Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘singing competition’

The Problem with The Voice

NBC’s The Voice returns this fall for all new episodes with new coaches: Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. This show has taken the country by storm for sure. People love the rotating chairs and the concept of finding a real singer… someone known for their Voice. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s popularity have both soared since they have been on the show. But what about the winners? Can you name one, and if so, what is the title of their hit single? So there is definitely a problem with the show as Adam Levine himself suggested. I watched this show the first 3 seasons, but gave up when I saw that you never heard from the winners again. It’s not like the contestants aren’t talented because they are. Read on for my suggestions to make this show relevant to today’s pop charts.The Voice Season 7

  1. First off I feel there is a disconnect between the show and the singer’s post Voice careers. With American Idol, they are invested with the winners. The company behind Idol (19 Entertainment) manages them after they win. So that is why the contestants do a tour and an album each for the Top 2 usually. Not so with the Voice. I think in season 1, there was a small tour for the Top Ten. There was a recent tour this past summer too. But not enough to really connect with their fans.
  2. You can say it is all about the voice all you want. But in reality, looks and personality play a big part too. So are great songs, great producers, and having a marketing budget behind you.
  3. There’s too much of The Voice on TV. With NBC, running the show 2 times a year, there is not much time for the winner to celebrate. By the time one gets their album out finally, another winner is already being crowned. The most recent winner last May 20th was Josh Kaufman. The previous winner was Tessanne Chin and her album came out July 1. Did anyone care?
  4. So much fuss is made about the celebrity mentors. Sure, star power is nice. But why not have people more relevant to becoming a star? I am thinking of songwriters, producers, stylists, talent managers, radio DJs… Dianne Warren and David Foster are 2 names that come to my mind who would be good. Pharrell being on there definitely adds something… as for me, I am more familiar with his productions and songs, than I am with his own records.
  5. NBC has 2 venues that I think should be used to promote Voice winners or contestants… The Today Show and Saturday Night Live. Why not have a winner be the musical guest on SNL, or do a morning concert on The Today Show?
  6. Why not give us a release date or a preorder option for the winner’s album? Idol has done that for the past 2 winners… Candice’s album was delayed. But Caleb Johnson’s album came out about 2 months after winning Idol. And it is good too. (I guess I was one of few to care… he debuted horribly, so Idol is having a tough time breaking stars these days too.)
  7. Let the contestants sing their own songs! I have never seen an original song on there yet. Idol is letting the contestants do originals the last few seasons. It gives the viewer a better look into what type of artist they want to be.

So will you be watching this season of The Voice? One of these days someone is going to break out. I might watch it again… and I hope that the winner actually does something this time.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Who Will Win American Idol 2013?

So we are into the Top Ten on American Idol. This is where the competition really gets interesting. Sure, Idol is the older statemen of all singing competitions, but it is still the best of them. Let me remind you, we are at season 12 here. The Voice (3 seasons), The X Factor (2 seasons) have yet to yield the level of talent or cultural relevance, that Idol had by Season 3 (Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson). Here’s my take who will win the crown for Season 12 (and the order they will leave the competition from 9 to 1):American Idol Season 12

9. Paul Jolley — He’s described himself as wanting to be the male version of Taylor Swift, doing country pop. While I think there is room in the market for someone like that, I don’t think he is it.

8. Devin Velez — He’s got several things going for him: cute, hispanic and nice voice. He’s been making poor song choices though. I would love to see him let loose more and have some fun.

7. Lazaro Arbos — Cute, stuttering boy has gotten a lot of mileage from his back story. Not sure it will carry him very far. Uneven so far in the vocal department. He may be this season’s Sanjaya.

6. Janelle Arthur — Country has done well in this competition. Her voice does seem to be a bit of a throwback to Patsy Cline. But then again, that is not what is selling in country now.

5. Burnell Taylor — He is definitely a very distinctive singer, and that is a good thing. He might be too mellow for his own good though. He should try some more uptempo numbers.

4. Kree Harrison — Not sure exactly where she is headed, she loves country, rock, blues. But she is good at all of them. Still not seeing a star, even if her voice says otherwise.

3. Amber Holcomb — Another big voiced young woman. If she believes in herself, she will go far. Unfortunately, she is pretty, and the cards are stacked against pretty girls going all the way on Idol.

2. Angie Miller — She’s a singer/songwriter type, and is best when she stays in her lane. We’ll see how she adapts to the theme weeks. She has the appeal of the girl next door.

1. Candice Glover — I remember Candice from her tryouts in past seasons. This is definitely her time, and I am glad she came back. She is a powerhouse, and the one who is “in it to win it” as Randy says. Her take on songs by Mary J. Blige and Jordin Sparks were both excellent. I look forward to hearing her album!

So that’s my predictions! Please sound off and let me know what you think.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Who Will Win American Idol Season 11?

The reality institution has shown some wear after 10 seasons. It has seen ratings decline and new shows like “The Voice” and “The X Factor” have come on challenging their formula of taking unknowns and turning them into household names overnight.American Idol Season 11

“America, you’re on fire, because this is an amazing top 10 brewing,” said judge Randy Jackson. We know some will rise to the occasion, others will crash and burn — and don’t forget a surprise elimination or 2. This year’s finalists are a diverse crop of individuals, but who’s going to win? Here are my predictions:

10. Soulful 28-year-old teacher Elise Testone of SC. Reminds me some of the girl from Season 10, Hailey Reinhart. Needs to find her groove, or she is a goner too. Despite the fact that she was good on “Let’s Stay Together,” I think her age is a factor. This is a young person’s game.

9. 17-year-old student Deandre Brackensick of CA. Otherwise known as the pretty boy with the hair he likes to flip. I liked him more with his hair pulled back.

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Singing Competition Overload

I admit it, I like reality shows. But I am starting to feel a bit of singing competition overload. In the past year, we have seen “The Voice,” “American Idol, “The Sing Off,” and “The X Factor” not to mention “America’s Got Talent” and “The Glee Project” too which have singers on them. It seems like America is searching for new talent year round now.The X Factor

“American Idol” is still the best of the bunch as far as I am concerned. There is something about taking someone who was an unknown and turning them into a star. You can’t deny the track record: all the album sales, concert tickets, Grammy Awards and even an Oscar winner from their ranks. It is a pop culture institution at this point. It introduced the world to Simon Cowell and reinvigorated the career of Paula Abdul. Sure there have been some weaker seasons and winners, but overall it is the one I still love the most. And the one I follow pretty religiously. They have 3 genuine stars from their ranks: Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood.

“The X Factor” was supposed to knock “Idol” out of the water — but it hasn’t. It has done decently in the ratings, but to me, it is not that different than “Idol.” It was renewed for season 2, but there are some things that need to be fixed. Nicole Scherzinger needs to go, she brings nothing to the competition. She is a good singer and I enjoyed her when she played in “Rent” on stage but not here. I don’t like the drastic cuts, having 2 cuts where 2 acts go. If you need to start earlier to avoid things like that, then do it. The same thing happened to “So You Think You Can Dance” when it was on in the fall (since there is a shorter time span in the fall from Sept to Dec. than when shows go in the spring from Jan. to May). The arrangements and production are so overblown. Do we need all the fireworks, and backup dancers? Sure these people want to be touring artists… but they will only get there based on vocals and great songs. I would like to see more of the actual mentoring of the contestants with their mentors. I do like the idea of having older singers and groups too, so keep those categories. It is supposed to be about the SINGERS and not the judges, so remember that!

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