The Voice

Dear Voice: Those duets were a mess

Rose Short and Katie Kadan in the best of The Voice duets Monday night. (NBC Photo)

Rose Short and Katie Kadan in the best of The Voice duets Monday night. (NBC Photo)


In a statement that should surprise no one who reads this blog regularly, Voice producers often leave me baffled.

And that’s certainly true after what we witnessed Monday night.

Several seasons ago, those producers were faced with an option.

Allow semifinalists to continue performing multiple solos with a spot in the finals on the line. Offer them two shots to prove they belonged.

Or they could force the Top 8 into duets, even if some of the pairings seemed ridiculously ill-advised.

They chose the latter.

It was the wrong decision then. It remains the wrong decision seasons later.

Ah, but for Season 17, producers decided to take a bad decision and make it worse.

They decided to force the Top 8 into duets AND adopted a 1980s theme for those duets.

Who cares if five of the eight semifinalists weren’t even born in the 1980s? Who cares that the three who had been born were probably still listening to Disney tunes, not the day’s top hits?

The result was what we witnessed Monday night. Two bad performances. One middling performance. One good performance.

And even the good performance likely left fans disappointed. Because, folks, when you put Rose Short and Katie Kadan on stage together, the rafters should shake, the heavens should open and fans should be in awe by the closing note.

That didn’t happen.

So here’s what should happen.

The Voice producers should be marched into a room. They should be forced to watch those four duets over and over. Oh, let’s say for at least two hours.

Then they should be forced to answer three questions.

1. Did those performances put the members of the Top 8 in the best possible light?

2. Did they offer the Top 8 the best opportunity to show why they belong in the finals?

3. Did they produce must-see TV?

Any producer who answers “yes” to any of those three questions should immediately be marched back into that room.

And they should be forced to watch Kat Hammock and Hello Sunday — forced into one of those very ill-advised pairings — butcher “We Belong to the Night” over and over and over.

Oh, let’s say for at least two hours.

I’ll note here that The Voice’s Top 10 performance show finished third out of four networks in the TV ratings.

I’ll note here that last week’s results show scored a lower rating than a repeat of the oft-aired Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

And while The Voice rebounded to top the ratings Monday night, that figure (1.1 for adults 19 to 49) matched Season 16 for the lowest ever for a semifinal performance show.

You’d think the pressure would be on to produce must-see TV.

Instead, Voice producers seem hellbent on delivery cringe-worthy TV.

iTunes rankings for the Top 8
Song by song grades for the Top 8

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1 Comment

  1. TiredofTripe December 10, 2019 at 2:24 pm -  Reply

    The Voice producers are too busy counting their money and giving Mark Burnett ego massages.

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