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Enumclaw's Justin Grennan earns high praise, but is eliminated from NBC's The Voice
Enumclaw native Justin Grennan went prime time with his impressive vocal talents Tuesday night, belting out the classic "Baba O'Riley" by The Who.
His performance was during a taping of The Voice, a hot TV show offered by NBC that provides a forum for talented singers looking to make the big time.
Grennan advanced to the field of 32 finalists, one of eight artists working under megastar Christina Aguilera. During Tuesday's "battle round" he was paired against teammate Beverly McClellan. In the end, it was up to Aguilera – who has sold more than 30 million albums during her impressive career – to determine which performer advanced and which headed home.
She chose McClellan, a rocker who made quite a stage presence with her shaved head, assorted tattoos and broad vocal range.
But Grennan didn't leave without some high-placed compliments.
Aside from Aguilera, teams are coached by country sensation Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, the front man for the popular group Maroon 5, and Cee Lo Green, a force in the hip-hop world as one half of the duo Gnarls Barkley.
Levine praised Grennan's ability to stretch his wings and dive into the rock gem with its iconic "teenage wasteland" refrain.
"I thought they were sending a lamb to slaughter," Levine said, offering a nod to Grennan's soulful roots. "But you really did an amazing job."
Shelton's comments also centered on the fact Grennan was perhaps treading into uncharted waters.
"You have this rock inside of you, man. It was awesome to see that come out," said the Country Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year.
When asked for her verdict, Aguilera first praised Grennan.
"Of all my teammates, I'm most proud of you," she said, recalling that Grennan admitted during rehearsals he wasn't familiar with The Who's classic that charted in the early 1970s.
Following his "battle round" loss, Grennan posted a short item to a video diary maintained on the TV show's website.
"Well, didn't quite make it...but an amazing experience," he said. "I'm blessed."
Grennan, 33, was raised in Enumclaw and graduated from Enumclaw High in 1996. He now makes Los Angeles his home, having moved to California in 2003 to participate in a church mission. He met other musicians through singing in churches and they came together as Justin Grennan and the Project. The band performs in the L.A. area and recently released a CD, "Things I Should Have Said..."
To watch Grennan's "battle round" competition and learn much more about the program and its participants, visit www.nbc.com/the-voice