Marina Chello of Plainview came to the end of the road on NBC’s The Voice Monday night in spite of a powerful performance, losing out on a chance at $100,000 and a record deal on the first night of the knockout stage of the competition.
The 37-year-old wife, mother, and catering hall manager found herself up against Nashville singer songwriter Cali Wilson. The two of them faced off for a spot on Coach Blake Shelton’s team. After delivering an inspired performance of Tom Jones’ “I (Who Have Nothing),” Shelton tipped in favor of Wilson’s performance of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”
“You know, this is what you hope for, I guess, as a coach,” Shelton said moments before making the difficult decision. “But when it comes down to this moment, this is horrifying, because both of you two deserve not only to be on the show but to be on the damn radio, honestly.”
He later reasoned that he had to do what he did.
“I think Marina did what we all knew she could do,” he said. “I think Cali did what none of us thought she could do. And I had to reward her for that.”
Chello had come a long way, as she blazed through the blind audition and the battle rounds. Despite her loss, Chello’s performance was well received by both the audience and judges, with not only Shelton, but coaches John Legend, Gwen Stefanie, and Kelly Clarkson all singing her praises before she got the axe.
Following her exit, Marina left with grace and dignity.
“I am so thrilled to have had this experience,” she told Shleton. “It’s a huge honor. Thank you so much for everything. Thank you.”