When I found out that FOX decided to finally end the run of American Idol, my immediate thought was, “Where is the gun that’s putting the show out of its misery? I’d like to use it on The Voice next.” I used to watch Idol several years ago, but made a conscious effort to forget all about it post-peak existence, sans Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey bitching each other out (and breaking my heart in the process). However, I never really got into The Voice.
I hate the stupid chair thing. It’s like they do that under the pretense that looks don’t matter and the judges have some “element of surprise.” Get the fuck out of here. It’s a big-budgeted talent show. It’s no less gimmicky and over produced than any of the other shows like it. If you think some big goofy chair slowly turning around makes The Voice that much different, you probably think tossing on some Old Spice will hide someone’s summery must.
If you think some big goofy chair slowly turning around makes The Voice that much different, you probably think tossing on some Old Spice will hide someone’s summery must.
One thing Idol can and will forever hold over The Voice is that it has actually produced successes in music. It may not live up to that promise anymore, but Kelly Clarkson is still going strong. The same can be said of Carrie Underwood. Fantasia will forever have booking on the Tom Joyner cruise and various black award shows. Actually, she can likely continue touring for the rest of her life, too. There are also losers like Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert, who despite not winning the show, clearly continue to win.
Even Clay Aiken might eventually score some job as a political pundit on some horrible cable news show. I don’t know, maybe they’ll at least let him hum every now and again before pretending Hillary Clinton is Jesus in a pantsuit.
Can The Voice say the same? No, no, no. That is the main reason why I don’t like the show: For all its spinning chairs, big name celebrities brought in as judges and mentors, this show has not created a single star. If it cannot live up to its purpose, what is the point anymore?
Pop quiz: Name all of the winners of The Voice. Name their debut albums. Name their best-performing song. When the members of MoKenStef can legitimately argue that they’ve had more success in music than the winner of some hugely popular TV show, it’s a problem.
I’ve read “Where Are They Now?” articles about the winners, and they don’t offer the kind of endings that would make Walt Disney smile. In fact you should probably be lifting them all in prayer. The show’s inaugural winner, Javier Colon, told BuddyTV a year after his win in 2011 that he separated from his label due to lack of support. He apparently now performs shows at “intimate venues across the country.” The second season winner, former Alicia Keys background singer Jermaine Paul, is…I have no clue, but Alicia should’ve hooked up him with some Swizz Beatz tracks. Season five winner Tessanne Chin dropped an album that debuted with only 7,000 copies sold. Season six winner Josh Kaufman got a job on Broadway. Where’s the album, though?
These winners would’ve done better taking their $100,000 award and investing it into a Popeye’s franchise.
Some people who are a part of the show would rather you not remind them of this tidbit. In February, Pharrell Williams was asked during the show’s season 8 press conference about the show thus far being unable to create a superstar. Pharrell said, “I don’t understand why we have these interviews, and people ask the same question every time.”
Well, if the problem has not changed, Pharrell, why should the line of questioning?
Hip-Hop Yoda continued on with his scolding though: “I think it’s because I feel like you’re looking for something. And I’d almost rather you just ask Adam [Levine], or whoever it is that you want to know this from, whoever you want to see give you something that you can take back that’s going to really bite and make your bosses excited that you got something good. That’s not why we’re here to do this interview. We’re here to do this interview because we want to explain to you what this is and what it means to us. It’s a gift.”
Oh, the “my presence is a present retort.” Yawn. The guilt trips Pharrell tried to lay out there also fell deaf on these big ears of mine: “When’s the last time you gave someone, you know, mentoring or took the time out of your schedule to tutor, and to actually really deal with people’s real emotions?”
Blah, blah, this show ain’t living up to its creed. Therein lies why it ought to be killed. It’s had a good run for the judges’ bank accounts and NBC execs, but the contestants have a better chance of just tweeting people about their SoundCloud pages to score some success than they do with this show. Well, don’t tweet me, but you get it.
Like Idol, The Voice has had a good run, but at this point, it’s out here limping around television with gout, selling people false dreams. I know there are some talented background singers on the show, but NBC can throw them on Neil Patrick Harris’ variety show instead. And then after we bury this mirage, can we take out Dancing With the Stars next?
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him @youngsinick.