‘The Voice’ Crowns Winner… But Was It Who ‘Voice’ Voters Actually Picked?

I must confess that this is actually my first season of The Voice, having passed on the first six. In fact, The Voice is a reality singing show that previously existed on the outskirts of my television viewing experience along with OTHER reality television shows.

Of course, you want to believe that unlike the scripted shows that are somehow labeled “real”, a show like The Voice will provide not only genuine talent but a genuine outcome. And yet, when doing research for a follow-up to the Season 7 finale of The Voice, I happened up on a rather disturbing accusation: That the fix is in.

According to an exclusive report by the New York Daily News, producers can opt to ignore the voting system and hand-pick certain contestants to advance. There’s nothing to say that they can’t ignore the finale votes and pick the person they would like most to win the entire Voice season.

That observation takes nothing away from Voice winner Craig Wayne Boyd, who is inarguably very talented. I can’t say I’m personally disappointed with the four finalists who made it to final episode of The Voice. However, it’s extremely alarming that Voice front-runners can be cut at any time without warning, regardless of who America wants. I mean, what’s the point of a voting system if you’re going to manipulate it?

During a season where all the women were systematically kicked off, do we blame America’s sexism, or do we blame the Voice producers for wanting to avoid a female winner who can’t sell?

NBC had previously come forward (after that explosive report went public) to own up to throwing out votes during Season 6.

“Telescope, the independent company that administers voting for the show, has certified that removing those votes does not affect the outcome for any team.”

However, some remained unconvinced. Willis Patenaude claimed that you knew to expect shenanigans when Voice host Carson Daly announced “a “glitch” in the iTunes voting system, thus nullifying all iTunes votes.”

And that’s not all.

“One Republic performed, as did many other established acts, because The Voice really doesn’t care about the contestants, only the ratings it can get by promoting a two-hour television concert with Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Alabama.

[…]

NBC effectively unlegitimized the Voice with the voting mischief that occurred prior to the show. Anyone with a working iTunes — iTunes has been very accurate all season — account knows that Josh never stood a chance. The fact that he won. in a way that lacks any and all transparency, is blatant theft. The result was rubbish, manure, fishy, afterbirth, fecal matter, whatever you want to call it, but right from the start of the show, you knew the fix was in.”

One season later, and many of the issues noted by this unhappy blogger haven’t gone away.

There was the SUDDEN announcement of a “wildcard” who Voice voters would allegedly pick to head to the finale. Although Damien was well-behind Voice contestant Taylor John Williams, we trusted that he was picked thanks to Voice votes. And not because The Voice was looking to give itself an out if things didn’t go accordingly.

I mean, why suspect anything odd?

As I noted with the season finale of The Voice, most of the attention was given to ESTABLISHED talents. Luckily for Boyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd seemed to enjoy having him on stage.

And then there’s the fact that Voice winner Craig Wayne Boyd is already sliding down the iTunes chart, where as Matt McAndrew, the Voice runner-up, is still sitting on top after having displaced Taylor Swift. Even appearances on the Voice season finale by popular acts couldn’t move him over night.

“Wasted Love” was clearly the most popular original song by all contestants. The same was true of the music video. In fact, Matt McAndrew’s individual efforts were SO popular that Bing had him as pegged to win.

The Bing predictor works by looking at who is the most searched on the web. Of course, none of this accounts for air-tight contracts during which Voice producers make it known that THEY can decide the outcome, not the efforts of Voice hopefuls and not fans of the show.

It seems, sadly, that nothing has changed.

There is a silver lining in all of this, according to former Voice contestant Ddendyl: The show is great for exposure and boosting your career prospects. Just being on The Voice can allow you to gain access to millions of potential fans, and persons who may continue to support your career after the season is over.

Even though The Voice has yet to produce a mega-star, it seems it’s not been totally cruel to the fortunes of persons who made it onto the show. Though I strongly suspect that if it had…no one would risk a pricey lawsuit to tell us otherwise.

[Image Credit: The Voice Official YouTube Channel]