You can argue that with it being in its sixteenth season, The Voice is an unparalleled success. You are talking about one of the biggest singing competitions in the world and one that has served as an excellent platform for many of its coaches. It’s also got at least a few moderate success stories, though we’re not going out on a limb here and proclaiming that it’s making stars left and right.
Yet … shouldn’t it be doing more to try to have that happen? It feels like in the early days, NBC tried to sell this show more as a search for the next star, but after a series of abject failures (with a couple of exceptions), they’ve really just abandoned all notion of trying. This is a show about the coaches, which is great if you’re Adam Levine or Blake Shelton but bad if you’re a contestant who really thinks that being on this show is a golden ticket to being hugely successful. The majority of the time, what it offers you is a chance to expand your concert resume and to build up a social-media and YouTube following that you can make a little bit of money from.
Sure, a part of the problem with The Voice is the presence of the superstar coaches at every single turn, but that’s obviously not going to change. You can’t just sell your show one way only to then shrug your shoulders and then decide to do something totally different. Won’t future coaches be unhappy with that?
The problem instead with The Voice, especially in this current season, is one of overpopulation. Sure, the blind auditions are the bread and butter of this show, but haven’t we gotten used to that format at this point? Do we really need so many? Think about it like this — we’ve got 48 artists(!) entering the Battle Rounds and last night, we saw 24 people perform with almost no introduction or opportunity to actually get to know them. No viewer out there has the attention span to remember 24 people over the course of just two hours.
Our proposal, instead of doing things that way that The Voice currently does, is rather simple: Instead of having the Live Cross Battles narrow down the field in mid-April, why not start the actual top 12/13 then? Our priority for this show is to actually go into the live rounds feeling like we know more of the singers, and then actually have time to know them better. That means seeing smaller eliminations week to week and really getting a good opportunity to see who shines doing a wide array of stuff. Think about it — if the top 12/13 started on April 15, we’d get SIX full weeks with these people. If it was April 8, you’d be getting seven. While we understand it’s fewer opportunities to a lot of different possible stars, you are also giving a smaller, select group a chance to actually be a star.
For some more discussion on last night’s The Voice episode, check out some of what we’ve got below! If you enjoy this, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for more! We also have an official The Voice playlist where we’ve got more updates that you don’t want to miss.
If you want to think of The Voice in a business sense, this show should be going for conversions. This is a long, elaborate advertisement for artists in the music industry. You need to give us some time in order to properly get to know some of these people, that way, when the show concludes, viewers actually want to support them! They identity with them! One of the reasons we firmly believe that American Idol made stars in its early seasons is that it really made you feel like you were a part of these people’s lives for a substantial period of time. The Voice doesn’t have the same length of a season as Idol used to have, but you can replicate that feeling.
First, cut down the starting teams to maybe 32 or 28 instead of 48. Then, shorten the middle period of the competition and hurry things along to the top 12 or 13. We think that so long as those artists are genuinely good, viewers will relish the chance to know them better. It may actually be better than the current top 24, which has some real talent but also some other artists who aren’t quite living up to the competition.
There’s obviously no chance to change things this season, but moving into the summer, why not look to actually make this show feel new and special? Its ratings are slowly declining (even past the new American Idol at times), and that should be a sign that The Voice needs a fresh coat of paint. To us, it’s not about how famous the people are sitting in the chairs; it’s about instead how famous you can make the people singing on the stage.
Do you think that there is something that The Voice can properly do moving forward in order to actually shake up its format, and make more of its contestants matter? Share in the comments! (Photo: NBC.)