Cassadee Pope Returns to 'The Voice': Can a Winner from the Series Be a Star?

On Tuesday night, NBC aired a new episode of The Voice, but more surprising is what happened following the reality show drama. Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope returned to the reality series to perform "Wasting All These Tears"... and immediately turned into a trending topic on Google the following day.

The performance itself leaves little reason as to why — the Hey Monday singer shows a professionalism that's lacking in many other reality show performers. Still, it's surprising Pope would accumulate so much attention. The Voice, after all, has yet to produce a bonafide star.

Despite the fact that The Voice boasts ratings and buzz that Ryan Seacrest would trade his well-oiled pompadour for, the series has trailed American Idol in creating new music legends. Over the course of 12 seasons, Idol has introduced the industry to several hit-makers, including (but not limited to) Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Jordin Sparks, Scotty McCreery, and Phillip Phillips. With the exception of Pope, it's difficult to recall any of the winners of The Voice. In fact, it's difficult to recall anything at all besides the tightness of Adam Levine's pants.

But if Pope did indeed make it, it would indicate a shifting tide for The Voice. The series has ratings, buzz, celebrity... to actually transform itself into a hit-maker would be the icing on Idol's melting "MacArthur Park" cake. A Voice with successful winners would reduce its reality singing series competitors into nothing but a footnote in the genre, transforming it from a glitzy distraction to a legitimate competition.

Of course, Pope would have to actually make it first. But does she have the moves like Clarkson? With Idol's first winner rumored to return to Idol after several appearances on its NBC competition, here's betting The Voice certainly hopes so.

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Image: NBC