Tag Archives: The Voice

Season 4 of “The Voice” Just Couldn’t Hit the Right Notes

As compared to previous seasons, Season 4 of The Voice left much to be desired.

Shakira and Usher try their best to make this season special.

Shakira and Usher try their best to make this season special.

Replacing Cee-Lo and Christina Aquilera with Skakira and Usher introduced some new blood into the mix, but I’m not sure it was enough to help. I can only speak for myself, but I know I was getting bored with Cee-Lo’s “I’m weird and there’s a parrot on my shoulder, so that means I’m a unique coach” attitude and angered by Christina’s bitchy, “Your voice is okay but it will never be as great as mine” attitude. There were countless times last season when I wanted to punch the TV screen after she spewed some vain BS from mouth. So when NBC announced a line-up change, I was more than pleased and welcomed them with open arms. And as far as I’m concerned, they can stay.

Usher was intense and “in-your-face” with his coaching style and Shakira was nurturing yet tough with hers. However, I don’t think they were enough to help this season. The talent this season always left me wanting more. I had a few solid picks at the beginning (Midas Whale, Ryan Innes), but they were knocked out way too early for a couple of run-of-the-mill artists. And that’s how the rest of the season remained. Just a lot of run-of-the-mill artists with decent to mediocre performances, with the exception of The Swon Brothers, until the finale when the crowned another radio-ready winner. I’m not saying she wasn’t a talented singer, but she just wasn’t my first choice.

The Swon Brothers: funny and talented.

The Swon Brothers: funny and talented.

Last season ended in much the same say, although two of my choices from the beginning made it to the final three. But this season had no Terry McDermott or Nicholas David to capture and hold my attention with every performance. I found myself falling asleep or playing on my phone during most of the performances; nothing really grabbed me. It wasn’t until the season was almost over that The Swon Brothers hooked me, and I discovered how good they were. I was really wanting them to win, but alas, it was not meant to be. There just wasn’t a lot of variety; nothing that made me extremely excited for each episode. By the end, I was glad it was over and hoping that next season will be better.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

 

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I’m Not Ashamed to Admit That I Enjoy “The Voice”

I LOVE The Voice! And if you would’ve asked me a couple of years ago, I don’t think I would’ve said the same thing. I didn’t really think anything of this show until last season when my girlfriend convinced me to watch it. Despite what some might think of it, maybe writing it off as just another lame competition show, it’s not. The Voice is much better than all the others. I’ll explain why:

  1. It’s called The Voice because that’s what they focus on, the voice. It’s not about image, it’s about how well you can actually sing. The show starts off with a few weeks of what are called “Blind Auditions,” where the show hopefuls will perform onstage while the judges sit in their chairs with their backs turned, unable to see each singer. The singer has an allotted amount of time to sing a song of their choosing and convince the judges to turn around. If the judges like what they hear, they press a big red button and their chair turns around.
  2. Once a judge presses their button, they are able to see the performer. Judges who don’t press their button will turn around once the performance is done. The judge or judges who pressed their button(s) will then praise the singer for what they liked about their singing ability.
  3. It is then up to the singer to decide which judge they want to go with during the “Battle Rounds.” (I’ll explain those in a bit)¬†If only one judge picked them, they are defaulted to that judge. But most of the time, there are multiple judges.
  4. Now if no judge presses their button, the singer is of course not selected. But unlike The X-Factor and American Idol, the performers aren’t beaten down with comments like “You were completely dreadful” and “You suck,” they’re actually given constructive criticism to use towards bettering their ability. Yes, they might leave saddened because they weren’t picked, but they’re also more motivated to become a better singer thanks to the judges’ advice.
  5. Each judge has a team and once each team has twelve members, they move on to the “Battle Rounds.” During this time, the judges become coaches as well and teach the singers how to become even better performers. The judges/coaches will then have two of their team members vocally battle against each other by singing the same song together, then the coach chooses which team member to advance to the final round. Eventually, through multiple battles and the judges and viewers voting (Yes, viewers get a say in this show), the performers are eliminated down to “the final six.”
  6. The singers compete again, eventually becoming “the final four,” one singer for each team. Once they get to the final four, they will perform for one last time and it becomes¬†solely up to the public to decide who wins the competition. The winner is then given a record deal with Universal Music.

The “Battle Rounds” are in interesting take and typically fun to watch. That’s when the really good singers generally shine through.

Cee-Lo, Adam, Christina, and Blake

The best part about this show are the judges. You don’t have some smarmy British douchebag, with no musical talent at all, telling contestants they suck. There’s no Randy Jackson saying “Yo dawg, that wasn’t good.” No Britney Spears or Demi Lovato. You have judges on this show with actual talent, each from a popular genre, offering sage advice and wisdom with a little bit of humor. For rock, they have Adam Levine (Maroon Five). For pop, there’s Christina Aguilera. For rap/hip-hop/R&B, there’s Cee-Lo Green (Goodie Mob/Gnarls Barkley). And for country, they have Blake Shelton. All highly acclaimed, highly accredited artists; not producers or record executives or talentless, former Disney Channel stars. Unlike with other shows where the judges just seem to be there for the paycheck, these judges are here to find new talent, bring attention to this talent, teach and nurture this talent to help it grow, and then send it out into the world in order to better the music business. They also give off a great sense of camaraderie, like they enjoy being their with each other. They bicker, joke, poke fun at each other, compete for singers to join their teams; and they it’s all in good fun.

Carson “Crazy-Eyes” Daly. (source: stuffandsuch.wordpress.com)

Also, I want to point out that this show has convinced me that Carson Daly is actually pretty cool. He hosts the show and does a “Meet & Greet” with the contestants. He gets a bit of their backstory, why they came to the show, hangs out with their family and friends backstage while they view the performances, and then chats with them afterwards to wrap things up. And there’s just something about the way he does all of that that makes you really like him and care about the contestants even more. Good job, Carson Daly.

I’ve never really been a fan of reality tv. Ninety-nine percent of it is garbage. And the more that networks air the stuff, the more I think they’re running out of ideas for good television. There have only been a few that I actually like: Battle for Ozzfest, Kitchen Nightmares, Hardcore Pawn, and The Voice. So if this show is good enough to make me watch on a regular basis, not to mention give me hope for the music industry, then I think it’s worth a view from you.

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