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Christa Lawler, Forum Communications , Published December 18 2012

Finalist with Duluth ties comes in third on TV’s ‘The Voice’

DULUTH, Minn. – In Nicholas David’s last act as a competitor on “The Voice,” he busted out a white suit and performed a soulful classic Boys II Men song with three former contestants of the NBC-TV reality talent show.

The Minnesota musician – whose real name is David Mrozinski – didn’t take top prize in the show, which relies on votes from a home audience to pick a winner. It was the indie pop rock singer Cassadee Pope, the projected frontrunner, who went where Javier Colon and Jermaine Paul have gone in Seasons One and Two. Mrozinski came in third.

The three finalists, Mrozinski, Pope and Terry McDermott, each won a new car.

Mrozinski, of Eagan, is a regular in the Minnesota music scene and has played a handful of Duluth venues, including two Homegrown Music Festival gigs in the mid-2000s with Teague Alexy. His band The Feelin’ recorded an album with Alexy in 2006.

He can also be seen visiting the family diner. Mrozinski’s aunt/godmother Jaima Hanson and her husband, Tom Hanson, own the Duluth Grill.

Audiences came to know Mrozinski for his soulful voice, his colorful wardrobe and his spirituality. Friends and family said the Nicholas David on “The Voice” was a true representation. During a recent competition, the musician who was coached by Cee Lo Green sang “You Are So Beautiful” directly to his pregnant fiancee and their two children.

Earlier this week, Tom Hanson joked about getting his nephew up to Duluth to perform.

“But now I think he’s gotten too big,” he said. “You don’t want it to be like the lottery, where every third cousin. … We want to make sure we don’t become the imposing family member who tries to get something.”

He said Mrozinski was in the diner early in this season of “The Voice” and was already attracting attention.

“If he doesn’t win, he’s had an amazing experience,” Jaima Hanson said earlier this week. And if he did:

“I think he’ll handle it well. He’s got a lot of support, a lot of family, a lot of great friends who have been around him a long time. He’ll do OK. He’s close to his family and they’re very grounded.”

In Monday’s final chance to woo audiences, Nicholas David performed a Jerry Lee Lewis-Jimi Hendrix hybrid while playing a flaming piano. He got up and danced crazy with a circle of leg kicks. The coaches thanked him for reminding them that this is supposed to be fun.

Host Carson Daly said at the beginning of Tuesday’s two-hour, star-studded finale that this season received the most audience votes and that there was a record of 23 songs by contestants charting on iTunes.