Not wanting to be outdone by Fox’s successes with British Pop Idol spinoff American Idol, NBC looked to Europe for its own inspiration and discovered The Voice of Holland. It was from this source that #Voice was born in 2010 and it has made the format into an international media franchise. In this reality series, aspiring amateur singers put themselves in front of a panel of judges and compete for a chance to escape taco Tuesday karaoke nights or cruise ship lounge singer jobs and grasp at an opportunity for international superstardom. If they are deemed to have what it takes, they must sing in competitions with each other in front of the viewers of the show who then vote for their favorite. The one receiving the least votes leaves until there is only one left.
While @Voice implicitly touts itself as a show which focuses on the singing ability of the contestants unlike other shows with at least some focus on physical presentation and personality, @Voice is not much different from American Idol. Judges don’t mock the contestants as much and they aren’t so much as allowed to see the competitors in the first selection round, but eventually it quietly reverts to the same process with wide public voting. It is part singing contest and part popularity contest with the contestant most loved by audiences voting from their cell phones (the American Idol, if you will) ending up the winner.
Because of the show’s popularity, it has the resources to compete with American Idol very well. Its producers are even able to cast some big names as judges. Pop stars Shakira, Miley Cyrus, and Gwen Stefani have sat in the judging chairs. The presence of such big stars means that it has strong backing from the network executives and allows it to reach a high level of popularity.
The show is a behemoth, usually dominating its weeknight time slot. It doesn’t compete directly with American Idol, which broadcasts on Wednesdays and Thursdays for the most part, but it achieves slightly better ratings in its Monday and Tuesday time slot than Idol does. It almost always attracts over 10 million views, except for nights when it broadcasts recaps of other episodes. Even then, in season 11, it received 7 million views on the recap night.
As for critical buzz online, Voice beats out American Idol slightly. While the mean-spirited nature of some of the judges on American Idol is funny, it looks like it rubs some people the wrong way. #Voice tends to score someone around 6 to 7 out of 10 points with fans and 50 out of 100 with critics whereas Idol scores much lower. This doesn’t matter for the continued survival of either show, though. They’re two of the most watched programs on network television. Whether people love to watch it or love to hate it, The Voice will go on.
Do you think the show would be more entertaining if it had meaner judges? What do you think of Carson Daly as host of the show? Do you think he should be replaced? Do you prefer Miley Cyrus to Gwen Stefani? Or do you want to see Gwen come back in another season?
Season 12 will probably pop up back in early 2017, as they tend to alternate between February and September release times.
You can know for sure by subscribing to our email notification list, though. Adding your email there will get you update emails from us telling you when season 12 is officially announced or letting you know if the show is somehow cancelled.October 18, 2016