News Home RSS Feed

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Voice Welcomes New Coach

Written by Jon Williams

The singing competition show The Voice began in 2011 as other networks looked to capitalize on the phenomenal popularity and ratings enjoyed by Fox’s American Idol. Knowing that Idol was brought to the U.S. from the U.K., NBC also looked abroad for inspiration, bringing The Voice stateside from its origins in Holland.

For those who haven’t seen it, the concept of The Voice begins, similar to Idol and other singing competitions, with a singer coming onstage and performing for a panel of judges. The twist is that, on this show, the judges are facing away from the performer and are able to make their appraisals only on the person’s voice and singing ability. When one (or more) of the judges hears something they like, pressing a button swings their chair around to face the performer, thereby “claiming” that performer. From that point on, the judge becomes a coach, helping the performer to achieve their fullest potential as the show progresses.

Currently midway through its sixth season, The Voice has proved to be quite a hit, scoring consistently high ratings and a number of awards and nominations. Winners of the first five seasons were Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, and Tessanne Chin, with other notable performers including Dia Frampton and Tony Lucca.

As much as the performers themselves, the show attracts attention due to its high-powered panel of celebrity judges/coaches. The original group consisted of rocker Adam Levine of Maroon 5, hip-hop and R&B star Cee Lo Green, pop diva Christina Aguilera, and country heartthrob Blake Shelton. That combination stayed together for three seasons. For the fourth season, Cee Lo and Christina Aguilera stepped away, and their seats were filled by Usher and Shakira. The original group reunited for season five, but the current season sees the season four group together again.

Recently, Cee Lo announced that he would not be returning to the show. Although the sixth season is still ongoing (the finale is set for Tuesday, May 20), a new judge for season seven has already be introduced. It will be none other than Pharrell Williams, riding the wave of success caused by his hit song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, which also features on his recently released sophomore album, GIRL. This won’t be Pharrell’s first experience with The Voice; Usher brought him in to mentor his performers (and perform himself) during season four.

In 2013, Canada got its own version of The Voice, titled La Voix. Originating in Quebec, it is currently in its second season. The first season winner, Valerie Carpentier, released her debut album in November. She was coached by Ariane Moffatt; other first season coaches were Jean-Pierre Ferland, Marie-Mai, and Marc Dupre. Of that group, only Dupre is back for the second season, which premiered on January 19. He is joined this season by Eric Lapointe, Isabelle Boulay, and Louis-Jean Cormier.

Season seven of The Voice (U.S.) will air on NBC later this year. If the excitement over Pharrell’s involvement is any indication, it’s primed to be a bigger hit than ever. Make sure to have plenty of music by past performers and their coaches on your shelves for your patrons to explore and enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment