The Voice won its fourth Emmy Sunday night.
It should not have.
One of the other nominees — The Amazing Race (CBS), American Ninja Warrior (NBC), Project Runway (Lifetime), RuPaul’s Drag Race (vh1) and Top Chef (Bravo) — just had to be more deserving of the Emmy.
Look, The Voice is a well-produced program. Most contestants seem to enjoy the experience. And it’s usually entertaining. Far more entertaining than American Idol was in its later days.
But The Voice was nominated in a category called Reality Competition. And the hallmark of any competition should be fair play.
Sorry, but The Voice flunks in that regard. Flunks with a capital F since it’s implemented format changes over the years that have made the competitive less fair. And, quite frankly, doesn’t seem to give a damn.
Let’s review Season 12 as a prime example.
* I’ve always considered the Live Playoffs the most important phase of the competition because that’s when viewers can cast votes for the first time. That’s also when finalists are selected. Season 12’s live playoffs were accompanied by live voting. Which was just fine for East Coast fans. When the playoffs aired in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, viewers were greeting by a scrolling message telling them voting was already concluded. Those fans were not amused.
* The Voice also continues to use a live twitter save to determine which contestant is eliminated once the finals begin. The problem is the same. The Twitter save occurs during a small voting window on East Coast time. Does anyone think it’s a coincidence that a West Coast contestant has never won a Twitter save?
* In both of the above cases, viewers on the West Coast are told they can participate by voting on the Voice app or Twitter. They just have to do it without seeing or hearing any of the performances. Look, blind auditions are one thing. Blind voting on a show that’s supposed to reward vocal excellence seems outright silly.
* Most damning of all — through performance order, song selection, staging and voting rule changes, The Voice continues to manipulate the show to create a desired outcome. Season 12, more than most seasons, was a prime example of that, leading to a logic-defying outcome.
An Emmy for The Voice?
Apparently. But it wasn’t deserved. Not with that track record.