Monday, May 07, 2012

Ten Ways to Fix The Voice

After doing almost everything right last season, almost everything went wrong this season. After a very strong Sweet Sixteen, the finalists tonight somehow managed to be significantly weaker than last season which was not that exciting itself. They are so weak, I will not even tune into tonight (I have to see the climatic conclusion of the first season finale of 2 Broke Girls instead) even just to see how weird the Jermaine / Blake duet is (or awesomely bad Juliet and Cee-Lo are). Chris Mann inexplicably advanced even though his iTunes sales are laughably bad ranking near the bottom of all contestants every week and never once this season outsold Lindsey Pavao, the person he beat last week. Here are all the people who charted higher than Chris Mann this season:

Juliet Simms
Lindsey Pavao (the person that Chris beat had four different songs chart higher than Chris’s best)
Jamar Rogers
Katrina Parker
Tony Lucca
Jermaine Paul
RaeLynn (yes even RaeLynn, who was booted in the quarterfinals charted two songs higher than Chris)
Not to mention all four finalist last season, Dia Frampton, Javier Colon, Vicci Martinez, and Beverly McClellan as well as Xenia and Casey Weston who did not make it to the finals

By Friday Chris was completely off the iTunes Top 200 Chart while Lindsey was still in the Top 100. Christina Aguilera somehow went into the Live Rounds with the strongest team but managed to find a worse finalist than Beverly last season. The Voice should be embarrassed to have him in the finals especially at the expense of the highest iTunes seller this season. Tony Lucca lost all his credibility after his Britney Spears cover, a mediocre one at that, and managed to lose the popular vote to someone who had never previous had been saved by America (sorry Katrina, you picked the wrong coach, except he was the only one to turn around for you so nevermind). I liked Jermaine, but he is only there because he was on a team with no standouts (he could have gone home the first Live Round if he were on Christina’s Team). Juliet is the most credible of the finalist but I do not care for her screaming singing style and her non-scream voice is very weak and I would have preferred Jamar in the slot. Looking at these finalists it is clear The Voice needs to do some more tinkering, which went from the most watched show on television this season to pulling in less viewers than last season, or it may be in danger of even being out-rated by X-Factor next fall or even the new Duets show launching later this month.

1. Change the Voting System: If The Voice changes one thing for next season, this is the one. The show should be embarrassed by Chris Mann’s inclusion in the finals being the second worst seller of any team on iTunes last week but somehow still make it into the finals. He was even outsold by all of his teammates in the quarterfinals and still managed to get the America’s Save that week. Let’s face it, anything that let’s internet voting is completely flawed because nothing can stop losers with too much time on their hands to create phony e-mail accounts to spam the voting process (and not only do these people brag about doing so them encourage other people to do so). People doing this it really hurts the show because people are tuning out when the most popular are booted out by fans of singers like Chris who think their vote is more important than everyone else. This phenomenon can help explain how the show went from the most watch show at the beginning of the season to having lower ratings than last season which did not have the help of being launched by the Super Bowl. And Chris Mann is not the only person that has benefited, in the first Live Round Charlotte Sometimes was just a few spots behind RaeLynn as the best seller on Team Blake, but when America’s Saves were announced, RaeLynn was joined by Jermaine and Erin Willett, the two worst sellers on the team that barely cracked the iTunes Top 200 chart that week.

The solution is pretty simple: give more weight to the iTunes chart. Sure, as conceived you can vote ten times on iTunes, but who besides maybe family members are buying a song ten times? And if the goal of the music business is to get people to buy your music, then this should be taken into account in the shows voting system. And they way votes should be tabulated so the music buyers have enough say as the fanatics who stuff the ballots by creating phony e-mail accounts is split the final vote four ways: %25 comes from iTunes downloads, %25 from phone votes, %25 from internet voting, and %25 from texting. Or if you want to give more control to the coaches, split it five ways with every way getting 20%. Could anyone be against this idea (aside from those internet spammers who think their vote is more important than everyone else)?

2. Shorten the Battle Rounds: I was all for the extended Blind Auditions, but eight hours of the Battle Rounds were painful to sit through and looking at the ratings I am not the only one who thought this as the show lost almost three million viewers between the last Blind Audition to the last Battle Round. Instead of four episodes of six battle each at least do eight battles across three episodes (they did do four per hour last year) or preferably go even more dramatic and cut it down to two episodes and blow by all of the mediocre battles (which there are plenty of) via montage. Also go back to just one adviser per team, it is unfair that someone gets to work with Lionel Richie while the other one gets Jewel, and also put them back on stage during the battle (as awkward as it looked during the first season) so the coaches could have someone in their ear before making a bad decision. I’m sure if he was there, Babyface would have been like, “no Cee-Lo, Erin Martin over Wayne’s World is a really bad idea. Think twice.” You can take the extra episodes and give them to the Blind Audition and actually show everyone (or at least everyone that gets a coach to turn around) and/or…

3. Expand the Live Rounds: I do appreciate how the show trims the fat quick and fast unlike other painfully slow shows that eliminate them one by one, but how about adding one more extra round and have teams go from 6 to 4 to 3 to 2 to the finalist.

4. Let Coach’s Poach other Team’s Castoffs: A lot of good talent went home sooner than they should have in the Live Shows, but we also lost a bunch of great talent during the Battle Round due to bad decisions (The Shields Brothers!), being at a disadvantage due to the song choice (Whitney Myer), or the coach put two strong competitors against each other (Jamie Lono, who had the second best selling song from the Blind Auditions vs. Jamar). So after all of the Battle Rounds, bring all the eliminated contestants back on stage and let each coach pick one contestant each (but coaches should not be allowed to pick someone they eliminated)

5. Bring in a Real Rock Judge: Blake Shelton is the country guy, Christina is the pop girl, Cee Lo Green is the RnB guy, and I assume Adam is supposed to be the rock guy except he is more of an RnB-pop hybrid than an actual rock singer, and the show already has those two genres covered. And without a real rocker on the panel some good rock singers were passed over in the Blind Auditions (what the heck happened to Ducky) and the one rock act to get someone to turn around, The Shield Brothers unceremoniously lost to the worst singer in the whole competition. The problem with having a real rock coach is there are not that many currently out there to choose from that are credible. There is Dave Grohl, Jack White or one of The Black Keys (or have both share a chair; actually, that would be awesome; make that happen Mark Burnett, both members of The Black Keys in the same chair) and that’s it. Maybe John Mayer but he is a much better guitarist than vocalist or maybe Kid Rock mostly for entertainment value (and you think Cee-Lo picks are weird, wait for Coach Rock). But if the best you can do for a rock judge is the dude from Nickelback, just don’t.

6. Ban Adele: No one is going to out-Adele Adele so spot letting these people think that they can just hurts the singer that tries. Naia Kete sang Turning Tables and was promptly eliminated. Kim Yarbrough sang Rolling in the Deep and was promptly eliminated. Erin sang Set Fire to the Rain and had to be saved by Blake and still almost lost to RaeLynn who bombed her Last Chance Performance.

7. Ban Anyone in the Audience Who Screams I Love You: It may seem like a cool thing when you are sitting in the crowd, but everyone sitting at home finds it annoying.

8. Get Carson to Stop the Coaches When they Ramble (or Find Someone Who Will): The pacing of the Results Shows were horrible this year and you have to blame Carson, or whoever is in his ear. There was an episode where Christina was rambling on and on leaving Blake literally a minute to make a decision which he did just in time for the show to fade to black. There was even the weird moment where Cee-Lo talked about his head told him Tony Vincent and his heart said Cheesa and then took a dramatic pause before what I assumed was to tell us if he was going with his head or his heart and Carson butted in and said Cheesa was the winner.

9. Get Rid of the Product Placement I Refuse to Acknowledge (unless they pay me) Lounge: Sure Christina Milian is easy on the eyes but the interviews are lame and who cares what @RandomPerson thought of the Gym Class Heroes performance. I understand the Product Placement I Refuse to Acknowledge pays you a lot of money to plaster their name on the show, but there has to be a better place to put it. How about the all the practices happen at the Product Placement I Refuse to Acknowledge Rehearsal Space?

10. Stop it with the Sob Stories: Yes I get it that America love a good recovery story but why does every contestant or their parent have to have or had some horrible disease that is brought up every time they are on screen?

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