The Voice TV Series
Based on the original series The Voice of Holland, it is clear where The Voice gets its title form. Initially the series was going to be called The Voice of America, as it was announced in December of 2010, but it was shortened not long after that to the name we now know, The Voice. The Voice is essentially a reality TV show/singing competition which seeks for a new singing talent. The contestants can sing either solo or duets and they must be at least 15 years of age. These aspiring singers are drawn from public auditions and eventually the winner of the series is determined through the viewers as they vote via text, Internet, or phone. Each winner receives not only a cash prize of 100,000 but also a record deal with Universal Music Group—it used to be Universal Republic Records in the first two seasons. Because the series has eight seasons by this point, there are so far eight winners of the competition. These winners are Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, Tessanne Chin, Josh Kaufman, Craig Wayne Boyd, and Sawyer Fredericks.
The series sits under the genre reality competition and it is directed by Alan Carter. It was created by John de Mol and presented by Christina Milian, Alison Haislip, and Carson Daly. Producers for the show include Ashley Baumann Carson, Daly Keith Dinielli, May Johnson, Bart Kimball, Michael Matsumoto, David Offenheiser, and Teddy Valenti. Executive producers include Lee Metzger, John de Mol, Audrey Morrissey, Mark Burnett, and Stijn Bakkers. Warner Horizon Television, Mark Burnett Productions, One Three Media, and United Artists Media Group all have been or are currently production companies for the series thus far. Distributors for the show include Warner Bros. Television Distribution, Talpa, and Endemol. Running time for The Voice is 44-104 minutes. Watch this show online by subscribing to Time Warner Cable Internet Service.
The Voice debuted on April 26th, 2011. It started off as just a spring TV season program, but the series was so well liked that NBC decided to expand it into the fall cycle. Season three premiered on September 10th, 2012. There are four judges, or more accurately, four coaches, who sit on a panel and give the singers feedback. Each coach ends up with a team of singers and guides these artists throughout the season. The coaches also compete with one another in an effort to win the competition. The coaches are generally well known names themselves. The very first coaching panel consisted of CeeLo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton. In the seasons four and six Aguilera and Green were replaced by Usher and Shakira. The seventh season saw Shakira and Usher swap with Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, and in the eight season Green was replaced by Williams permanently.
Blind auditions set the scene for the beginning of each season, and the beginning of the season is also the point at which each coach assembles their team of singers who they will guide and mentor throughout that particular season. There may be a range of individuals in each team, from 4-16. The audience gets to watch these teams being formed. The blind auditions are called such because coaches face the audience as artists come on stage to tryout. If a coach likes what they hear from a performer they will press a button which turns their chair to face the artist and lights up the words “I want you” on the chair. If only one coach chooses an artist that is their default coach, but if more than one do, that singer has the opportunity to pick which coach they want.
During the “Battle Rounds” segment of the series each coach chooses two singers to compete against one another and then chooses which of the two gets to go forward in the competition. Each season different celebrity mentors come on the show to assist the coaches. In season three coaches were given the ability to steal two performers who were eliminated during the Battle Rounds in a different team. Season three also introduced the concept of the Knockout Rounds. Two artist are again chosen from each team, but they do not know who their partner is until just before the competition. They are able to pick which song they want to perform and after this is over the coaches decide who gets to proceed. Coaches can also steal an eliminated member as they can during Battle Rounds. In season 6 Battle Rounds 2 took the place of Knockout Rounds. Towards the end of the competition each artist performs in weekly shows and the public is able to vote. Soon, a final group of artists is selected, and then eventually a single artist is declared the winner.
The Voice is pretty well known throughout the country and many people watch it adamantly. TV.com gives the series 8/10 stars and IMDb gives it a slightly lesser rating of 6.6/10 stars. Many viewers were recently quite upset about the outcome of the last season when Sawyer won over the other singers in the competition, but it is odd that The Voice fans would not like the choice of the winner, as it was fans themselves who voted in their favorite. Of course, there are always going to be people in reality TV shows such as this who had a differing personal favorite from the majority, and even a minority in such a massive fanbase can be enormous.
Many people love the concept of The Voice. That is, looks, fashion, and other superficial qualities do not matter—the entire focus is on their talent, on their voices (at least in the beginning). In this culture dominated by what we see, many people have found it refreshing and wonderful that The Voice goes beyond the sense of sight. This is one of the big hooks that has made the series so popular among many. Those who have seen Idol or other similar competitions but did not like it, or are not interested in the pop culture scene will probably not like the series, but for those who do, the The Voice has been widely loved.