When The Voice was introduced as a new music reality show last year, it was applauded for its unique approach to the archetypal singing competition.
Instead of searching for the next pop star, The Voice looks for the best vocal talent in the country. The blind auditions leave the judges unable to see if a powerful sound is coming from a 16-year-old or a 50-year-old, and more often than not, a contestant’s voice does not match his or her perceived "look."
Emphasis on “the voice” prevented hunky quarterback Dez Duron from making it past the blind auditions this season, when his good looks most likely would have helped earn him a place in the finals in any other competition.
But writer Jon Caramanica of The New York Times doesn’t seem to think The Voice’s structure is effective. He started his piece “This Year, It’s 'Idol' Chasing the Voice,” addressing Adam Levine’s decision to pick Katrina Parker over Angel Taylor in Battle Round 3 last week.
Jon said he could see Adam’s inner-struggle because Katrina had the better performance, but Angel was the more marketable performer.
“Mr. Levine knows perfectly well that despite the show’s conceit, a voice is not in fact enough,” Jon said in the article.
The writer goes on to say that due to The Voice’s success, it seems that FOX’s American Idol has tried to focus solely on the singer’s voices and not the entire package this season, when he believes it should be the other way around.
We’ve noticed a change in focus from certain judges like Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton during the battle rounds. Cee Lo went with former model Erin Martin over The Shields Brothers in Battle Round 3 — a move that seemed purely physical after Erin’s weak performance.
“Yeah, you know … with The Voice, after the blind auditions, they're looking for the whole package as far as artists go,” Erin said in a recent interview with RealityWanted.
But the show continues to maintain that its focus is purely on vocals — a concept that judges Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera seem to respect and embrace.
So, who is right? In today’s music world, there seems to be those popular artists who offer the “full package,” but potentially less of a focus on vocal talent and range (see: Rihanna and Miley Cyrus). And then there are singers like Adele, who are the exact opposite of the ideal female image, but who have kick-ass vocals and undeniable talent (note: her six Grammy Awards this year).
The Voice is the top-rated music show currently on TV. Is it because of the focus on actual talent?
Source: The New York Times