The Voice

Mark Hood talks about working with Missy Elliott on The Voice

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Celeste Betton and Mark Hood prepare for their battle round with the help of Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams. (NBC Photo)

Celeste Betton and Mark Hood prepare for their battle round with the help of Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams. (NBC Photo)

 

Mark Hood’s secret to battle round success: Being himself.

Sounds simple, but it didn’t necessary come naturally for the 24-year-old from Chicago, one of The Voice’s most energetic and charismatic performers.

For the battles, he was paired with Celeste Betton, a 27-year-old gospel singer from Hinesville, Ga.

“Singing with a girl was different and, you know, I was really intimidated,” Mark admitted during a conference call with the media this week. “I didn’t know how I was going to do it.

“But (coach Pharrell Williams) just told me to be myself; don’t lose any of the personality. He was like, ‘The personality is part of what makes you. Don’t lose that, let it grow.'”

Their cover of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” wound up being one of the night’s most successful on iTunes.

Pharrell named Mark the winner, meaning he advances to the knockout round. Celeste was eliminated.

Another battle round highlight for Mark was working with Team Pharrell adviser Missy Elliott. As we saw on the show, she broke down in tears she was so impressed when she heard Mark and Celeste in rehearsals.

“Missy Elliott was a part of my childhood,” Mark said. “Although I really couldn’t listen to secular music, I used to sneak and listen to her and she was absolutely a wonderful artist.

“So, you know, working with her was just — honestly sometimes after the first day I felt like I missed out on it because I was there but I was so in awe. It was one of those ‘like pinch me, I’m dreaming’ moments where it’s like, ‘Okay it’s over; man, I missed it because I thought I was dreaming the whole time.’ Just working with her was a dream come true.”

For more on Mark, head here. For more on Celeste, head here.

And check back Monday and Tuesday for live blogs as the battle round on The Voice continues.

Celeste Betton and Mark Hood perform during the battle round on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Celeste Betton and Mark Hood perform during the battle round on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Mark Hood performs during the battle round on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Mark Hood performs during the battle round on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

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