The Voice

Fair or not, here come the Top 8 duets


The Voice executive producer Carson Daly introduces another unfair twist to Season 13. (NBC Photo)

The Voice executive producer Carson Daly introduces another unfair twist to Season 13. (NBC Photo)

Okay, fans of The Voice. Here come duets on Top 8 night.

I don’t like them. I don’t think they’re fair.

Much more on that in a moment.

But we’re stuck with them. Your favorites’ fate could depend on your support.

So here’s what you need to know.

The download and streaming voting rules for all other songs will also apply to the Top 8 night duets.

If a song lands in the Top 10, both artists will get the bonus points. If you stream that song 10 times on Apple Music, both artists will get 10 votes.

In addition, there will be special Twitter voting for the duets only. If you send out a Tweet using the hashtag provided by the show — example: #MileyJenniferDuet — it will count as a vote for those two artists. You can also vote by retweeting someone else’s tweet.

The names have to be in the order the show provides. And you’re limited to one vote per Twitter account. But those votes can be cast anytime between the time the show starts on the East Coast and noon the next day.

Now comes the part of the blog where I vent. So if you’re a huge fan of the show, stop reading here.

If you’re becoming increasing frustrated with the show’s gimmicks, please read on.

So, Voice producers, let me get this straight.

We have eight talented individuals busting their butts to try to make the finals.

They’re trying to make the finals as solo artists. I mean, this isn’t “Dancing with the Stars.” You understand that, right?

Yet instead of having each contestant’s fate determined by his or her own performance, you’re going to tie it partly to their performance on a duet.

What’s worse, you’re going to make that duet more important — allow it to potentially yield more votes — than their solo performance on semifinal night.

Unbelievable!!!! Simply unbelievable!!!!

A mismatched duet between Hunter Plake and Aliyah Moulden during the Season 12 Top 8 show

A mismatched duet between Hunter Plake and Aliyah Moulden during the Season 12 Top 8 show.

Particularly unbelievable because there’s no fair way to do this.

Go ahead. Try. Pair up the eight remaining artists into four pairs where you think the partners are perfectly suited for a duet together.

I tried it several different ways. Every time I came up with one pairing that made me wonder, at least a little.

We’re going to wind up with a situation like Season 12, where alternative artist Hunter Plake wound up singing a duet with young pop artist Aliyah Moulden.

Or perhaps Season 11, where alternative rocker Aaron Gibson wound up singing with R&B belter Ali Caldwell. One big difference though. In Season 11, the duets didn’t count toward the results.

And even if you come up with the perfect pairings in Season 13, the duets are bound to be unfair in another way thanks to the show’s decision to tie them to Twitter voting.

Someone is going to be paired with the Chloe Kohanski, whose Twitter numbers are going through the roof. Someone is going to be paired with the Top 8 member with the fewest Twitter followers.

Please, Voice producers, explain to me how that can possibly be fair?

Like so many of the silly ideas coming from The Voice, there’s a simple solution to the problem.

You could let each member of the Top 8 sing two solos. You’d have to cut way down on the between-song chatter, but I’m sure it could be done.

Or let the Top 8 perform the duets. Pair the signers up in a way that makes the most musical sense. Put the songs on iTunes for fans to enjoy should they want to stream them or download them.

Just don’t count the duets are part of the voting.

Simple, right?

But, as they’re fond of saying, This is The Voice — the show where, at every turn, gimmicks seem to override fair play and common sense.

I know coaches on The Voice keep saying music shouldn’t be a competition. Adam Levine, in particular, often muses about how strange it is to think of music as a competition.

Those words sound nice.

But The Voice was created as a COMPETITION show. It merrily accepts and celebrates Emmys in a category called REALITY COMPETITION. You can bet NBC and The Voice brand are making money off hosting a COMPETITION. Fans naturally became invested in the show as a COMPETITION.

So producers should feel obligated to host the fairest singing competition they can.

If they don’t, if they keep failing in so many ways, viewers have no reason to care about their competition.

And it’s reaching the point where that’s precisely the outcome The Voice deserves.

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1 Comment

  1. TiredofTripe December 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

    I’ve read that some people view “The Voice” as a television show about a singing competition.

    “You can bet NBC and The Voice brand are making money off hosting a COMPETITION.”

    So are the coaches–the only thing the show truly cares about.

    All the producers feel obligated to do is to fill their pockets with money and to keep changing the rules as the show progresses.

    As long as the contestants get blamed, instead.

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Featured Video


Chloe Kohanski became the first female rocker to win The Voice in Season 13. She became the sixth member of Team Blake to win the show. To read what Chloe has to say about her musical future, head here.