Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Problematic Nature of The Voice

What's going on with Adam's hair, isn't Christina bitchy, what's going on with that tattoo on Cee-Lo's head?  These tend to be the thoughts most people discuss when they talk about The Voice.  While The Voice is not alone in this when it comes to singing competitions, American Idol is guilty as well, the crutch of The Voice is meant to focus on the talent, and vocal abilities of the contestants.  How are these contestants meant to succeed after their career on the show, when these judges who turn around in their swivel chairs still pull all the focus.

Let's take a season by season look at what happens to the contestants who have won show: 

Season 1 Winner
Javier Colon released an album entitled Come Through for You on Universal Public Records in 2011.  Colon parted from the label in June of 2012 statin the following "I went into it with high hopes, as I believe everyone did. But when you pour your heart and soul into a new album that you think is really great, and your label who is supposed to support, market and promote your music does neither, it's really hard not to be upset. The truth is, we are all better off going our separate ways." Colon continues singing and looking for "a more mutually beneficial relationship".

Season 2 Winner 
Jermaine Paul winning song "I Believe I Can Fly" from The Voice landed at number 83 on the billboard, his follow-up single with coach Blake Shelton went nowhere.  There is little other information out there on Paul.

Season 3 Winner
Cassadee Pope seems to have done the best, especially since her niche market has been Country music. Pope signed to Republic Nashville, and her debut single "Wasting All These Tears" reached 37 on the Billboard Charts, and number 5 on the Country Charts, still never heard it.  Pope has done decent enough but not outside of Country music, and not enough be deemed successful.

Season 4 Winner
Danielle Bradbery has certainly opened for some opened up for some major tours, Brad Paisley, and Hunter Hayes; she has also performed at the Grand Ole Opry, another country maven who has a small niche market and will reach smaller audiences, but never cross over to mainstream.

Season 5 Winner
Tessanne Chin, has seemed to do a lot of performances all over the place; she is of Caribbean decent and has performed in Kingston at a free concert, along with concerts all over the region.  Chin performed at The Rose Bowl, the White House, and will be headlining the Voice tour this summer; she will also be releasing her first album this summer through Republic Records.

I do not mean, nor do I intend to slam any of the contestants who have won this show.  Each of them have worked hard, and have a tremendous amount of talent.  I respect them, and their vocal abilities.  The problem is the egotistical way in which these judges, push themselves more than the talent who win the show.  Sure Blake Shelton has helped his country mavens, that has happened, but in reality who do you remember at the end of the day, the judges.

While I am being critical of The Voice, the same problem exists with American Idol today, although they have toned that down with their judges this year, last year's spectacle with Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey did nothing to save the ratings.   Other competitions never pretend to make people pretends to churn out talent more.  While these winners have more success than they would have without the series, I can't help but that The Voice, and American Idol promise more than they pay out.  They glorify the concept of "celebrity" and don't give the contestants/winners what they deserve.

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