'The Voice' Will Return Soon, But Let's Hope These 4 Cliches Don't

Toni Matthews

The Voice is set to return for an 11th season, as are veteran Voice judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. In the place of Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani, we have two new judges: Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys.

While Voice fans eagerly await to see how the new cast gets along, there is a reason to be a little wary. After all, we are now 11 seasons into a show that while popular, has yet to truly deliver on its promise to bring a new voice to the music industry.

The Voice is entertaining, but other music singing competitions have succeeded where it has failed -- including the short-lived disaster that was the American X-Factor.

The "feel sorry for me" angle is criminally overused in reality TV competitions; it's unapologetically exploitative and yet highly effective. However, with a show like The Voice, it's also rather pointless. The big sell from the very beginning is that the judges can't see a participant during the crucial blind auditions. To get on the show, a Voice mentor has to like what they hear enough to turn around.

A person shouldn't be passed over because their background isn't sad enough to earn a pity vote. Nor should suffering through hardships suffice to justify getting to the next round -- especially if one's vocals are absolutely sub-par. At the end of the day, it is a singing contest.

Excessive Product Placements And Promotion

I will never forgive The Voice for using the late Christina Grimmie to sell clothes rather than doing everything it could to share her enormous talent with the world. The idea that much of Grimmie's "big break" meant plugging Kohl's more so than her own career is emblematic of a show that preferred to be a glorified billboard than a step up for talented singers.

"Miraculous" Instant Saves

The fact that The Voice, as reported by Vulture, is now using Snapchat has me crossing my fingers that it is no longer focused on Twitter -- or at least moving on from using Twitter for the so-called "instant save." I remain puzzled as to why The Voice continues to bothers when it has its own app. Why not encourage fans to download the free Voice app so they can have it handy when it's time to save someone?

It's clear that the instant save has issues and that its usage and validity remains questionable. As such, Snapchat or the Voice app might be better alternatives -- or the instant save could be scrapped altogether.

Promoting everyone but the contestants

This habit has been a weakness of The Voice from the very beginning. Celebrity music judges often meant that at least one of them had new music they wanted to promote -- and the producers are often all too happy to let them do so during a live episode of The Voice. The same tends to be true of guest judges and stars.

So, where does that leave the very talented Voice contestants? Thus far, on the road to being forgotten as soon as the season is over. NBC and The Voice have tried to reverse this trend fairly recently with Season 9 winner Jordan Smith, but there's no indication that it will be a successful endeavor. It may be a bit of "too little, too late."

If The Voice wants us to believe a new era is upon us, rather than point to the addition of Miley and Alicia, it might be nice to indicate they'll be doing more to catapult worthy voices to stardom. Time is running out as word of mouth may deter promising talents, leaving the show's producers to sort through mediocre singers.

[Image via NBC's The Voice]