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How Besties Michael Bublé and Josh Groban Worked Out Their Rivalry in Song

Dueling baritones Michael Bublé and Josh Groban had the audience in stitches during a 2005 concert.

By Jessica White

If you were to fill a room with powerhouse vocalists, The Voice Coach-to-be Michael Bublé would be proudly in attendance, and he'd likely be catching up with fellow vocal legend Josh Groban. Their shared status as baritone jaw-droppers has led to a fun-filled rivalry.

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Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

The two men's friendship, which likely began after both were signed by mega-producer David Foster of 143 Records, was on display during one of Buble's early concert tours in 2005. Both had already cemented their status as a tour de forces of talent.

RELATED: Michael Bublé's "This Love" Maroon 5 Cover Expertly Shows His Dynamic Range

But while Bublé was then widely known for his performances of jazz standards and Groban for his more operatic stylings, both men are vocal chameleons who shine on any song thrown their way way. Case in point: Bublé's impression of Josh Groban, which he pulled out during his 2005 Caught in the Act tour, as well as Groban's impression of Bublé.

Check out the moment when Groban surprised Bublé on stage here.

Michael Bublé and Josh Groban's 2005 Sing-Off

Split of Michael Buble and Josh Groban

It happened during a night of unabashed entertainment during Bublé's August 2005 concert at the Wiltern LG Theatre when not one but two baritone legends graced the Los Angeles venue for a performance that was being videotaped for Bublé's live album and ultimately televised concert.

"I'd like to start by kicking Josh Groban's little butt," a 29-year-old Bublé told the crowd about halfway through his set.

Despite some confusion, the audience was instantly tickled as Bublé requested the pianist to switch it up from their typical arrangement. Bublé then conjured up Groban's trademark baritone for an operatic rendition of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." As Buble delivered an impeccable impression of the disco hit in Groban's iconic style, Groban himself appeared behind Bublé with a smile.

The crowd exploded with laughter and delight as Groban then watched the performance with a look of playful disapproval. After Bublé turned around to find his friend in the spotlight, Groban made his way to center stage to give Bublé a hug and some valued feedback on his performance. 

RELATED: Josh Groban's Range-Defying Cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Is Superhuman

"Can we do something for fun?" Bublé asked once the audience's cheers finally let down.

"No, because I'm going back home," Groban dreamily sang, cheekily referencing Bublé's hit, "Home."

Michael Buble performs on stage during his 'Higher Tour' in 2023

Bublé then pitched that they both attempt to sing one of the other artists' tunes, an offer to which Groban happily agreed. Determined to prove he could keep up with Groban's operatic bravado, Bublé began singing Groban's "To Where You Are." Unsurprisingly, the original singer had reservations.

"What am I, Kermit the Frog?" Groban teased as the crowd erupted with giggles. "What's going on here?"

Groban then suggested that Bublé hold the mic at his diaphragm and adjust his posture, as the Broadway legends do to project. Bublé pivoted to sing Groban's mythic hit "You Raise Me Up." Sure enough, with Groban's tweaks, Bublé belted out an angelic impression of Groban that was undeniably spot-on. 

"That was absolutely perfect," Groban applauded.

During Groban's turn, it became a showdown fit for Jimmy Fallon's "Wheel of Musical Impressions." For his performance, Groban chose to sing the jazz standard "Fly Me To The Moon," made famous by Frank Sinatra and frequently covered by Bublé.

Groban expertly mimicked Bublé's mannerisms while snapping along to the beat, even donning a Bublésque register while scatting along to the jazz hit. Bublé couldn't help but join in on the fun, joining hands with Groban after getting to the "hold my hand" lyric.

The audience went ballistic as the musical legends belted the song's final note with velvety finesse.

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