After Sundance Head won Season 11 of The Voice, Blake Shelton gave Universal Music Group a mild verbal scolding.
Blake said it was about time to make a star of a winner of The Voice, and Sundance had the makings.
But to accomplish that goal, he’d need a solid post-show debut album and a record label putting the support behind the album that Sundance deserved.
The implication: That hasn’t always happened in the past.
And the scolding was very much in order.
Republic Records, a Universal label, managed a successful debut album with cover singer Jordan Smith, The Voice’s Season 9 winner.
But its track record with former Voice contestants who have a sense of artistry is total crap. Alisan Porter recently joined the list of past finalists who signed with Universal and never released an album with the label. That list also includes Josh Kaufman, Chris Jamison, Matt McAndrew and Craig Wayne Boyd.
Here’s the problem: The Voice deserves a much harsher scolding.
The Voice doesn’t control what happens at Universal. You would imagine The Voice has a much bigger say in what airs on the show.
And it continues to thumb its nose at former contestants.
If you haven’t heard, Tuesday’s Season 12 finale will feature stand-along performances by Chris Stapleton and Zedd (with Alessia Care).
That will make seven guest performances since the Season 12 finals began that didn’t include a coach or current contestants.
Guess how many of those guest performances featured a former contestant of the show?
Just one: When Alisan performed her single “Deep Water” during the Top 11 week results show.
Let’s see: 1 out of 7? That works out to 14.3 percent. A solid F.
Past Voice finalists Jake Worthington and The Swon Brothers have released new music in 2017.
For a guest performer, The Voice serves up Maren Morris.
Past Voice finalists Dia Frampton and Juliet Simms have released new music in 2017.
For a guest performer, The Voice serves up G-Eazy.
Past Voice standouts John Taylor Williams and Luke Wade have released new music in 2017.
The Voice serves up Charlie Puth.
The list of former Voice contestants with great new music out goes on and on and one — Rebecca Loebe, Gigi Rich, Gabriel Wolfchild, Suzanna Choffel, Dustin Christensen.
The Voice serves up DNCE.
Why does it matter?
I pointed this out in an earlier blog: Alisan’s single “Deep Water” was already available when she took The Voice stage. It was not in the Top 200 on the iTunes singles chart. It wasn’t even in the Top 200 on the site’s pop chart.
One performance on The Voice and, presto. Within 24 hours, it was number 54 on the overall singles chart and number 18 on the pop singles chart.
And Season 12 isn’t an exception on The Voice in this regard. Unfortunately, it’s the norm. Guest spots very rarely go to past contestants.
Don’t get me wrong. Blake does his part. This year alone, he’s had Sundance and RaeLynn — yep, she has new music out, too — opening on his tour.
But perhaps his next scolding should be reserved for his bosses at The Voice.
Because when it comes to supporting past artists, the show’s failing grades just keep piling up.