Reality Check: How'd Trevin & Terry Go Top 4 on The Voice? Plus: X Factor's Emblem3 Exposed!

trevin terry duet the voiceAfter long, intense seasons with a few too many inscrutable exits, The Voice and The X Factor are down to their respective Top 4 performance shows this week.

But how exactly did Terry McDermott and Trevin Hunte block the amazing Amanda Brown from making it to the semifinals on NBC’s reality singing competition? And how is vocally middling Emblem3 still standing on Fox’s weekly explosion of lights, dancers and confetti cannons?

My cohost Melinda Doolittle and I ponder these questions on this week’s installment of Reality Check, while also wondering if the act of taking big risks no longer reaps big rewards with the voting public. We also try to determine who (if anyone) could or should pose a challenge to Cassadee Pope’s Voice coronation, and whether Fifth Harmony has made big enough strides to put a scare into Carly Rose Sonenclar on The X Factor. And, of course, we offer some final thoughts on the unspeakable works of CeCe Frey and Ke$ha.

So do press play below for this week’s show, and for all my reality TV recaps, news, and reviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Tony says:

    so…we’re ignoring Tate Stevens?

  2. Me says:

    Terry is A+++++++++ he deserves to be there. He’s awesome. I have liked EVERY one of his performances. Cassadee is good until she hits the shrill high notes, they hurt my ears, she’s not as good as Avril, she’s getting boring for me. I liked her for maybe 2 weeks.

    I agree with Amanda going home, I only liked probably 2-3 of her performances and she just wasn’t likable to me. Trevin should have been gone with Amanda.

    If it were up to me, Terry and Nicholas would be the final 2. Those 2 plus Melanie are the only one I would actually buy music from this season.

    • brandi says:

      I saw Nicholas perform live at the Mall of America the other day. He’s not that good live, and totally lacks any charisma whatsoever.

    • Sam says:

      You mean “Two-Note Terry”? Yeah I said it. All of HIS performances sound the SAME. Amanda killed every single one of her performances since the live shows started. Nicholas and Amanda should’ve been final two.

      • Edward says:

        I just don’t get the whole Terry thing. So what if he is a rocker??? He pales in comparison to every rock star I can think of, from Bon Jovi to Springsteen to Jagger to Van Halen to Tyler; he’s just NOT in their league. His voice is very one-dimensional and it goes along with his personality: BORING. He is #3 on my current Voice rankings, ahead of only Trevin (who, BTW, SUCKED bigtime tonight on “Wind Beneath My Wings”

  3. MDEP says:

    I love Trevin. I think he has a great voice and his addition story really got me. I am happy he made it this far and would not be upset if he won. But I am sad that Amanda is not in the final. I would have like to see her there over Terry. A singer like Terry is someone I would usually root for (I like rockers), but there is something about his voice that does not excite me.

  4. charlie says:

    cassadee is boring. trevin has an amazing voice.

  5. Marianne says:

    I hope you’re right about Carly Rose, but don’t you feel W(Country)GWG is going to pass her up? He SUPPOSEDLY had the votes for 1st place last week. . . . . supposedly. You didn’t even even discuss “The Tater”.

  6. Snow says:

    I really want fifth harmony to come out of nowhere and take over the X factor! I don’t expect them to win, but everyone is assuming they will go home next week and I want to see them in the finale. They have been improving with every performance, unlike their competitors we have seen real growth from them. I’d love to see them in the finale!

    • Luli says:

      I completely agree with you.. i hope Emblem 3 goes home next week for once and for all, they just don’t sing. And i would love for the finale to be 5H and Carly Rose.

      • Tess says:

        Agreed on Emblem3…is Simon paying all of the Kardashians to non-stop vote for those boys or something? Who on Earth voted for those two terrible performances from them? They cannot sing…they are like a second rate LFO. Simon wants to sign them anyway so it’s not like they need the show (have no idea why he thinks they’re worthy of a contract, but whatever) so hopefully they will leave this week and the girls of 5th Harmony will still have the chance to win.

    • Princess Adora says:


    • Shaun says:

      If they start singing more harmony then they could.I don’t like their solo by number type work.

      • kcostell says:

        I guess we could always just keep on bringing those backup singers on to provide/shore up the harmonies…just change the lighting a bit so it isn’t so obvious and people think Fifth Harmony is actually providing the harmony.

  7. Randy Daniel says:

    Melanie is horrible. Glad she is gone.

  8. John says:

    Michael is a horrible person…

  9. dj says:

    I like Nicholas. I think he has a great voice and a unique delivery. I’m not rooting for Cassidy, Trevin, or Terry. I think Trevin at least has moments of greatness, but Cassidy and Terry are just predictable with no originality at all, and they have had pitch problems frequently.

    On X-Factor, I am ok with anyone who is left winning–even Emblem3. Thinking back to their audition, I think they could do well in the real world with their own material, and I think they have been stymied on X-Factor, just like Lyric145 was. Tate Stevens is kind of predictable, but he’s solid and hits his notes. Fifth Harmony could be great with the right songs and enough rehearsal. Carly is amazing vocally. She just needs to perform songs she can relate to so she can convey the emotion believably.

    I am not watching Idol this year. I’ve seen previews about judges verbally abusing each other and threatening each other beyond what I think is appropriate for all-age viewing. We should not glorify bullying by giving it its own show. The only good person left on the show is Ryan Seacrest.

    • Edward says:

      I don’t see Cassadee and Terry with pitch problems, but I think they are both very boring and predictable; no real star quality in either of them. Nicholas has it all, IMO, but he is definitely a long shot and I don’t think the show wants him to win.

  10. Aaron says:

    Cassadee will win. Carly will win. Both of these truths have been obvious from the start of the live shows.
    On ‘The Voice,’ Amanda and Melanie were literally the only two I looked forward to each week (with Cody and Sylvia added to this list prior), so I think I might be done for the season because I just find the Final Four to be incredibly dull. Talented, but not worth a two-hour live show. For me personally, it’s 1) Cassadee, 2) Terry, 3) Nicholas, 4) Trevin.
    On ‘X-Factor,’ I’d love to see Fifth Harmony pull off an underdog win, but their bottom-dwelling tendencies make this seem like a long shot. Emblem3 needs to do their own music, stat, if they want any shot at winning, and I hope Simon realizes this. “Forever Young” seemed like a lame attempt to mold the group into a One Direction-esque boy band, but these guys don’t have the chops to pull that off. They need to be doing their Cali rap / limited vocal harmonies like they did at their audition, in “Iris” at bootcamp, and in “One Day” at Top 16. Tate is a snoozer but will finish second. Carly is also a snoozer, but upped her game last week, at least in my eyes, in terms of pop relevance. For me personally, it’s 1) Fifth Harmony, 2) Carly, 3) Tate, 4) Emblem3 (who might rise if they actually sing their own stuff).

    • Aaron says:

      Also, despite some of his awkward “jerking around” onstage movements (which have actually substantially decreased over the course of the season), the youngest Emblem3 guy (Keaton, I believe) should get more of the vocal solos – he sounds like a young Jason Mraz.

  11. Leela says:

    This is what scares me about pop music today – you said that doing what CeCe did on stage is not worth $5 million and you can’t make a living doing what she did. Yet K$, who “sings” a million times worse than CeCe (on a good day), is making a living and then some.The music industry & radio need to get over the joke acts like K$, LMFAO, BEP (admittedly not as bad as the others) and the cookie cutter cuties like Katy & Taylor and get back to real music and real vocalists.

    Melanie Amaro has a fantastic voice and deserved to win XF last year, but that pop song she did this week was terrible. I can’t believe Simon couldn’t find one songwriter to pen her a decent anthemy pop ballad like Stronger, Firework, etc. Similarly, Javier Colon and Jermaine Paul who both won The Voice have great voices and have done nothing.

    With Emblem3 and Melanie (Martinez) and so many others on both shows this year succeeding long past their sell-by dates I’m convinced no one in America knows a wonky note when they hear one. Pitch and melody matter for live performances, even if pop radio tells us they don’t.

    Terry or Nicholas for The Voice win. I’d love to see Tate win XF if only to PO Simon.

    • Edward says:

      You hit on a key point…. it is pretty much ALL about the song, not so much the singer. Melanie Amaro does have a nice voice, but ZERO personality, and I’m not surprised she’s not going anywhere with her fat $5 mil contract.

  12. shelleysmiles says:

    Amanda was all over the place persona/style-wise. She sang rock with R&B inflections and shrieked during R&B. As good as her voice was, her tone was up down and all over the map. Even in things like Stars she had two different tones in the same song! There was no authenticity to her and she moved really weird thrashing around on stage. I know there are lots of sad people because she had a nice range, but she didn’t come across as an artist who knew who she was. And she wasn’t funny or approachable.

    Don’t knock on iTunes votes. Its like the comment that “people liked the idea of song more than the actual rendition” (paraphrase), iTunes takes that out of the equation. It takes out the “oh they are so cute” and the “stage production carried it more than the vocals.” All those things don’t come into play when people decide to buy and keep the actual song. I love the way all the Amanda fans are running around knocking iTunes votes because they feel that that killed her. Maybe it did, but if that is the case, it is saying that nobody was willing to buy her music. Which is kinda a bad thing. iTunes is the representative of “real world” you are talking about on XFactor. And in the real world, Whitesnake got more sales than Amanda did. Meaning people liked the song just fine, they didn’t like her voice. And Terry took the top two spots on rock and is still in the top ten a week later. So stop hating the rocker who actually knows who he is and sings the songs the way they are supposed to be sung and rocks the stage like a real frontman.

  13. nich says:

    All the problems with Terry is what I feel about Cassadee Avril Pope. Cannot stand her. I don’t understand the love.

  14. asherlev1 says:

    I was losing it when you guys were breaking down the vocals of that one guy from Emblem 3. I didn’t even bother to watch any of their performances, and I was horrified by that snipped.

    SO bitter Amanda left. She was the only one whose performances I consistently watched on youtube.

  15. davey says:

    I will have to read your recap for the Voice tonight because I will not be watching or voting. But if the eliminated contestants appear tomorrow I will watch then. Amanda Brown is going to be doing covers on YouTube and I sent her my suggestion last night.

  16. Hmr says:

    X-factor is a joke and that is all that needs to be said about it.
    Don’t agree with you about the Voice. I wanted generic C. Pope gone long time ago.
    Terry is a very good singer. He is a rocker and sings rock songs, duh! I would not want classic rock songs altered too much.
    St. Nick or Terry for the win.

  17. Nick says:

    Oh what, you hate emblem 3, what a shock! come on mate, we get you hate them, move on. I do appreciate that theres no tate steven comment, cause seriously, its not worth mentioning almost

  18. aa says:

    Terry is far too predictable. He has a nice, clear voice but got a little boring for me. Trevin is so uncharismatic and is a terrible performer–has a great voice– but is just so awkward on stage. St. Nick was one of my favorites but I saw him perform in Minnesota and frankly he’s not that good live. I think Cassadee will win. She’s so consistent and likable. Has a great personality and shows that she can sing a variety of songs. She seems to have the most fans with 297,000 twitter followers–far more than any other contestant. Also it doesn’t hurt that shes on Team Blake so she’ll get the “Blake Bump”

  19. Aria says:

    Each show has added a feature that has made them utterly predictable. The rankings on the X-Factor leave very little to be suspenseful about since the same acts generally end up ranked in the same places on the leaderboard. The iTunes 10xvotes rule has pretty much guaranteed safety for whoever is in the Top 10, and since accumulated sales contribute to the finale vote, it’s obvious Cassadee will win since all of her songs hit Top 10.
    For the record, this particular iTunes rule is ridiculous – why should someone who finishes at #10 get a huge boost, while someone who finishes at #11 or #12 is left hanging? If Contestant A has 11,000 iTunes downloads, and Contestant B has 12,000 iTunes downloads, but Contestant B is #10 on the charts and Contestant A is #11, Contestant B ends up with 120,000 votes, while Contestant A ends up with only 11,000? That’s insane. It should just be that every iTunes purchase counts as 10 votes. That way, purchases still count as votes, but one person’s vote doesn’t count “more” than another’s.

  20. teatime says:

    “Polished” is an excellent word to describe Cassadee. Melinda nailed it. For Cassadee, it works. Cassadee has a presence. She is also very likeable. I can see her as a star.

  21. HELEN says:

    In my opinion Terry is best performer & he really deserves to win the competition!

  22. I want to say that I still miss, and can’t forget, when these use to be multipart extravaganzas! I love the recaps, but I want to put out there that they were decadent wonders before. :)

  23. onlyakb says:

    I can’t believe Amanda got eliminated!! neither Melaine, I wanted them on the finals with Cassadee!! come on girl power!!
    anyway now I’m all Cassadeee, she is so sweet, love most of her songs choices and she has a gorgeous voice!!!

  24. Scott says:

    Can you PLEEEEEEEAASE go back to having a different co-host every week when you start your Idology series again next month??? Your show used to be so good, funny and entertaining before this past year when you started just having Melinda Doolittle every week. I like Melinda, but just once or twice a season is enough… It’s boring hearing the same two people give the same opinions every week, especially since there’s not much disagreement between the two of you. You have a lot of personality and I always enjoyed seeing how you interacted with your new guest every week back in the Idolotry days… not liking your new format at all :(

  25. jjjetplane says:

    I don’t personally think Cassadee is good enough to deserve a win and I’m not really convinced she’s popular enough to win. A major portion of her popularity stems from her past success and I don’t think she’s actually winning over enough new people. Plus, can we not talk about her already having her 15 minutes? Why is someone who was already in a moderately successful pop-rock band and still has a record deal allowed on this show? The others have nothing like that.

    I’ve had a general distaste for her ever since she sang that Blake Shelton song that he wrote about his brother who passed away. I wasn’t offended that she sang it just that she tried to say she could relate. I mean I’m sorry her Great Grandfather died but let’s be real people…she was 9… she was not a teenage boy who lost his brother. That really left a bad taste in my mouth.

    I think Nicholas brings the unique quality that Cassadee lacks and I think Terry just generally kicks ass. He sings like a rocker, looks like a rocker, is from where rockers come from, and whether it’s a soft song or a loud song he delivers. I think he’s had more good performances than anyone and several great ones.

    Trevin Hunte? We’ll…he started out well… but yeah.

    • monicas757 says:

      I agree; at times Cassadee’s voice sound s if she is talking. I was thinking the same; how can she be on the show and was in a semi-professional band before? As with Amanda singing back-up for Alicia Keys and Adele? I like Terry and Nicholas. Either way, I believe many of the eliminated contestants will be successful, hence Hudson, Mann and so on.

    • Bob says:

      1) “A major portion of her popularity stems from her past success and I don’t think she’s actually winning over enough new people.”

      Hey Monday’s best selling album sold like… 30k copies.

      if you think that translates to some huge mainstream reality show bump you’re delusional.

      they’re main claim to fame is an opening act for other mildly more successful emo acts.
      i love how ppl are so desperate to explain away Pope’s popularity that they’ll keep harping on this supposed HUGE BUMP she’s getting from a not-really-that-successful-pop-rock act she was in.

      2) “Plus, can we not talk about her already having her 15 minutes? Why is someone who was already in a moderately successful pop-rock band and still has a record deal allowed on this show? The others have nothing like that.”

      we could not talk about but you, and others, are the ones swinging a stupid point around as an excuse.
      stupid because for the ten millionth time its ever been mentioned, The Voice has been literally marketed as being the show for pros looking for a bigger stage.
      it’s never been a secret. THEY USED TO LITERALLY PROMOTE THE VOICE AS SUCH.

      this isn’t American Idol with it’s phony “we’re looking only for new virgin talent” (even though even there several contestants were later revealed to be pros as well)

      news flash =
      – all 4 of the first season’s top 4 were pros. all 4 had prior albums. the top 2 both had major label contracts and albums. a few details =
      the winner (Javier Colon) had a record deal with Universal (via Capitol, a subsidiary of Universal). the runner-up (Dia Frampton) had a record deal with her band with Warner Bros. let’s be clear for those who will insist otherwise (so that they can continue to irrationally hate Pope), we’re talking MAJOR label contracts (Universal and WB are two of the “Big 3” major labels), as big as anything Pope had with Hey Monday (whose contract was to Sony, the remaining third of the “Big 3”, via Columbia).
      Vikki Martinez had 7 albums on indie labels and significant press on her before she ever took part on The Voice (she was also on other reality shows). Beverly McClellan also had 4 releases abeit on indie labels.
      -all 4 of last seasons top 4 were pros.
      -all 3 top 3 are pros this season.
      and 4 of the top 6 this year were pros.

      this has been established record on The Voice. not something new to Pope.

      i swear this complaint must be coming from AI fans who jumped ship to The Voice this season. anyone who has been watching The Voice since the beginning couldn’t be so blind.

      3) “I wasn’t offended that she sang it just that she tried to say she could relate. I mean I’m sorry her Great Grandfather died but let’s be real people…she was 9… she was not a teenage boy who lost his brother.”

      because we know that song reflected a 14 year old boy too right? he wrote that song 22 years ago right?
      no wait, it was a song written 22 years after the fact. even for Blake its not as if he wrote it living in the moment.
      it was the emotion behind it that mattered.

      not that i’d expect rationality from someone clearly looking for irrational complaints.

      4) “…and I think Terry just generally kicks ass. He sings like a rocker, looks like a rocker, is from where rockers come from, and whether it’s a soft song or a loud song he delivers.”

      oh btw, Terry’s old band was signed to A&M and Geffen.
      he released an album under Geffen in 2006 which by then was a subsidiary of Universal.
      so.. y’know… he kinda had a “Big 3” major record label contract too.

      y’know, just thought you would maybe like a bit of a reality show reality check.

      • JJ says:

        So… you addressed my points by not actually addressing them at all, well done. I’ve watched every season of the voice and there is something quite a bit different between “had a record deal” and “has a record deal”. Those are two very different things.

        And even if your comparisons to past contestants were valid, even if they and Pope really did have the exact same advantages, how exactly does that make it any better? Instead of defending it you just pointed out that it’s happened before. I wasn’t overly convinced by your attempt to make all the situations seem the same but still, even if they were, I still find it distasteful. Plenty of Voice contestants have never experienced the kind of success Pope has and I believe those are the contestants that The Voice should be all about. What is the point of a discovering a voice that was already discovered?

        Throughout your response you kept complaining that I, and others who are unhappy with Cassadee being on the show, were repeating the same things and making up problems to point out about her. You said we bring up an advantage, implied we’re basically making it up, and then dismissed it as nonsense.

        I’m done even typing to you… let’s just show the numbers and let the “reality check” fall where it may.

        Here are the social media standings prior to The Voice airing.


        Cassadee Pope: 189,748
        Terry McDermott: 8,109
        Nicholas David: 4,528


        Cassadee Pope: 106,385
        Terry McDermott: 3,066
        Nicholas David: 1,556

        You’re right, we’re making up the advantage. Have a gold star.

  26. Joanie says:

    Terry is truely the best. Has real good or great weeks each and every week. Rock on Terry!