TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City native Ryan Whyte Maloney survived “The Battles: Round Two” to wind up among the Top 20 contestants on TV’s "The Voice."
Maloney on Monday referenced his hometown by pointing to the little finger area on his hand as he took the stage. He faced off against teammate Kaleigh Glanton in a performance of Rascal Flatts’ “Easy,” winning easily over the Wichita, Kan., native.
“I lost and I gained in this life with love, and I can relate to these lyrics,” said Maloney, a former garbage man who now lives and performs in Las Vegas.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin served as a guest mentor for the three-day final battle round that began Monday and replaced the show’s former “knockout round.” After a rehearsal with Martin, Team Blake coach Blake Shelton told Maloney, “When you put in the rough and raspy sound, I got chills.”
Shelton said he paired Whyte and Glanton in the final battle because both have powerful, range-y voices and are capable of doing many things. But he named Maloney the winner for overall consistency.
“I chose Ryan because every time he comes out here with this 150 percent confidence,” Shelton said.
Maloney also was chosen as winner by the three other judges — Usher, Adam Levine and Shakira — though only Shelton’s vote counted.
“He’s my type of country,” Usher said.
Maloney next will appear in the new “Playoffs” beginning today, during which coaches will each cut their rosters from five to three. The winners will advance to the live rounds in which TV viewers can vote for their favorites.