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2 Mississippi natives advance to the third round on ‘The Voice’

Photo courtesy of The Voice/website

Two Mississippi natives have advanced through the second round of NBC’s The Voice, taking their spots as upcoming competitors in the third phase of the show.

Within the past two weeks, Mississippi’s own Holly Brand and Walker Wilson have continued their journeys through the competition after impressing all four judges.

On Monday night, Brand, who is a former Miss Mississippi, was selected to move to the next phase after winning the Battle Round against fellow team member Katie Beth Forakis.

The two members of Team Kelly joined in a duet performance of “Lady Like” by Ingrid Andress, with judge Kelly Clarkson naming Brand the winner of the round after several words from the judges.

The 22-year-old Meridian native was selected by Clarkson after her blind audition of Faith Hill’s “Mississippi Girl” last month, with Clarkson comparing Brand’s voice to Carrie Underwood.

“We don’t have that really. We don’t have that kind of voice right now in country music, and I’m such a fan,” Clarkson explained.

Last week, 24-year-old Walker Wilson, who was raised in Raymond, impressed the judges after his duet with Team Blake member Kason Lester.

Both of the singers were chosen to perform “Here Without You” by 3 Doors Down, with Wilson taking the winning spot after being selected by judge Blake Shelton.

Wilson turned Shelton’s chair less than one months ago after his performance of “Hurricane” by Band of Heathens during the blind audition phase of the competition.

“You have a grit to what you do,” Shelton said. “You’re on the right track with that sound and this is going to be a lot of fun to do.”

Shelton stated that he wanted to put both Wilson and Lester’s “raspy” voices to the test during the second round, explaining that Wilson took control of the song during his performance.

“This was like the easiest no-brainer battle that I’ve ever put together in the history of being a coach,” Shelton said. “I feel like Walker has almost like a buzz that happens with his voice and it does cut through and you kind of attacked the song.”

The next round of the competition, which will require two singers on the same team to give separate performances before moving on to the next round, is set to begin on April 17.

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