Adam Levine, the charismatic lead singer of the hit pop band Maroon 5, has been a judge on NBC’s The Voice from the very beginning. He’s seen the show debut as an American Idol clone, and then build up it’s own dedicated audience with clever stunts, actual talent, and very likable judges who playfully battle each other for the contestants. What Adam Levine hasn’t seen is a bonafide superstar come out of the hit show, and he’s been very vocal about it.
“I’m not going to lie to you, I think there are problems. Millions… watch the show every week and fall in love with a singer, then you don’t hear much from them. We haven’t had a breakout success like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood.”
The Voice has gained popularity since it debuted in 2011, but has yet to reach the eventual winner’s sales numbers like the winner of FOX’s Idol. The last few years of The Voice has seen its share of revolving judges, though Levine has been a constant, and the level of talent coming up in the show seems to far outpace the singers on Idol even though the sales numbers don’t back it up. Last season, both singing competitions took a ratings hit.
Levine told Rolling Stone:
“‘Idol’ has to be satisfied with what they’ve accomplished. ‘The Voice’ is very successful, but it’s got a ways to go if it wants to have as profound an impact as ‘Idol.’”
Producers hope to inject new life into The Voice when new judges Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani join Levine and Blake Shelton for the show’s seventh season that begins taping next week. But new judges are simply stunts, and what really matters is that The Voice has yet to create a true singing superstar.
Most of the show’s previous winners have found small success with a hit single here and there, but even backed by a Universal Music Group record deal — which is one of the prizes for winning the competition — none have found mainstream success.
Adam Levine will continue to sit on the revolving judges chair and work to find the next singing superstar, but even he, who along with his band Maroon 5, knows that success in the music industry isn’t guaranteed, even if it’s the ultimate prize of a singing competition.