powerful vocals pulled out the tough call. Christensen didn't have long to be disappointed, though, because as soon as he was available, both Levine and Gwen Stefani pushed their buttons to steal him for their teams.
"Dustin, I remember the moment I didn't get you. I can't have my heart broken twice by you," Levine pleaded.
"I worship your voice," Stefani told him. "I'm just thinking about what duet we're going to sing."
In the end, Christensen didn't disappoint Levine and chose him for his new coach.
"I think Adam will be a great coach, and I think he gets where I'm trying to go as an artist," Christensen remarked Monday night (Oct. 12).
"In the end it was perfect," he continued to Taste of Country. "Two good friends on stage doing a song we both love, and getting the exact result we set out for -- for both of us to stay on the show."
It looks like the #Bronado will live to see another week — even if it's on different teams!
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