The coach’s two competitors, Reagan Strange and DeAndre Nico, were in the bottom three on Tuesday night’s episode, along with Dave Fenley from Blake Shelton’s team. As is typical of the show, Nico and Fenley performed their final songs in hopes that they would continue on in the competition. But 14-year-old Reagan remained backstage in a bathrobe, as she was too sick to sing.
“This sucks, man,” Levine began after the performances. “DeAndre, you’re an exquisite singer. I’m a little confused as to why you’re in the bottom. … There is an unbelievably talented little girl right now who is not able to fight for her position on this show. And you were fortunate enough tonight to be able to sing and you sang like a champ. … I can’t sing for Reagan. Reagan has to sing for Reagan and she’s not here. … As much as I urge you all to vote for this man — because he should never have been in the bottom — I don’t know if I have the heart to not tell everyone right now…
“I have a very special relationship with Reagan. And I have two little girls at home,” the coach continues. “The thought of breaking [Reagan’s] heart by not urging everyone to give this girl a shot to go and redeem herself next week would be too far beneath me. So, I want you to know I love you. I appreciate what you’ve done here tonight. And honestly, I think you should both be there. But I’ve got to fight for my girl. And I got to make sure I represent her properly in this moment because she didn’t have a voice tonight. So I’m going to use it for her as well as I possibly can.”
Levine’s speech moved viewers enough to give Reagan the Instant Save but that didn’t sit well with everyone watching. They eagerly gave the Maroon 5 frontman an earful on Twitter.
“Unbelievable how @adamlevine pushed DeAndre under the bus for Reagan. I’m no longer pulling for Adam anymore. That was really unacceptable. #VoiceSaveDeAndre.”
“@adamlevine How effin rude. You screwed DeAndre big time. You should be fired for what you did. That was embarrassing for me to watch on TV. I can’t imagine how embarrassed you made DeAndre feel. By the way, What kind of special relationship do you have with this little girl? Ewww.”
“Really Adam Levine. @adamlevine You should be fighting for both your contestants not picking one over the other @NBCTheVoice. #voicesaveDeandre .”
“#VoiceSaveDeandre DeAndre is 10x the vocalist that Dave is and Reagan didn’t even sing tonight. You don’t get to pass through if you can’t sing. Tough break but that’s the biz.”
However, Nico isn’t taking the decision to heart. He explained on Instagram that he was thankful for his shot on the show and assured folks that “all is well on my end.”
“You can never take an L when you’re operating from your heart,” Nico, 22, said on Instagram Dec. 4. “So even though I didn’t win I still won! The experience on The Voice itself is a win for me. I give all honor to God for giving me the exposure needed for my next steps in life. To my family, Voice family, and fans there’s no way I can personally thank all of you but I know that I love you all entirely. All is well on my end. My journey continues, now y’all get DeAndre Nico himself. There’s work to be done. Stay tuned.”