The Voice Ratings: NBC Beats Glee & DWTS!
NBC scored a hit last night with its new show The Voice. The Voice beat both the Dancing with the Stars results show and Glee by pulling in nearly 12 million viewers to its premier show. Not only was it a hit, but it was actually a good show.
The idea for The Voice seems to be a mix of American Idol meets X-Factor meets a game show. The show started with the blind auditions. Here the coaches each sit in a chair that has its back to the stage. The performer comes out and sings and the coaches decide whether they want to work with them based solely on the sound of their voice. If the coach likes what they hear they hit the button on their chair, spin around and get to see what the performer looks like. By hitting their button they claim that singer for their team. There are no take backs. If more than one coach hits their button the performer gets to pick which coach’s team they want to be on.
At the end of the blind audition rounds for The Voice, each coach will have eight members of their team that they will mentor during the battle rounds. This has the contestants go head to head against each other singing the same song. The person that does it the best wins and moves on, the other is out. When each team is down to four members the show moves on to the live round where America votes for who they like. Eventually a winner will be crowned from the live round. They will win a record deal and a $100,000.
The coaches are among the biggest names in music: Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Last night’s debut didn’t so much belong to any one judge as they all seemed to be having fun sniping at each other as they competed to get some performers to choose them over a different coach. In my mind if there were two standouts they would be Blake Shelton who had the line of the night when he told one singer she didn’t want to go with Cee Lo because he would scare her. He might show up one day dressed like Batman. Cee Lo laughed then agreed. Christina showed off some of the charm that has made her a worldwide superstar. She shot other judges devilish smiles, talked some smack and had some good things to say. It didn’t hurt that her cleavage was on full display. She looked good. One contestant claimed seeing her that close-up in person was like staring into the sun.
What worked most is that The Voice judges had to pick without seeing the person. Sure, there were a few good looking people who the judges really clamored over once they saw how they looked, but overall they seemed to be open to anyone and everyone. An old American Idol castoff Frenchie Davis even showed up as a contestant. She had made it deep into American Idol a few seasons ago, but was thrown off the show when producers found out she had a made a couple of adult movies many years ago. Interestingly enough Cee Lo recognized her and she seemed genuinely surprised by that, but she ended up on Christina’s team.
Carson Daly worked well as the host of The Voice. He talked to the contestants and waited with their families while the singers hit the stage. We also got some background on the singers and their lives which added some emotional value to their performances.
There were no bad singers, but not every singer got through. There were some that were good, but no coach hit their button so they were not brought onto the show. When that would happen, the judges always explained why and they had some good advice and thoughts for that contestant. Right now the show is compelling. The question is, will it be able to hold our interest once it moves past the blind auditions? How involved with the singers will the coaches really be? I would love to see them really get in there and work hard with them, but it remains to be seen how far that mentor process is really going to go. For now The Voice is a breath of fresh air and NBC must be impressed with it since they are putting an encore airing of the premier back on tonight to go head to head with American Idol. It just might work.
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