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Nico deserves another chance at ‘Voice’ bid

December 6, 2018

It’s a shame that somebody couldn’t throw out a red challenge flag at “The Voice” competition on NBC this week. Port Arthur singer DeAndre Nico should have survived to sing again, and now he at least deserves another chance to enter this competition next season.

The problem wasn’t Nico’s talent. He was outstanding as usual, giving a fine rendition of John Legend’s “All of Me.” It even earned a standing ovation from the show’s celebrity judges. Many viewers thought it was better than Dave Finley’s version of Lonestar’s “Amazed.” And 14-year-old Reagan Strange couldn’t even sing because she was “under the weather.”

That should have led to Strange’s elimination, not Nico’s. But coach Adam Levine threw Nico under the proverbial bus by encouraging viewers to vote for Strange anyway, the singer who didn’t sing but with whom he has a “very special relationship.”

Strangely, he said of Strange, “The thought of breaking (Reagan’s) heart by not urging everyone to give this girl a shot to redeem herself next week would be too far beneath me. … But I’ve got tonight for my girl. I have to fight for her properly, because she didn’t have a voice to fight tonight. That’s all I can say. It’s weird.”

Weird is one way to put it. Unfair would be another. We sympathize with the teenager for her untimely illness, but the bottom line is she didn’t sing and Nico did — quite well, we must mention again.

Granted, this is show business, and “The Voice” never had a competitor who couldn’t compete. But if the rules are going to be bent so Strange could advance, they also should have been tweaked to let Nico proceed.

The only way the show can right this wrong is to give Nico another chance in the next season. That would not only be fair to him, but also it would acknowledge the angry fan reaction on social media. One commenter called it “one of the lowest moments in the history of the show,” and that is hard to dispute.

Any artist deserves this second consideration, but especially someone like Nico who was hit so hard by Tropical Storm Harvey. He vividly recalled spending two days in his house with his family with “no food, no electricity, no water.”

An experience like that could have ended his budding career, but he kept plugging away, performing as a drummer or keyboardist, doing anything to help his parents pay the bills.

That inspiring story shouldn’t run into a dead end like this. This courageous young man deserves another chance to showcase his voice, and NBC should give it to him.

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