‘The Voice’ Has Begun Its Downward Spiral [OPINION]
Since declaring a self-imposed hiatus from the televised scam that is The Voice, I’ve simply resigned myself to the fact that this NBC show will squander all its potential on product placement and plugs. Eventually, the genuine talent pool will dry up as more serious artists will learn to stay away from the sham of a talent competition and its questionable contracts.
With American Idol, when the downward spiral started it wasn’t necessarily obvious. It took a few seasons for things to get so palpably bad that Simon Cowell peaced out to protect his brand. When looking back through the series for a clue, many agree that the “shark-jumping” moment came with Season 5.
I previously argued that The Voice was prepared to have or had already jumped the shark following Season 9. Here we are in Season 10, the Voice equivalent of AI‘s Season 5, and the warning signs have already emerged.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 30, 2016
I’m not talking about ratings, per se. Remember, it took a few seasons for Idol to get so bad that the ratings started to tumble noticeably. Right now, The Voice is still a hit. However, the Washington Post mentioned that ongoing changes to the Voice‘s cast have come on the heels of a slight drop in ratings.
It’s been announced that Christina Aguilera, a core judge since the beginning of the show, will likely not be back. This isn’t a situation where she’s being rotated for Gwen Stefani. Both women are apparently out, as NBC settles on a more relevant Voice judge to help boost the show’s popularity: Miley Cyrus.
Replacing Pharrell Williams is singer Alicia Keys. It’s possible that Williams will be back, especially if the choice of Keys proves unpopular.
— Live Feed (@TheLiveFeed) March 30, 2016
The move to change-up the judges following a ratings drop is putting a fresh band-aid on an infected wound. It covers the ugly site, but doesn’t exactly treat the problem. The staleness of The Voice doesn’t come with who’s in the judge’s chair. Many do tune in to watch the judges compete and exchange witty banter.
The staleness comes from The Voice failing to produce a major star throughout the five years and ten seasons it’s been on the air. Before American Idol became a total flop, it managed to launch dozens of careers. Even the doomed X Factor USA gave us popular girl group Fifth Harmony. The Voice? Still not quite there.
The “bromance” between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton can’t cover up that the NBC show might be firing blanks. At this point, aspiring singers may catch wind of the fact that they’re better off sticking to YouTube and Soundcloud.
— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) March 30, 2016
Smith does boast the strongest music debut for a former Voice contestant. My concern is that his career will be allowed to flounder because those behind The Voice are more interested in collecting money from product placement than investing in truly talented singers. This is a shame, because more so than anyone who has won, Smith represents the kind of talent that would make people from all walks of life stand up and take notice.
Still, Smith has a long way to go before he reaches Kelly Clarkson status. When she won, she was a household name. Who actually knows who Smith is outside of loyal Voice viewers? That’s the real test — for both Jordan Smith and The Voice.
And failure could mark that spot in the show’s history that will be remembered as “the beginning of the end.” Make no mistake: It’s not that I want The Voice to fail.
I want The Voice to survive and to do right by the many talented singers who show up and sing their hearts out.
— People (@people) March 29, 2016
It’s just that the observations I’m making suggest that The Voice is starting to follow a pattern that ultimately leads to decline; therefore, it’s hard for me to be optimistic. Despite what I wish, nothing suggests The Voice is going to be a show that ever gets around to investing in the series’ actual talent — and I don’t mean the judges panel.
[Image via The Voice/YouTube]