The Voice, as a music competition and talent show, has a certain edge over other competitions in its class. When compared with other music competitions and talent shows that have been aired for some time, The Voice stands out as being more than a talent show. This show has much more to offer than all the other music competitions out there. These conclusions are based on a comparison of The Voice and other shows like American Idol and The X Factor.
The three competitions mentioned above are without question the top three music competitions available today. Though they all have differences in their modes of operation, they all have one thing in common; they promise contestants a shot at stardom. Their judges are known faces in the entertainment industry, people these contestants look up to and want to be like. Do all these competitions fulfill this promise?
All indications so far point to the fact that they do. Aside from the top winners of the show who get record deals and other prizes, simply competing on that stage opens up doors of opportunities to the contestants who do not end up winning the top prize. In fact, few of them ever remain the same after getting to the main stage. To this extent, the competitions fulfill their promise to these contestants. The promise after-all is “a shot at stardom.”
Having been given a shot at stardom, what happens next? Not all winners of music competitions have ended up becoming stars. In fact, in many cases, far runners-up have ended up becoming stars ahead of the winners. Why is this so and what could be lacking. It is this point that makes me believe that The Voice stands out in that it is more than just a talent show. This is one show that really affects the contestants.
In American Idol, the contestants come, sing their hearts out and are critiqued by music stars they look up to. While this can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. You are not likely to be at your very best while performing before a person you idolize. The fear of failing and not meeting that person’s standard alone works against a great performance. It takes a lot of courage, confidence and even some nonchalance to be able to perform before these stars without faltering. This may be the reason some very good singers do not win but end up emerging later on the strength of their abilities.
Anyone who has ever performed before a person they idolize – especially if the person is regarded a star in the art you are attempting to perform – will tell you that nerves can easily get the better of you. This is where The Voice excels. The show ensures that the contestants spend a lot of time with the judges/mentors. During this time, the contestants easily lose their fear and awe of the star. Even if they do not entirely lose it, they at least get it under control. Nothing cures a star-struck person faster than a realization that the person they have deified is actually human with real human failings. With the stars mentoring these contestants before judging them, they reach the contestants more and are more likely to get the best out of them.
The X Factor also attempts to offer mentoring but not to the level that The Voice has taken the mentoring aspect of their show to. While watching these contestants interact with their mentors, you can see them forming a kind of bond. A lot of times in the show, the emotions emanating from the judges can almost be touched. They support their words, cheer them on and if they fail, they offer a shoulder of encouragement. Many have even gone as far as asking the contestant to hook up with them after the show so they can find a way to help them really achieve their dream despite having lost out at the show.
Believe it or not, many of these contestants become real life friends with these stars after the show. The Voice does more than give these contestants a shot at stardom. It brings them in touch with stardom. They dine with stardom, feel what it is like and learn closely from it. It is true that not every contestant on The Voice will end up being a star no matter the amount of mentoring and networking that occurs, however, they are given more opportunities to really make their dreams come true.
Really and truly, The Voice is more than a talent show. It is the music competition anyone should choose if they decide to go for one. The concept is well thought out and clearly effective. After all said and done, it is clear that The Voice is it.
Opinion By Chimerenka Odimba
NBC: About the Show
Photo Courtesy of Alatele fr’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License