In the end, having a ton of charisma (a “thing,” Pharrell Williams called it Tuesday), a sweet smile, a variety of talents (he sings, he dances, he plays guitar), a beautiful family and the heartfelt support of his coach, Christina Aguilera, weren’t enough to keep Nick Hagelin in the race past the Top 9 on “The Voice.”
The former ballet dancer and surprisingly insightful dude was sent home this week -- on a results show that also included appearances by James Bay, who sang his hit “Let It Go,” and Andy Samberg, in character as Conner 4 Real, alongside Adam Levine. Hagelin’s departure, just shy of next week’s semifinals, came in what Carson Daly let us know had been an ultra-close instant-save final tally, perhaps the closest ever: In the show’s final seconds, we learned that Paxton Ingram, of Team Blake, who had joined Hagelin in the easy-to-predict bottom two this week, had edged him out for the save by fewer than 100 tweets.
That’s a serious squeaker. And while in one sense Hagelin’s ouster wasn’t entirely foretold -- he had taken the lead early on, with 51% of the votes compared to Ingram’s 49, before the vote closed to 50/50 by the end of the commercial break – in another it totally was. America had instantly saved Hagelin last week; only very rarely do the voters save a singer a second time.
So even though Hagelin did a perfectly fine job with his instant-save song, Eric Clapton’s “Change the World,” which, to be fair, was not quite as vocally impressive as Paxton’s save-me rendition of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” (his second Houston song of the week, but who’s counting?), the voters sent him home.
Still, Hagelin – whose soul, Aguilera noted, is especially shiny and bright -- didn’t leave us without a final nugget of wisdom to chew on.
“Last night you proved that you are indeed a triple threat: singer, musician, dancer. You received high praise from our coaches,” Daly told a pleasantly smiling, almost beatific-looking Hagelin. “What’s the single most important thing that you’ve learned about yourself by being on ‘The Voice’?”
“Sounds like a lesson for all of us,” Daly said.