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The Voice

In Defense of Christina Aguilera: Why Eliminating Jesse Campbell Was the Right Decision

Last night’s live episode of The Voice played host to a series of surprises — the biggest of which was Christina Aguilera’s decision to vote off fan favorite Jesse Campbell. But after the shock wore off, our immediate reaction was not of sadness, but relief.

Jesse was a judge and fan favorite from the start. In his blind audition, his soulful voice and passion convinced all four judges to turn for him almost immediately. And his gripping story about his wife abandoning him and living out of his car with his young daughter tugged at America’s heart strings.

As the competition progressed, coach Adam Levine dubbed Jesse as the “dude to beat,” and the other coaches agreed.

Yes, Jesse’s vocal talents cannot be denied. But we were pleased that Christina voted him off last night. Now, before you grab your pitchforks and proceed to run spears through your computer screens, hear us out.

Music competitions have been going on for years. The longest-running is American Idol, currently in its eleventh season. Take a moment to look back on the performers who have enjoyed successful post-Idol careers:

There’s Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, and Adam Lambert. That’s seven contestants out of 11 seasons, and of those seven, four weren’t even the winners of the show.

So, what happened to those American Idol winners we can’t even remember? They produced an underwhelming album and then dropped off the face of the musical earth.

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If you don’t think comparing Idol and The Voice is fair, just take a look at the Season 1 winner of The Voice, Javier Colon.

The soulful father of two put passion into every performance he gave. He was commended by the judges and won the competition thanks to America’s votes. But where is he now?

After being crowned the show’s victor, he released a record that peaked at No. 134 on the charts. He is currently touring, and his show tonight in Maryland still has plenty of available seats.

If Jesse Campbell had won The Voice — which was a definite possibility had Christina not eliminated him last night — we believe his musical fate would have been similar to that of Javier’s.

Nothing about Jesse’s image or style was creative. Yes, the show is based on vocal talent, but as Christina has said numerous times, “the voice” doesn’t have to mean just one particular sound. In fact, the three remaining sounds on her team are incredibly diverse and distinct.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC © NBC Universal, Inc.    

The personas of Ashley De La Rosa, Lindsey Pavao, and Chris Mann are all much more marketable than Jesse Campbell’s, and Christina recognized that immediately.

Though some of the judges' past decisions have been questionable, we commend the diva for making a tough, largely unpopular call for the good of her team and the show.

We believe in America’s right to vote for the contestants they love, but if we trust these judges to mentor the contestants, we should also trust them to make the intelligent call in eliminating the weak links.

And for those of you saying that Christina’s decision to eliminate a single and formerly homeless father was “heartless,” take a step back and remember that this show is called The Voice, not The Tragic Past. For that show, please check out the daytime soaps.

Do you agree with Christina’s decision? Or are you still Team Jesse? Comment below!

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04.17.2012 / 10:27 PM EDT by Rachel McRady
Related: The Voice, Christina Aguilera, Jesse Campbell

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