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Annoyed with “The Voice”


My darling wife makes us watch “reality” TV. I usually read or play a game, because reality TV generally makes your brains soft.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but notice some of what happens in some shows. Like “The Voice.” Four music stars act as judges, hold auditions to choose a dozen singers to form a “team,” then they pit their own team members against each other in a series of duets to weed them down. In the duet competitions that are playing on TV now, the judges vote on their own people.

I think that’s fundamentally flawed. If the judges can vote on their own people (they actually have the deciding vote), then why even have duets on national television? They could weed out the weaker contenders in the practice room in one afternoon, and save us a lot of time. But that’s why they make Fast Forward buttons on remotes, I guess. 

I think the show could be made better, because the judges keep picking “winners” who clearly did not perform as well in the duets as the “losers.” To me, that indicates they’re judging by a set of criteria that is not restricted to that performance alone. And that invalidates the entire process.

I think they should:

  • Not allow the team’s own judge to vote on their performance. Other judges should have a say, but not the team’s own judge.
  • Include audience voting, or replace the judge’s votes with the audience’s collective votes. The show would then be a referendum on how well the judges chose their team players, based on the audience’s reaction to the performance. That would be interesting. You would not be just judging the contestants, but also the judges’ ability to pick good singers.
  • Use solos, not duets, to judge. I understand the duet format was chosen in the interest of time. But to make it truly fair, each contestant would sing the same song, solo, and then be judged. Singing as a duet combines the two voices and often makes them better, but it also makes it difficult to single out who is really the best performer and why. I have seen several contestants who would make excellent singing teams. It would be interesting to see them actually make careers out of singing as teams.
  • Pit contestants from different teams against each other, not from the same team.
  • Draw the names for who sings next, randomly, as well as the song to be sung. Currently, the judges pick who will sing against each other, and which song will be sung, and it results in some wildly unfair competitions. Last night, for example, a Janis Joplin clone was pitted against an androgynous country singer in The Faces’ “Stay With Me” (1971). Obviously the Janis Joplin clone won. It was a grossly lopsided matchup, simply because of the choice of the song.

I think the way the show is run at the moment really makes the competition irrelevant, because it’s so clearly rigged. The show is really more about the “star” power of the judges, and the other stars they bring in to the studio to help coach the contestants. It’s not really about the contestants or the competition at all. And that’s even more annoying, I think. Even more annoying than having to see Christina Aguilera’s breast implants fifty times each episode.

And in the end, 582 words are way too much time and thought invested into how to make reality television better, when simply turning the television off would be the best choice.

  1. 2012-03-17T01:03:09-04:00 01:03

    Marvin, there’s these things in houses… what are they called?… oh yeah: Other rooms.

    My wife has her cache of shows on the DVR to watch when I have work on the weekends, while I am safely ensconced in another part of our place.

    But as reality shows go, The Voice can be at least tolerable. Your suggestions are certainly what would make for a fairer competition, but surely you grasp that’s not the point of the show. Or of TV in general.


  2. 2012-03-14T05:14:39-04:00 05:14

    I agree, reality TV sucks. But, of course, it’s cheap to make & gets the ratings. I have seen some of “The Voice” & I agree with each of your points here.


  3. 2012-03-14T03:27:38-04:00 03:27

    If this show comes to Australia I won’t be watching it


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