I’ll confess to you a shameful secret obsession that I have:
it’s with Terry McDermott, the Scottish singer on The Voice, Season 3.
Is it the Scottish accent? Sure. Is it the self-deprecating humor and quiet confidence of a small town lad? Why not? Is it that at first his face and words gave very little away, but slowly he’s started to tell funny stories to the camera? My heart flutters.
Oh, but it’s far more embarrassing than that. Unfairly derided by some as more of a controlled yeller than a singer, Terry is all the things that give me bad high school flashbacks: a bad haircut singing early 80’s rock anthems. Yup, he’s a guy in a leather jacket obsessed with Journey and Boston. I can’t even say he’s exactly sexy, because…he’s not. I’m just insane is all. Just like millions of viewers out there right now. What’s wrong with us?
There’s a way in which Terry McDermott seemed quiet at first, reserved and polite, a little poker faced maybe, compared to the passion with which he sings. Despite that reserve a sense of humor peeked through. It made me think of that present under the Christmas tree. I wanted to pry him open and learn more…and more. It’s just something about the reserved guy that hooks me in every time.
I like knowing what makes people tick but Terry McDermott is a fascinating enigma. I don’t know who a lot of people on The Voice are either—but I also don’t care. What is it about Terry that gives him such magic?
Let’s face it, he has all those qualities that hook adolescent girls—recording suits must know this stuff like the back of their hand. Terry has:
1)An androgenous boy-girl face,
2)A devoted significant other lurking in the background (in his situation it’s his pretty wife). Their obvious strong relationship shows just how great a catch he is and puts him out of reach at the same time…catnip for women. Oh, and he’s an awesome father too.
3) A good sense of humor. It’s clear that he’s not taking himself too seriously.
But what’s he like on the inside, for real? If he hasn’t given up his rock n roll dreams at 35 that he’s a romantic idealist, if not a romantic idiot. I relate to that, for sure. His love for 80’s rock ballads would normally make me roll my eyes, only… If you listen, you’re soon be struck by a few things:
1) Those notes are damn high
2) Those songs are damn hard
3) Those verses are some sophisticated pre-emo shit.
The Final 6: At this point, I don’t actually think that Terry’s very reserved at all. Or he’s brought his “A game” to the show, putting it out there to audiences with charm and humor because that’s what you do you’re going to win fans. Yet the highly scripted, careful nature of these reality shows dictates few revelations. So I’m still hooked.
It’s a hopeless obsession, I tell you! I can see he’s not the best performer one week—and yet I still want him to win.
It’s not about singing at this point. I’m also intrigued that other contestants are starting to look languid or stressed out with all the pressure while Terry seems to thrive. The quiet rocker has got endurance. His staying power shows through his funny stories and quips that are emerging from beneath his polite manners. He seems to live in the moment and is focused on winning. The bad haircut lives on, and he’s not going home for lack of trying.
He seems well liked but he’s had to take it on the chin. He’s been told his hair looks funny, and Bouble told him he was crazy for pursing his dream at his age when he’s got a wife and child to support. (Ow!)
Cassidy Pope is another big favorite on The Voice. She seems like she could win the show, but I don’t know. There seems to be no mystery to Cassidy. She looks great, she sings great, and she vibrates with a kind of “I’m ready!” professionalism. Terry meanwhile, seems like he’s at a party and enjoying it, but keeping one eye on the clock waiting to see if that coach turns back into a pumpkin after all. He’s not a groomed pretty young thing. He’s an un-groomed, aging thing who’s been working hard for more than a decade on his rock star dreams. Meanwhile, Cassidy has something like 250,000 followers on Twitter compared to Terry’s 51,000.
It’s all so sad—that is until he’s standing on stage, completely in his element, hitting one of those scrotum-twisting notes dead on. At that point you can’t help cheering.
Lately I’ve been following him on Twitter. He’s soooooooo funny. But it’s only these small breadcrumbs of his personality. I want him to win–win, I tell you. My fantasy is that after he wins he gives endless interviews, and I’ll finally figure out what makes him tick, and my mad, mad obsession will come to an end.