The Battle Rounds kicked off with sizzle on Monday night's (March 18) episode of The Voice, as first-time coaches Dan + Shay pitted veteran performer Karen Waldrup against gritty country-rocker Ryan Argast.

The country star duo made a bold move for their first Battle Round: They asked Waldrup and Argast to perform their own song, "Save Me the Trouble," as a duet.

That's a lot to live up to for any performer. Not only is Dan + Shay's Shay Mooney one of the most lauded vocalists working in country music today, but it can be pretty intimidating for a Voice contestant to perform a coach's own song in front of them. Fortunately, Argast had some experience: Late in February, he auditioned with another Dan + Shay song, "Speechless."

As they stepped into the Battle Rounds ring, Waldrup and Argast immediately proved that they were up to the task of re-interpreting Dan + Shay's rafter-raising power ballad. The two singers took turns delivering dramatic flourishes and sky-scraping high notes. By the end of the duet performance, the coaches were riveted — and Dan + Shay were on their feet.

"That's better than the original version, though, y'all," Dan Smyers admitted after the applause subsided. "[You're] coming for our job."

Coach John Legend praised both Waldrup and Argast's passion and power during the performance, and even said he was "mad" he didn't turn his chair during Waldrup's audition. Coach Chance the Rapper expressed similar regrets, while Coach Reba McEntire reminded the room that Waldrup did earn a chair turn from her — but Dan + Shay used their "Block" button to keep McEntire from a chance at wooing Waldrup to her team.

"I think you're fantastic. I love the way you move onstage. You look fabulous," McEntire raved. "Ryan, I love that growl in your voice. You guys are a great duet."

Dan + Shay agreed, praising Argast's veteran performer status and reiterating, "I like that [version of the song] better than how we do it." Still, when it came time to make a final decision, the duo elected to keep Waldrup in the running. After no other coaches elected to scoop Argast up for their teams, he was sent home.

"Ryan made this a very difficult decision," Shay Mooney acknowledged. "But in the end, I feel like Karen really has the stuff to be able to win this show."

The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.

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