After breezing through the competition with his hard-blowing retro-soul voice, Nicholas David (Mrozinski) finally had the wind taken out of his sails on the season finale of NBC's "The Voice." The Twin Cities musician, 32, took third place in the singing contest Tuesday, losing to younger and more Top 40-oriented contestant Cassadee Pope.
Things were looking good for Nick early in Tuesday's show, when host Carson Daly asked the coaches their favorite moment from the previous night's finale performances. Nick eschewed the classic soul/R&B ballads of previous weeks and delivered a mash-up of Jerry Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire" and Jimi Hendrix's "Fire." He played the wild card again later with his celebrity coach Cee-Lo Green during a duet of Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music."
Green predictably raved about his team member on Tuesday, but Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine also sang his praises. Said the Maroon 5 singer, "What was cool about Nick was, he kind of didn't care about it [being the finale] and said, 'I want to have fun, and do this crazy, entertaining number.'"
"The Voice's" viewers, who pick the winners through online and mobile phone votes or iTunes purchases, weren't as impressed as the coaches. They gave classic-rock-singing Scotsmen Terry McDermott the No. 2 spot and the top prize to Pope, who ended Monday's show with a dramatic version of Faith Hill's ballad "Cry" that matched the tone of the show's opening tribute to the Connecticut school shooting victims.
There were still a couple winning moments Tuesday for Nick, who was raised in Eagan and spent many years playing in Minneapolis' West Bank clubs. First, he got the chance to sing a duet with Smokey Robinson on the Motown legend's 1979 hit "Cruisin'." He and the other three contestants were also surprised with a free car from show sponsor Kia. Nick was awarded the carmaker's SUV for his "growing family."
With two young boys at home and a third child on the way in February, Nick made it clear in an interview before the finale that he's excited to get home to his family, win or lose. They bought a house in St. Paul during Nick's nearly three-month stint in Los Angeles.
"The timing of this has just been so surreal," he said. "It's like two dreams coming true at the same time: I got my own place and my own big, beautiful family, and I got this incredible opportunity to further my music career."
Unspecified contractual obligations will likely dictate Nick's next professional move, but he and his bandmates in his pre-"Voice" band the Feelin' said they want to host a homecoming concert of sorts in the coming months. Many of his local music cohorts gathered weekly at Whiskey Junction to cheer him on and gave him one last cheer at the bar on Tuesday. Said guitarist Jason Fladager of the band God Johnson, "All of us Twin Cities musicians are so proud of him, and so glad it was him."