I took a break from covering NBC‘s popular singing competition, TheVoice, after tuning in from seasons seven through nine. The reason? I was tired of it being (in my opinion) unapologetically dishonest with the viewing audience about the future of its contestants. That and the very real possibility certain results were fixed.
It was for curiosity’s sake, spurred on by the recent demise of American Idol — I decided to catch up with show’s Top 10 and see how things are going.
I’m actually stunned by how things have turned out for The Voice — and it’s for all the wrong reasons, I assure you.
The first thing I noticed upon checking out YouTube views of Monday’s performances was how low the views were for overnight re-watches. Quite a few videos had a high dislike to like ratio. Uh oh. I then began the process of clicking through the performances themselves.
Congrats to Team Christina’s Alisan Porter: She represented the first person out of eight Voice singers whose performance I was able to listen to the entire way through. She also seemed to represent the only one with any “star power” to be seen.
The others singers either had me either feeling bored to tears or cringing at blatantly poor singing. I mean “American Idol during the downward spiral” levels of off-key notes.
Porter may be Christina’s big chance to finally win. If only it weren’t for being the only major player in such a lackluster season.
The other artist on my radar was Adam Wakefield, who did a rousing cover of Ray Charles’s “I Got a Woman.” You might recognize part of it from Kanye West’s “Gold Digger.” Although not as popular as other artists judging by his view count, I’d say the Team Blake member’s vocals are more memorable than the majority of the Top 10.
I’m sure some of you may be wondering why I left out Hannah Huston, who tackled Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep.” She wasn’t terrible, but she wasn’t mind-blowing either. Also, Adele — and that song in particular — has been covered so often, one must (1) do everything to make the cover their own or (2) opt for a unique interpretation. Hannah did neither of these things, while simply not having vocal and star power comparable to the British singer. It’s ultimately a forgettable cover effort.
As for Paxton Ingram, I was so fortunate as to click on his Top 11 performance of “Break Every Chain” by accident. Had I not, I would only know him for his uninspiring cover of Celine Dion’s “All Coming Back To Me Now.” Song choice remains crucial, and the impact can be measured by the difference between his performance last week and this week.
Overall, I have to say this group is disappointing, which is incredible given the racial and gender diversity and age range. What happened?
Well, I have a theory — and it isn’t pretty.
I think The Voice officially jumped the shark. I believe we witnessed its peak with the crowning of Season 9 champion Jordan Smith. We will never see talent like that again on this show, and everything from here on is pretty much downhill.
This season of The Voice — hand to God — feels like a throwaway American Idol season. The talent is just not comparable to past seasons. Only one or two of the contestants possess star power and a voice you’d remember a week later. It used to be the “sob stories” were in the way. Now, they’re going to be crucial for roping in and maintaining Voice audience support.
Otherwise, who’ll care about aspiring singers who are mediocre at best and “The judges turned around for that guy?!” at worst. Looking at you, Daniel Passino!
The lack of star quality Voice contestants is comically highlighted by the Voice producers’ being called out all over Twitter for the inconsistencies in voting results. Again! That’s makes this the third season in a row where I and others have noticed this questionable turn of events.
The new algorithm system implemented by Twitter has been a sizeable thorn I imagine — it shows the number of tweets for a particular trend.
Once again (three seasons in a row!) we had someone allegedly voted off by Voice viewers, despite trending on Twitter. It was an unfortunate outcome for Owen Danoff. According to angry tweets, his opponents did not trend.
Of course, it’s hard to tell exactly how The Voice counts tweets. Especially with so many viewers all around the world live watching the show. A good portion of the #VoiceSaveOwen tweets weren’t in English or tweeted by Americans.
This ongoing embarrassment is why the Voice would be better off reintroducing a bottom three and scrapping the “instant save” altogether.
In any case, this “trip down memory lane” was useful for primarily two reasons: First, it confirmed that the show is still a lopsided reality TV show that cares far too much about its celebrity judges. The so-called search to find “the voice” doesn’t exist and, in retrospect, never did. Second, I realize I was wise to bounce when I did.
I’m glad that the last season I followed all the way through gave me the inarguably talented Jordan Smith. I’m sorry for anyone watching this show year after year hoping that The Voice will someday morph into American Idol and begin to put hopeful and deserving talents on the map.
Based on what I saw, you are all in the very first loop of a cringe-worthy downward spiral.
Good luck, Voice fans: You’ll need it!