New ‘Voice’ takes center-stage

The newest singing competition from NBC, “The Voice,” premiered on April 26 to much acclaim. While it is yet another talent show for singers, the premise is different than that of “American Idol.”

Unlike “Idol,” there are four coaches instead of judges, and each coach is trying to create a team of eight members. The show’s four coaches are Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton. They will act as mentors to the contestants, helping them to launch a career rather than just critique their singing ability.

Also, it is a blind audition process, so the looks of a contestant do not play a part in the decision. The diverse talent spans different ages, races and appearances.

The coaches listen to each audition with their chairs facing away from the contestant. If a coach wants that contestant for his or her team, he or she presses a button spinning the chair around to reveal the singer. If more than one coach wants a particular contestant, it is up to that contestant to choose which coach will be his/her mentor.

Not only is “The Voice” a competition for the singers to win a record contract, it is a battle among the coaches for one of their team members to be the final winner, which will be voted on by America.

In its first episode alone, the television series has already showcased a much better group of talent than was ever seen on a season of “Idol.”

Americans seem to be embracing the show’s concept, too. “The Voice” had the most number of viewers on the night it premiered, even outranking “Dancing with the Stars.”

Yet with the emergence of yet another singing competition, the question arises as to why these talent shows are in such high demand by America.

“I think people like to watch shows like this because they show extremely talented people who would never be able to make it big without these shows,” sophomore Elizabeth Parr said. “Seeing that the underdog got ahead based on talent rather than money gives hope to the rest of America.”

This infatuation has led to the creation of hundreds of talent competition shows all over the world. Since the development of “Star Search” in the 1980s, there has been a massive influx of talent series, especially throughout the turn of the century. From FOX’s “American Idol” to MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” to Bravo’s “Project Runway,” there is some type of talent competition on almost every television network.

In the growing sea of reality TV, will this new singing competition sink or swim?

“The Voice” shows promise with its new ideas and its abundance of talent. Also, it still enables Americans to decide who will be America’s next great superstar, which is another reason why people seem to love talent shows.

If you, too, have an insatiable need for singing shows, tune into “The Voice” on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Kristyn Lyncheski can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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