‘The Voice’ battle: Johnny Hayes vs. Julien Martinez with ‘Hard to Handle’ for Team Adam Levine [WATCH]

One moved on to the Season 12 knockouts on “The Voice” and one went home on Monday. Coach Adam Levine had a showdown of Johnny Hayes vs. Julien Martinez with the Otis Redding soul classic “Hard to Handle.” He admittedly said it was a difficult decision but ultimately chose Johnny to remain in competition for his team next week. Rival coaches Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, and Blake Shelton did not step in with a steal, so that’s the end of the road for Julien (watch the battle performance above).

Photo Gallery: ‘The Voice’ past winners for seasons 1-11

Our writer John Benutty ranked this battle as one of his favorites on Monday. He says, “Based on their blind audition performances, I expected this match-up to be lop-sided in Johnny’s favor. Though both guys were big and showy their first time around, Johnny displays more control over his voice while Julien seems out of his element. In the battle, Julien did impress me vocally, but he still does too much in his performance, dancing around the stage in a distracting way. Johnny, on the other hand, moves with confidence and a swagger that says the stage belongs to him. And for what’s worth, the battle also belonged to Johnny — he continues on with Team Adam.”

Want to take a closer look at all 48 contestants making it to the battle rounds? Tour our photo galleries for Team Adam, Team Alicia, Team Blake, and Team Gwen by clicking each name.

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The NBC bio for Johnny: “After auditioning but not getting a chair turn during Season 11, a devastated Johnny and his wife moved back to Mobile to be closer to their family. During that time, he worked at his dad’s landscaping company, went on a honeymoon and really focused on music. After a successful Season 12 audition with the song to which he and his wife fell in love, he’s charged and ready to go further than he ever has before.”

The NBC bio for Julien: “Julien planned to follow in his dad’s footsteps by becoming a firefighter in Oxnard before turning to music and songwriting. Through musical theater and involvement with a rock band, he found his musical outlet. Julien is currently studying fire science and technology with a long-term goal of being an astronaut and applying to NASA’s Astronaut Candidate Program.”

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