The Voice kicked off its semi-finals with a bang last night, and while the Top 4 all brought their A-game, one contestant stood out of the pack. Not only did Team Blake’s Terry McDermott deliver his strongest performance of the season, but he also sang an iconic song that we’ve never seen performed on a competition before.
When Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with the Scottish rocker on the red carpet after the show, he revealed that The Beatles’ “Let It Be” had never been cleared for a television show before, making his performance even more exciting.
Wetpaint Entertainment: You mentioned that they’ve never let anyone do “Let It Be” before on The Voice ...
Terry McDermott: Apparently not; not in the United States. That song has never been cleared for a TV show — “Let is Be” is on a list of songs that you need personal approval for. The thought that it would be cleared for any one of us? We thought was a little unrealistic. We didn’t think that there was any great precedent for it to change, so when it did, it generally was high fives by everybody. The thing that really touched me was that when we found out we were doing “Let it Be,” the atmosphere on set started to change. Everybody would come up to me and say, “Are you doing 'Let it Be’? Yes!” Everyone is touched by The Beatles, and they were all excited to hear a Beatles track.
So, no pressure tonight: Final 4, a song that has never been cleared before, The Beatles …
Exactly, and believe me, that was in my mind — that was very much in my mind. I was relying on experience to kind of block that up and make the song happen.
What was going on in your head when you performed?
I had a tough one in rehearsal. I don’t think I pulled it off the way I wanted to. I didn’t connect with the song, and I had a couple of sound issues that kind of put me off. I came off a little bit grumpy with myself. So when I was going back out there, I knew that there was no safety net. I must admit, right up until about 10 minutes before I went on, I was just working out my head and getting it clear. Seconds before the machine came up and revealed me in such a dramatic fashion, I just kind of looked downstage and saw my son and waved, and I swear that cleared everything up, and I was like, “Here we go!”
What’s next? You have to find a song that tops “Let it Be”?
Yes! If anyone’s got any suggestions, please send those on a postcard.
You’ll have to open that up to your Twitter followers.
Yeah. I’ll have to open it up and say, “How do you top ‘Let it Be,’ actually?” The thing is that even that suggestion, even in that frame of mind, everyone has such a different opinion on it. Me and Blake have actually talked about it to some degree, but you get so involved in one week’s performance because everything relies on one song that it’s not really until it’s out of the way that you open up that can of worms for sure. So we’ve had some tentative discussions, but the real, “Oh my God, how do you top ‘Let it Be’?” That will probably start tonight.
How was the hometown experience? You surprised your family and got surprised by family …
I dropped into the eye of complete madness, that’s what it sort of felt like. I did the dedication at the Hard Rock and we actually got held up for a long, long time because there were so many people there, so we were late. What they didn’t show on the TV — which was fantastic — was that we ended up getting a high-speed police escort!
To the Hard Rock?
No. From the Hard Rock to the venue across the river. It really summed up the day for us. It was like land, boom, film, Hard Rock, high-speed police escort, boom, gig, family, dinner, bye. And that was it. We’re out.
Do you feel recharged and refocused? It doesn’t sound like it was relaxing.
In a way it was nothing new in that regard. I mean, we are exhausted, but that’s nothing in comparison to how enthusiastic we are for what we’re doing. Take out the exhaustion for a second and frankly it was the perfect reminder — a wake up call and slap in the face. Boom! This is what you are doing this for.
Aside from the jacket, what else did you donate to the Hard Rock?
There was a buzzer. I can’t remember whose it was, but it was one of the original buzzers from before. Then there was the card that saved me last week — you know, the results envelope. I gave them that. The last thing was a little statue of The Voice hand holding the mic — which interestingly, if you hold it up the way it’s meant to be, it shows the two fingers holding the mic. If you flip it around, it’s an obscene British gesture. I was having great fun with that!
Blake called your performance “perfection” tonight. Do you feel like you really nailed it and upped the stakes?
I think I did well. I mean, I’m pretty confident that I did well. It certainly wasn’t perfect by any means, and there were niggles…
It’s a Scottish word. [Ed. note: “niggle” is defined as “a trifling doubt, objection, or complaint.”] There were little “niggles” here and there that would probably drive me OCD insane, but that’s every week. That’s because I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect performance.
What did you think of Terry’s performance? Should he move on to the Top 3? Sound off below!