Many thought early favorite Matthew Schuler could go all the way on "The Voice," but instead, he fell to the show's so-called curse Tuesday night.
"I guess no one has broken the curse of the bottom three yet," Schuler told TODAY after the results were announced. "Once you're in the bottom three, you're like doomed to go home the next week."
It's a surprising turnaround for the 20-year-old from Christina Aguilera's team who prompted all four of the coaches to turn their chairs around for him in the blind auditions. And less than a month ago, his performance of "Hallelujah" earned high praise and a spot in the top 10 on the iTunes singles chart.
So what went wrong for the one-time frontrunner? Maybe his early success did him in.
"I feel like my blind audition, my knockout, and ‘Hallelujah’ … It's been awesome because (those performances) built me up and really encouraged me and validated my talent. But at the same time, I have to continue to outdo myself," he commented. "That's definitely been a challenge. It could be one of the reasons that I'm here right now.
"But it's been an honor. I have no regrets," he added.
Not even about how he left the competition.
"If I was going to lose to anyone, I'm glad it was (James Wolpert)," he confessed. "I love that dude. He's a great guy."
Schuler didn’t go home without some words from his coach, Aguilera. "I got to talk to her a little bit right after I got off stage," he said. "She validated me, encouraged me, saying this isn't the end, it's just the beginning. I'm very grateful to her for giving me a start."
He had nothing but praise for the Grammy-winning singer. "Christina, she gave me a lot of cool songs, a lot of genre jumping. I feel like I've done a lot of the things that I wanted to do. I feel like I accomplished a lot," he continued, adding, "She's the best."
“The reason why it's such a good show is because there's a lot of love involved,” he told us. “I'm definitely blessed to be a part of it.”
The Pennsylvania native thanked his fellow contestants, everyone involved with "The Voice," and all the fans that had enabled him to reach the Top 6.
“It’s been great just seeing the support that I've gotten, even not winning. America is thoroughly supportive, and I'm really grateful for them," he said. "And regardless of what this outcome was, I'm not giving up. I'm going to continue to sing music that I love and try to encourage people as much as I can."
"The Voice" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.