Wednesday, April 27, 2011

POPped Review: NBC's 'The Voice' Comes Out Strong In Premiere Episode


On Tuesday night NBC took aim at FOX's (still) ridiculously popular American Idol, and they hit a bullseye.  The Voice takes the idea of television singing competitions and truly does make it about the voice.  

Based on the Dutch television competition, The Voice of Holland, The Voice changes our concept of what we know singing competitions to be. While other shows have come and gone claiming to be different, The Voice accomplishes it with outstanding results. 


The hook of the show really is the Blind Audition.  It's called this because the Coaches (not Judges) sit with their backs to the performers when they come on stage and start singing.  The Coaches can then decide if they want to work with the singer by hitting a button in front of them.  That gets their chair to turn around to see the person singing.  From here, if more than one Coach has turned around, the singer chooses who they want to be their coach.   Once this process is done, we will have four teams of eight to compete against each other, with the Coaches, well...coaching them.  

(Funniest comment about this tonight came from someone online who said they should have Emperor Palpatine in one of the chairs when it turns around.) 

The Coaches are Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Cee Lo Green (Gnarls Barkley), Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton.  They cover every genre from pop and hip hop to country...and are all hugely successful.  They are Grammy Award winners, multi-platinum selling music stars.  This give the show an edge right out of the gate. 

Gone are the usual wacky auditions.  We got right into the Blind Auditions.  There were some package pieces where we did learn their back stories, but it wasn't a huge part of the show.  You know what, I didn't miss the "bad" auditions.  It was refreshing not to have a month of audition episodes.  

Here is what hooked me on the show.  First is the idea of the Blind Audition.  The Coaches have no choice but to concentrate on the person's voice and decide if they sound like someone they want to work with.  Gone is the idea of a judge being put off because of they way they look, or only moving them further because the way they look.  These people have to actually be able to sing.  

I am also loving the competition that's already happening between the Coaches as they try to have the singer select them as their coach.  Their banter in trying to sell themselves is much more interesting, and amusing, than anything on A.I.  

The next thing that will have me coming back is seeing the Coaches work with the singers as they try to groom them in to better singers.  I'm looking forward to seeing them go up against each other as individual singers and as a team.  It's just another aspect to this competition that other shows don't have.  The coaches are personally invested in the competition because they each want to win.      

The Voice does have a host, Carson Daly, but isn't relying on him to move the show along right now.  He's spending time with the families backstage, watching the singers perform.  While Carson is the host, he isn't out there trying to be funny and drag the show on.  I'm hoping that doesn't happen with him once the show goes live.  If that does, hopefully the producers are smart enough to include more of their social media guru, Alison Haislip.  

That is another area that The Voice has been smart to try to utilize.  Social Media.  Let's face it, many of us are always tweeting and leaving comments on Facebook while watching a show. They're encouraging the audience to do it with them.  It definitely worked tonight as #TheVoice was the top trended topic on Twitter most of the evening.  

As they begin their live broadcasts, Alison Haislip will be bringing news and trends from the interwebs regarding the show.  During the pre-recorded episodes, Alison is tweeting commentary (as are others on the show) as the episode airs. 

Everything for The Voice clicked just right, and it seems to be bringing in many of us who gave up on A.I. after season two.

The Voice is a breath of fresh air on television.  NBC has the makings of a mega-hit on their hands that could go on for a few seasons as long as they don't take it in to overkill by airing it every night.  

If you missed Tuesday's premiere, I can not recommend enough that you watch a re-airing of the episode Wednesday night at 9:00 PM.     

New episodes of The Voice air on NBC Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM.

What say you?

POPped by
Jungle Jesse

Follow The Voice Coaches and Hosts on Twitter:
The Voice
Carson Daly
Alsion Haislip
Adam Levine
Cee Lo Green
Christina Aguilera
Blake Shelton

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