The Voice

Why West Coast viewers should boycott The Voice this week and why everyone else should be ticked off


Voice coaches Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine (NBC Photo)

Voice coaches Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine each get to bring back one singer this week. But with live voting, will it matter?
(NBC Photo)

The live playoffs might be the most important nights on The Voice each season.

This is the stage of the competition where the show takes the 20 singers who have survived three rounds and whittles the group down to 12 finalists.

One of those 12 finalists will become the Season 12 winner.

So why do the show’s producers insist on ruining the live playoffs with ridiculous format changes?

You’ve got me.

In Season 11, it was live voting. In Season 12, it’s going to be a combination of live voting and comeback artists.

Couldn’t someone in the production room stand up and scream, “This makes no freaking sense!”

Apparently not. So I’ll do it for them.

First, the problems with live voting:

1. It’s a major kiss-off to all viewers in the Mountain and West Coast time zones. By the time the show airs on the West Coast, the voting will be over, the results will be in. Oh, viewers in those time zones can participate — say if they live in Cali and want to follow along on social media between 5 and 7 p.m. The show won’t show them performances, but it will tell them when to vote via Twitter and The Voice app. A much better option: Boycott the show in protest.

2. It’s a major kiss-off to anyone who can’t watch the show live. I, for instance, work second shift. I catch up on The Voice when I get home from work. Too bad for me and anyone in a similar situation. No voting for us. Oh, well, The Voice producers clearly don’t care.

3. In Season 11, the voting for each team took place while the singers were performing. In other words, viewers were being encouraged to vote BEFORE the performances were completed. So how important are the live playoff performances? Not very, apparently. Just vote for your favorite. Who cares how good they are when they take the stage Monday or Tuesday night? And performances certainly won’t matter for anyone who does manage to vote from the West Coast. For a show that celebrates “the voice,” that’s an embarrassing and inexcusable way to determine finalists.

Darby Walker performs on Top 12 night on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Darby Walker was the only West Coast singers to make the finals when The Voice used live voting in Season 11, and that was via a coach’s save, not fan voting. (NBC Photo)

4. Back to the time zone problem again. Where do you think an artist’s most ardent supporters live? Near their homes, perhaps? So how fair is live voting, East Coast time, for contestants who live in the Mountain or West Coast time zones? Not very, I’d say. Three West Coast contestants made the live playoffs in Season 11. Not one was voted into the finals. Darby Ann Walker made it, but only because Coach Miley Cyrus saved her. This season’s potential victims: Brennley Brown and Quizz Swanigan of Team Gwen, Aaliyah Rose and Aliyah Moulden of Team Blake, Anatalia Villaranda of Team Alicia, and Hanna Eyre, Lilli Passero and Josh West of Team Adam. All hail from the West Coast or Mountain time zones. For the record, a West Coast Voice contestant has never received an instant save on results night either.

Now, add the coaches’ comeback — which wasn’t used in Season 11 — and you’ve got four more contestants facing an unfair obstacle.

The coaches’ comeback allows each coach to bring back one previously eliminated artist for a second chance to advance on the show.

Under the old format, there actually was a chance that could happen. Two teams performed Monday night; two teams performed Tuesday night. Voting for each show lasted until noon the day after it aired. Results were announced Wednesday night.

There was time for word to spread that a contestant was back in the competition. There was time for a remarkable performance to go viral and influence the voting.

Under the Season 12 format, we won’t know the identity of the comeback artists until they’re announced on the night they perform. Voting for their team will likely end within an hour of that introduction. There will be very little time for word to spread to anyone not watching the show live, East Coast time. There will be no time for a performance to go viral via YouTube.

And if a comeback artist happens to hail from the West Coast … well, best of luck.

The folly begins Monday night at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Wish I could vote for the singers who deliver the best performances.

But I’ll be working.

Thanks for nothing, Voice producers.

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1 Comment

  1. TiredofTripe April 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm -  Reply

    Good for you for mentioning a boycott!

    Perhaps East Coasters should protest “The Voice” in support of West Coasters.

    We all should be infuriated.

    Thank you for mentioning this travesty.

    You are much better than that spineless twerp who replaced Michael Sleazak at tvline.

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