As you all know, I’ve been obsessing about Mr. Terry McDermott a lot lately and how he’s doing on The Voice. The Scottish rocker has held on with his classic 80’s mojo–not to mention his hobbit hair. What will he do next? Is he peaking at just the right time? Will he stay classic or try another contemporary song? Will he emotionally invest in a song so that he wins over more fans? Could he actually win The Voice?
My guess is he’s gonna stay classic–though I would love to see what he could do with a U2 song or a Coldplay ditty. Yet he sings “in a straight line” as Cee Lo Green has mentioned before, and perhaps just reaching the notes wouldn’t be enough to successfully fill the footsteps of Bono. I’d die to hear him sing “Beth” –a stripped down ballad by the rock band Kiss. Or Led Zeppelin–anything by Led Zeppelin would make me happy.
As far as winning goes…man, though he’s my absolute favorite, I wouldn’t want to be a bookie right now taking bets on Terry. There are so many other factors to consider. Let’s look at his competition :
a) Trevin Hunt: So far two men have won the voice–two black men. Trevin, can you really win given this history? I suspect the show might work against him in this regard somehow–mostly by having Cee Lo Green his coach give Trevin some kind of funky song to sing. The other week Trevin sang ‘The Greatest Love of All’ —bleh. Who’s brilliant idea was that? I see him as a strong contender to make it to the final two, however. He’s got 41,000 followers on Twitter and probably picked up some of Amanda Brown’s fans. He’s a classic definition of ‘the voice’ and yet despite the killer voice, despite the breathy soft-spoken voice (luv it!) I just don’t find him that interesting.
b)Things look just right for Casidee Pope. She’s white and female–so she’d add some diversity to the winner’s circle. She’s so well groomed to win the whole thing. The girl hits her marks–she’s very present in the moment, and yet never makes a wrong move. She seems emotional, yet sincere. She has a story to tell, and she is consistently very strong vocally. Most of all she’s got 250,000 twitter followers. She’s been hitting the itunes charts and staying there for a long, long time–and all those votes will be added to the grand total. So to most TV bloggers, Casadee is a done deal and it seems clear to everyone that knowing this sucks some fun out of the show.
So just for the sake of adding back in the fun, let me play devil’s advocate. If you look at season two of The Voice, you’ll see that it doesn’t pay to peak too soon. Casadee seems like she’s peaked with “Over”. That song was genius, but since then she’s holding on, not surging forward. It leaves just an inch of hope–just an inch–for the others. [But when you consider how they rigged the voting–not really.] Definitely final two, probably the winner.
c)Nicholas David. I don’t think he’s going to win. I love, love, loved his duet with Melanie the other week, and yet, he’s perhaps the weakest singer in the bunch. He had 21,000 Twitter followers–so he doesn’t seem to have as strong a following as Terry. Yet you never know. If he keeps getting stronger, and is able to pull in the alternative folks who were voting for Melanie he might get there into the final two. For instance, since Melanie was kicked off, he’s gained another 8,000 Twitter followers. Yet, ultimately, I think Terry can take him.
d) Terry himself. He’s got 54,000 Twitter followers–more than either Trevin Hunte or Nicholas David. He’s getting better at emoting the songs. He’s flirting more with the camera, letting those dimples show, and you just get the sense that everyone on the show likes him. Since many of the “characters” have left–including Cody and Amanda–he’s the lively force during the after show videos. I think he’s got staying power.
I just hope that he doesn’t let visiting friends or some travel to performances between episodes of The Voice prevent him from getting enough sleep. Not enough sleep takes a serious toll on one’s voice. Ideally, he should be sleeping long hours and then spending the rest of the day not speaking to anyone and sipping orange juice. So get some sleep, Terry! My sense is that he’s still aware of how fleeting this all is, and that he’s enjoying the moment while it lasts.
Will he make it into the top two? If Trevin doesn’t pull out something like he did with ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’, if Nicholas doesn’t perform some amazing feat of wonder like he never has before, then Terry probably will. Casadee Pope seems like a lovely young woman and I have nothing against her except that she’s in Terry’s way. Yet my first impression of her was “here’s another girl singer, sounding like almost all other girl singers ” and in the last weeks since performing ‘Over’ I’m slowly going back to that opinion. So if she holds steady and the rest of America starts thinking the same thing, while Terry surges ahead with continued brilliance, then there is a wee melting snowflake’s chance in hell he might pull it off.
The key seems to be sticking to songs that are stripped down so you can see just how good he is. For instance, he did a track that was never released that you can listen to here. It’s excellent–with just the guitar you see something of a blues influence on his rock voice. It’s in the very best kind of American-blues-influences-British-Rock style. You find the same thing with the Rolling Stones or Robert Plant. Let’s hope that wise heads manage to put him in that space this week. Look, even if Casadee wins, we at least want the chance to hold our breath up to the last minute thinking she might not.