And here’s a warning for anyone who plans to watch: Do not — absolutely do not — get emotionally attached to the outcome.
It isn’t worth it.
Look, 13 seasons in, The Voice remains a wonderful vehicle for artists trying to raise their public profile and gain new fans.
Likewise, it’s a wonderful show for fans who want to be introduced to talented new singers.
Heck, I should dash off a thank you email to the show every time I open my Spotify account.
But as a competitive singing show — well, frankly, I’ve given up on The Voice, where producers have proven over and over again that they’ll do their damnedest to create the outcome they want.
Season 12 was the proverbial last straw.
Everyone remember last spring’s Season 12? If not, here’s a refresher.
Lauren Duski cracked the iTunes Top 200 singles chart in every phase of the competition. In five weeks of finals, she led all contestants on iTunes three times. After the performance finale, she landed at number one and number two on that chart.
Chris Blue failed to chart in the battle or knockout rounds. Through three rounds of finals, he’d finished no better than fourth among contestants on iTunes.
Yet it was Chris who got to perform in the coveted last spot twice during the final five shows. It was Chris who got the elaborate staging for his performances. It was Chris who benefited most among finalists from a rule change that allowed Top 8 night duets to count toward vote totals.
And it was Chris, not Lauren, who got to close the season’s final performance show. Even though Lauren’s performance of a self-penned original was clearly the night’s magical moment (not to mention a Billboard Hot 100 hit).
Then came the logic-defying announcement: Chris Blue was The Voice’s Season 12 champion.
Look, I get it. Sending Alicia Keys off with a coaching victory and having an R&B singer win the show for the first time since Season 2 made for a better storyline than having another triumph by a country artist from Team Blake Shelton.
But — and read this carefully — on a show where results typically mirror the iTunes chart — Chris Blue became the first winner never to lead finalists on the iTunes singles chart.
Months later, I’m still not convinced the outcome was anything more than something Voice producers imagined.
Here’s the bad news: In terms of the show determining the outcome, Season 13 promises to be worse. In fact, the 12 finalists have already been picked.
And I don’t mean that Voice producers have already selected their favorites. I mean, it’s over. Done. The shows have already been taped.
When we start meeting contestants Monday night, everyone involved with the show will already know which singers are in the Top 12.
Those live playoffs that have involved fan voting every year since Season 6 … well, they won’t be live in Season 13. You can tweet like crazy. You can stream and download songs all you want. It won’t matter one iota. The playoffs are in the can.
That’s not to mean you shouldn’t support your favorites. You should. They deserve it. The contestants don’t set the rules or the show’s schedule.
And in terms of rounding up some incredible talent, The Voice has done it again. I’ve researched most of them and trust me, once Season 13 ends, these artists are bound to release some incredible music. I’ve already pinpointed several I can’t wait to hear more from. And it won’t matter if they make the finals or get bumped in the battle round.
But as you watch Season 13, just remember: This is The Voice. A show that insists on using a Twitter save that’s never been won by a West Coast contestant. A show that has used live voting, freezing out half of the nation. A show that encourages West Coast viewers to cast votes before seeing or hearing a single performance.
A show that’s much more about putting on an entertaining show than hosting a fair competition.
So don’t get too wrapped up in the results.
As a competition, The Voice doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.