Reality TV is a weird, weird concept that I am all to guilty of watching. From The Hills to American Idol, Big Brother to The Amazing Race and my personal favorite talent competitions The Voice and So You Think You Can Dance. There are plenty of shows that either show the best or worst in society. Some create triumphant moments, while others are the source of viral videos and misconceptions of cultures.
Focusing specifically on the ‘talent’ competitions, The Voice has quickly become my favorite singing one. While on one of many bus rides in London, I was having a conversation with a friend about why American Idol seems to be on a downward spiral. Even the X Factor (in the UK) isn’t the same as it once was and the American one ceases to exist at the moment. We had both heard about the new ‘fan vote’ for AI auditions and laughed at the fact that the show is struggling so hard, they need fans to help in the audition process. Sure, someone was sitting in the office thinking that it would be a way to engage fans, but lets face it, no one cares anymore. Regardless, this isn’t reasons why I don’t watch the show anymore (I used to love it and it is responsible for a few artists I’ve been a huge fan of – Daughtry, Carrie, Kelly, Phillip Phillips), but this is more of reasons why I think The Voice seems to work. Sure, there hasn’t been a huge breakout act just yet although a few of the Country sweethearts from the show have started to dominate the charts – ie. Danielle Bradbury & Cassadee Pope.
The Voice does something different though, it doesn’t spend time showing you shitty audition after shitty audition, making fun of all the people who had enough courage to go and sing when they probably should have tried to make a career out of it, instead you are shown the best 100 or so acts and see the nurturing process of the coaches happen. It’s also important to note that the coaches have been changing since the first season. Yeah, Adam and Blake have been there since the start, but the other two have been a revolving door of industry talent each with a new perspective. The show hit a gold mine this year with Gwen and Pharell, both with incredible coaching talents, and the banter between the four keeps you wanting to watch more than just a good vocal performance.
I think the biggest things making The Voice work are that yes, fans have a role in voting and social media and song downloads impact voting, but people tune in to see the banter between coaches and the inside look at the coaching process. We have enough access to vine and YouTube to see viral videos of people with weird talents, but we sometimes are overwhelmed by good music.
Just my opnions (and probably disjointed at that).