I’d like to begin this post by admitting that I’m admittedly biased, but if the following graph is to be believed, so was America last year.
When American Idol first came out, I was excited. Finally a new way to find musicians that aren’t only the ones the big companies find or/are feeding us. The auditions were filled with talent off the street which showed up because at some point someone said they have what it takes to be a star. As the show progressed we realize that not every parent was truthful to their children. Either that, or even the parents are tone deaf.
At first it was amusing to see the contestants that strutted on stage with their feathers all fluffed make an epic fail on national television. Maybe it was the guts these vocally untrained performers had that was so drawing or maybe it was just pure schadenfreude. Either way, Idol capitalized on this aspect of humanity and showy messes became a regular occurrence. So much so, that one year American voters were amused by a pitchy contestant so much they decided they were going to see how high up on the ladder they could make a bad contestant (VoteForTheWorst). Not only had Idol created this monster, but it fed it.
After the parade of fools is over, American Idol boils down to finding performers (not always musicians). The emphasis is about finding someone with what they call the whole package. Something the producers can sell. And they have.
ENTER THE VOICE.
Advertised as a new kind of talent show, The Voice (gimmicky thrones and boxing rings, aside) promises us a chance to see gifted artists chosen for voice alone. The coaches start with their backs turned so there’s no visual distractions to influence their decisions. The results: The Voice, gives us all talent. As one of the coaches said this season, there hasn’t been a bad singer yet.
These singers are hand-picked, not yet polished, raw vocal chops. Yes, there’s some pitchy moments, not all the performers are perfect. But, these moments are not capitalized on. They are acknowledged and oftentimes end with the contestant walking away without a team. However, the back-stories (ranging from inspiring to tear-jerking) are capitalized to the fullest.
One would think pulling our heart strings is a tasteless ploy, but it’s an awesome television tool. It gets the audience emotionally invested in the contestants for when the viewers vote. Which, I admit, was a first for some (present company included). Regardless of emotional tugs, The Voice speaks for itself.