On Monday night, NBC will bring back The Voice for its ninth season. Strangely, it really does feel like its been ages since the last season crowned 16-year-old Sawyer Fredericks the winner. Now we’re already back to figure out which contestant has the voice that will carry him or her all the way to the finale.
Of course, The Voice was never all about the hopefuls who turn up each season. There are other aspects of the show that encourage viewers to return, such as watching the celebrity judges (Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, and Blake Shelton) bicker with and tease each other. Their interactions are about as entertaining as what happens on the stage. Sometimes, more so.
Still, there are some changes that The Voice can afford to make that would help this season be even better than the previous ones.
— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) September 19, 2015
First, the instant save has to go. I know audience members want to feel that their voices count with a last-minute “it was all a mistake” save, but that’s the whole point of watching live and voting in the first place. By voting your hardest upfront for a contender, you help them move on. And as we experienced last season, it’s possible for one contestant to enjoy an unfair advantage due to having a very famous fan/friend. These are factors beyond the control of the show, so it’s hard to paint the save as fair for all when it’s hardly advantageous for all.
Why not replace the Voice instant save with a judge save? Perhaps make it so that each judge can save one contestant from elimination at any point in the season. The kicker? That save cannot be used for a member of their own team. The coaches would have to plead with the other judges to save a contestant. This change could be useful for strategy/ it would also prove the Voice coaches recognize and respect genuine talent.
— NBC (@nbc) September 18, 2015
Next, I say cut back on the “sob stories.” I know life is hard and terrible things happen to good people, but saturating a show with sob stories cheapens them overall. It also makes me feel like a jerk if I don’t root for the guy whose mom has cancer over the guy who lost his leg in Iraq. I mean…how the heck do you decide who’s most sympathetic when practically everyone has something sad that happened? Aren’t they all sympathetic? I mean, they’re on The Voice because they have a dream. We should want everyone to do well for that reason alone.
Also, it suggests that if someone has a comparatively happy life, their dreams aren’t as relevant as someone who experienced tragedy. I thought The Voice was a singing competition, not a “whose life is so sad that I’ll give myself a pat on the back for giving them my vote” series.
At the very least, if The Voice is going to hit us with sob stories, at least the producers could make sure it’s for the people who go through. Nothing like feeling doubly terrible for someone when none of the judges turns their chairs for a person with a heartbreaking story.
Lastly, would it hurt the producers of this show to actually invest in the winners? I know long-time fans want to pretend that everything is amazing after being on this show, but I came in during Season 7 of The Voice, and I couldn’t tell you who won any of the seasons prior to that. In the age of social media…that’s bad. The Voice has made enough money for NBC to prove contestants are worth a solid investment. They shouldn’t wait until the American audience moves on before realizing this is something they should have done in the first place.
What do you want to see this season on The Voice? Share your opinion below!
[Image Credit: Screen Grab From Official The Voice YouTube Channel]