TYF Column: The Voice

Before I start this, I just want to say that I love The Voice. I watch every episode and I will tell anybody that. I have to admit though, as I watched the start of this season, I got the feeling something was off. I quickly realized I was feeling this way because there is an elephant in the room that I feel people are just plain ignoring. All of these talent shows have winners that for the most part aren’t successful after winning. To take it even further, I no longer think, in the long run, that these shows are even about the contestants.

I center this article on The Voice because it is one of, if not the top, talent show despite the fact that at this moment exactly ZERO of the previous winners or runner-ups have accomplished anything outside of winning the show. If I’m wrong, feel free to name your favorite post-Voice performance from Javier Colon or whoever won the second season. Don’t worry, I’ll wait… When you really think about it, The Voice is a game show for the judges. Each judge tests their skills and tries to outdo the other judges for bragging rights. Meanwhile, these performers sing their hearts out, and push themselves to the brink, so they can sing covers that people then vote on by buying itunes thereby generating money for Universal Music Group that makes up for some of the money loss on illegal downloads. It’s a hustle so good that, honestly, I wish I had thought of it. The problem is that these performers are looking for more than fifteen minutes of fame.

Nobody goes on any talent show hoping to be a flavor of the season. You hear the desperation in each sob story that is edited to make you think of every underdog movie you’ve ever seen. These people want to be stars so bad that they’re willing to be ridiculed by millions of people for very light pay and a mention on yahoo the next day, which at the end of the day, is all they get. The kicker in all of this is how quickly the tens of millions of people instantly forget the winner which tells me that the only reason we watch the show is either the judges, or so we can judge the contestants. What happens after the show, historically, is none of our concern.

Personally, I’m going to really start paying attention to these performers and try to keep that same support going for my faves after the season ends. At the end of the day, you can’t blame the shows for finding a formula that works. The decision is ultimately up to us, the audience, to keep the performers flames lit.

Nick is 24 years old and lives in the suburbs of Chicago. He’s an aspiring screenwriter and avid seeker of useless knowledge. He is a full-on video game and pop culture geek but hides it fairly well. In his free time, he has been known to hoard indie music and rock his beanie in unnecessary weather conditions while swearing up and down he isn’t a hipster. We’re pretty sure he’s a hipster though… You can contact him at nick@theyoungfolks.com & Twitter: @JustNickFoster
  • I liked this Nick! Good job! You make good points.