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Old 05-14-2019, 11:48 PM
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What's the current buzz with The Voice and American Idol?


Ever since Television Without Pity shut down (and attempts to revive it have fallen short), I've lacked a convenient one-stop source for news, highlights, discussion etc. for TV shows we don't discuss here. And the sad fact remains that my household watches singing reality shows whether or not they annoy the everloving crap out of me...and they do...so I want to have some idea of how they're doing.

First, The Voice, which, if it isn't the Blake Shelton show yet, you can be assured it will be soon. Six trophies, three more than anyone else, and it's going to be seven very soon. The top 8 announcements spoke volumes, as name after name came through for Shelton while Adam Levine got nothing. KOd two steps from the end. This, to me, indicates a very serious problem which could be what finally kills this...it's drawn the wrong kind of fans. See, one of the keys to success for a reality show is the idea that it's a contest, that everyone has at least a prayer and everyone who makes the final has a legitimate shot. When voting is involved, this means that there can't be any overwhelmingly popular contestant, and it helps a lot if there's also a rebel faction, a dedicated group of voters who like upsets and going against the grain. (That's what made Vote For The Worst such a welcome influence on the process, at least before it degenerated into just another internet cesspool.) That's why Dancing With The Stars couldn't have been a straight-up test of who was the best dancer, because otherwise we'd know the eventual winner by week 3.

The bottom line is, unpredictability makes for a good contest. And that is exactly what The Voice's fanbase is overwhelmingly, virulently dead-set against and will fight like demons to prevent. They love winners, and because Shelton is the biggest winner, they want him to keep winning...and winning...and winning...and winning. They want the rich to get richer, the strong to get stronger, the big to get bigger, and they don't want the ride to stop. Ever. And despite the legitimacy of this ridiculous feud with Adam Levine (there's a pretty good chance it's not completely legitimate, although we'll probably never know for sure) the fact remains that they see him as the enemy, therefore they want him to fail.

(There are a number of reasons for the Shelton juggernaut, but I think the really big one is that his thing is country, and country...the style, the attitude, the appearance, the techniques, the mindset, etc...never changes. There's a reason country and western are called "both major types". [And why the Dixie Chicks raised such a titanic firestorm for criticizing the President, something a metal or punk fanbase woudln't have batted an eyelid at, but that's another issue.] If Shelton was going for, say, a modern rock fanbase, he'd have to really do his homework, and eventually the fans would find him stale and end their support. That's not going to happen with country.]

American Idol has no such burden; in fact, stylewise it's not much different that the early days with Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell...only a helluva lot more annoying. Say what you will about how Abdul had no emotion and Cowell was a tryhard or Jackson said "dog" way too much; at least it was just meaningless and pointless as opposed to grating on my last nerve. Lionel Richie does nothing but spew out useless advice, Katy Perry combines the charisma of Roseanne Barr with the self-control of Connor McGregor, and that third guy is the most useless, infantile sack of crap this side of Hell's Kitchen. I get that they mean nothing and just need to move things along, but explain to me how putting on a bad Ursula the Sea Witch costume or "three words, vote vote vote" moves things along.

So if the judges aren't the draw...Heaven forbid...the singers must be the stars of the show, right? Well, there have been some really good singers, and for the most part they haven't been saddled with tired Boomer retreads which, trust me, are not the key to success for anyone in 2019. The problem is that the show is supposed to be finding the next big pop idol, or at least a pretty-okay flash in the pan a la Kris Allen. Well, I tuned in the season premiere, and guess what: they're STILL flogging Kelly Clarkson. Guys, how do I put this...the woman just turned 37. She now belongs to an era where if you are a young person who admits to being a fan, you will get made fun of. Why has almost no one else panned out, even the ones that were supposed to? What happened to all the fans who clamored for Adam Lambert to be a superstar? Where's David Cook? I thought he was a sure thing, dammit! Jordin Sparkz still just has that one mediocre DDR song?

So, where is America at with these two shows? Can they produce anything meaningful other than an alternative to dating shows? Are the ratings a cause for concern yet?
  #2  
Old 05-15-2019, 09:50 AM
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In case you weren't aware, you can still find some TWP-ish content on PrimeTimer (the forums are reasonably active for some shows)

I've never been a The Voice fan but I caught an episode this week and all of the singers were pretty terrible. I know in the past they've had incredibly talent so I don't know if I just caught an off night or what but BLECH

I used to be a hardcore American Idol fan but missed all of last season. I'm back on the wagon this year, I skipped most of the auditions but I've watched almost all of the competition episodes (thank goodness for DVR) and while I'd say the talent is about on par with previous years, the judges are indeed pretty lame. They generally offer no constructive criticism whatsoever... I can only assume since moving to Disney-owned ABC that they wanted to keep everything light and supportive (even the audition rounds skipped over the trainwreck singers, which had been a staple of Fox American Idol...) so... I still kind of enjoy watching AI as brainless background content but it is definitely not MUST SEE TV
  #3  
Old 05-15-2019, 10:03 AM
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I used to enjoy the American Idol threads here too! These days, I don't make it a point to watch, but it just so happens I've seen the last few weeks of this season. They have some talented kids, but I only really liked one contestant, Wayne Cota. He was a really big guy with a husky, rock-singing voice, and I'm surprised he got as far as he did. However, last week they let him go, and I can't even remember which three are left but the season is about to end.


DKW, I got a bang out of your description of the AI judges! So very sad and true.
However, a nit to pick about Adam Lambert...he did get to be a superstar, didn't he? He sings for freakin' Queen!


Now The Voice... I've never seen.
  #4  
Old 05-15-2019, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKW View Post
The bottom line is, unpredictability makes for a good contest. And that is exactly what The Voice's fanbase is overwhelmingly, virulently dead-set against and will fight like demons to prevent. They love winners, and because Shelton is the biggest winner, they want him to keep winning...and winning...and winning...and winning. They want the rich to get richer, the strong to get stronger, the big to get bigger, and they don't want the ride to stop. Ever. And despite the legitimacy of this ridiculous feud with Adam Levine (there's a pretty good chance it's not completely legitimate, although we'll probably never know for sure) the fact remains that they see him as the enemy, therefore they want him to fail.
I don't think it's as much that, as it is, the show's viewer base is pretty much "locked in" (either you're going to watch the show regularly, or not at all), and it seems as if it has turned into a contest for the judges rather than the singers. "This season's winner is Blake's singer, whose name is not really important as they won't be making many appearances outside of NBC events like the New York July 4 Fireworks and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting." I am under the impression that Dancing With the Stars has a similar fan base issue where they vote more for the professional than the celebrity (and if the professionals didn't have their dedicated fans, then there wouldn't be a tour, since they're the only ones on it).
  #5  
Old 05-19-2019, 04:16 AM
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Thanks for the link, amaguri. Not an exhaustive resource by any means, but it has reasoned discussion, and that's all I really need right now. (Impressed by how courteous its message boards are...wasn't sure that was a thing anymore! )

As far as I can tell, Adam tried to prop up a contestant who had to miss a performance due to a sick day, plus he supposedly instigated this ludicrous feud with Blake, and that's what caused the ginormo backlash that left him dead by the round of 8. Aside from the the fact that all four of The Voice's judges annoy the crap out of me for various reasons so I fail to see how one is worse than the others, this seems astoundingly half-baked. Yes, the fans are pitiful, craven, down-punching worms who will dogpile and send disproportionate "messages" for the flimsiest of reasons, but there are reasons. The reasonable consensus is that Adam was simply hosed by the newfangled cross battles, which allowed Blake's fanbase to eat him sooner than in previous seasons. Kelly was hit hard too, but she didn't have the baggage of being Blake's Enemy, so she (barely) survived for one more round.

At this point, I'm just curious to know what exactly the winner of The Voice gets. American Idol's guaranteed contract and live tour are common knowledge, but I never heard anything about the actual, tangible rewards for The Voice. There was one who had a pretty successful album...I think? Or was on the radio? I don't listen to pop stations anymore, so I wouldn't know.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:58 AM
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Blake lost the last two seasons to Kelly Clarkson.

This year he has 3 in the final and John Legend has Maelyn Jarmon. She's been the fan favorite all season.

Voting can be unpredictable. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Blake come in 2nd again.

I don't mind because the show is more interesting when it's competitive.

I missed a lot of this season. I wasn't as interested in watching it. Found the cross battles confusing.

I will watch the final.

Last edited by aceplace57; 05-19-2019 at 12:02 PM.
  #7  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:29 PM
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For the first time, I watched both shows concurrently.

American Idol: Impressive talent, horrible judges.

The Voice: Good judges, horrible talent. I didn't even care about who won.

SPOILER:
Laine only won Idol 'cause he's pretty; it should have been Madison or Alejandro.
  #8  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
For the first time, I watched both shows concurrently.

American Idol: Impressive talent, horrible judges.

The Voice: Good judges, horrible talent. I didn't even care about who won.
Couldn't agree more. I don't necessarily think AI needs an "evil" judge but they do need to offer some constructive criticism (or, jeez, at least not repeat the EXACT same comments for each contestant across the ENTIRE season!)
  #9  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:51 PM
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I was rooting for Laine solely on the basis of his wardrobe.
  #10  
Old 05-25-2019, 02:34 AM
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I love American Idol, I have watched it since Adam Lambert’s year. Jeremiah was my favorite this year. I watched The Voice for the first time this year. I thought it was ok but I like Idol better.

I check this site regularly to see what’s going on in Idol world. MJ also follows The Voice, DWTS and some other similar ones.

https://www.mjsbigblog.com/
  #11  
Old 05-25-2019, 05:52 AM
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So Adam Levine is out. No surprise there. He was a marked man for quite a while, but this season it seems the bottom completely fell out.

As for why? Well, a few fans mentioned his ego, but I'm not buying that (heck, if that's a dealbreaker, Blake should've worn out his welcome about 12 seasons ago). The least nonsensical reason I could find was that he pleaded for voters to choose one contestant over another because she was out sick but he liked her and wanted to continue, and the fans of the other contestant were furious that he "threw him under the bus" and decided to get revenge by...throwing all of his next season's contestants under the bus. (Excuse me for a sec.... ) Now, I get that (Wait, not enough... Okay, that should do it.) this is a contest governed by voting and thus will frequently make no sense whatsoever. But this is the unforgivable sin that taints him for life?? For the love of Richard Hatch, this is reality TV! The whole point is determining who stays and who goes! Ya picks yer horse and ya bets yer money! Y'know what, I'm getting the distinct feeling that the reason he's so hated is that he doesn't try to hide that The Voice is an utterly contrived pile of white noise that means next to nothing, and this kind of honesty makes fans really uncomfortable. Whatever, fun while it lasted, happy trails, we'll always have Honolulu, etc.

As for the finale...man. Did not see that coming at all. All signs were pointing to a complete Blake whitewash. The pieces were in place: Massive cast-in-stone country fanbase, upstart Kelly winning the last to contests so he's "due", irrational desire to run Adam out of town on a rail. The one thing that could've spoiled for him, splitting the vote, was rendered moot due to vote limits for individual contestants; fans could fully back each of his guys and still make it to the hoedown in plenty of time. He had this on a gold platter. Well, it turns out that even gold isn't as precious as platinum, which is exactly what Maelyn Jarmon was. (Damn. John Legend...the rookie...took him down. That has to be withering.)

So what does this tell us? I'm thinking one of these three things:
- Spite is a double-edged sword. It was fairly obvious that at least part of the reason Blake got 5 of the final 8 spots was because fans despised Adam and thought Kelly's wins were undeserved or were afraid she would become a juggernaut. But there was an anti-Blake contingent as well, and once they were down to one choice, that made her all but unstoppable. Having the songs that didn't sound exactly the same as all the other damn songs two weeks in a row certainly didn't hurt either.
- Outlive your usefulness and you're meat on the table. The spite was against Adam and to a lesser extent Kelly; nobody had a big grudge against John. Once Kelly's last candidate went down, Blake had served his purpose, and there was no further incentive to prop up any of his boys.
- Nothing is forever. As much as Hicksville loved Willie Nelson or Hank Williams or Dolly Parton, at some point even they need new blood. Everything about Blake was stale...the jokes, the ridiculous feuds, the preaching and pleading, the chest-thumping. He'd gotten old, and even if you're all country, you don't have to be all his flavor of it.

I could be wrong. Heck, given my usual track record, I probably am. What do you think?

Quick end note...I just found out that American Idol killed The Voice in the ratings this year. To be honest, although I find AI irritating as hell now, there never was any point in the original Fox incarnation that I found it unbearable. Now it looks like it's making a serious comeback. Nobody seems to have any illusions about finding the next big idol anymore, so what's its edge, what's it doing right?
  #12  
Old Yesterday, 11:12 AM
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But this is the unforgivable sin that taints him for life?? For the love of Richard Hatch, this is reality TV! The whole point is determining who stays and who goes! Ya picks yer horse and ya bets yer money!
You seem to be forgetting that he DID pick his horse, then campaigned against said horse (who performed well enough) just because a cute young singer (who wasn't that great) on someone else's team had a cold. I neither love nor hate Adam Levine, but if you watched that moment I can't believe you don't get how truly ridiculous and distasteful it was. He had a good rapport/energy with Kelly and Blake, but I'm glad he's not returning as a judge.

Quote:
Nobody seems to have any illusions about finding the next big idol anymore, so what's its edge, what's it doing right?
Much, much better singers.

It could also be that the AI judges are so awful they're great (to some people).
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