You may not be a fan of reality television. You may see yourself as too evolved, too aware and really just too smart for such things. While a lot of reality television is simply candy for the frontal cortex, The Voice is the exception. It’s delicious and filling.
The premise of the show is intriguing. If you are somehow unaware of what that is, it goes like this: The judges/coaches (Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine) cannot see the contestants when they first audition. So, unlike with American Idol and other shows, there is no age limit and no physical bias. They choose based on voice alone. Beautiful people get turned away. It’s nothing like most of life. It’s part of the rare portion that is so sweet and pure that nobody can question its authenticity.
Eventually the coaches each pick teams of four. The people who make up the motley crew of performers are so amazing. A bald, proud dike (who can belt!) and a 41-year-old musician and dad of six, whose last shot may be this one, make up the cast. Even a former Idol contestant – who left Idol after a ridiculous scandal – makes the team. Cee Lo describes the theme of the show best when he says, “I am an endorser and advocate to exceptions to the rule.”
You will begin to really care about these people, these exceptions to the rule. Not only talented, they’re so likeable. You love them before they’ve even performed. And then they perform! It is an amazing thing to see a person redeemed. You may cry at parts.
There are so many surprises in this show. Adam Levine is not a douche! He appears to be kind and gracious and quite friendly to everyone. Blake seems to be an extremely down-to-earth, likeable country boy, as it were. Cee Lo is amazing, but you expected that. Christina can be a bit too “grrl power” but you tolerate her because her team is striking. At one point Christina and her team get up and sing “Lady Marmalade” and for a minute you cannot believe how much fun you’re having watching television.
As the show goes on, they audience is allowed to vote to “save” one person per episode, and they make it a live broadcast. The show looses some appeal here, as they appear unprepared at times for live television. This is overshadowed by more surprises. You begin to learn that the coaches have developed relationships with each team. The coaches not only bring in experts to include choreographers and other singers but they have spent time just hanging out with their teams. Christina mentions a year of working together to her team, during a dinner outing. The coaches are there to support, not to break down. It’s all quite different.
Sure, The Voice is for the lowest common denominator. It appeals to our human instincts by pitting people against each other, utilizing gimmicks (i.e. sad back stories), allowing us to chose who wins or loses, et cetera. But, it’s also for cynics and the smarty-pants who can’t help but want to feel. Watch it. Seriously. Oh, and casting for season two starts soon.