The shocking elimination of Amanda Brown on The Voice once again substantiated our theory of reality television’s subliminal production techniques. Amanda, the sole front-runner, was already touted as the winner of the competition, but during Tuesday night’s elimination show, both Amanda and Melanie Martinez were given the boot by the home audience. Whilst we’re still reeling from the loss of Amanda, Celeb Dirty Laundry decided to do some investigation into the reality television phenomenon of singing talent competitions, and show readers and fans of The Voice that an elimination of a front-runner contestant should never, ever come as a surprise.
We’ve already theorized that a set type of personality is usually cast on any given reality television show – the lover, the villain, the underdog, the superhero, the martyr, the victim, the sorry Susan, the manipulator, the drama queen – and we’ve discussed, at length, why certain contestants are voted off from reality television shows.
Amanda and Melanie were up against four of the most important archetypes in any reality show – Nicholas David, the eccentric and unorthodox superhero; Cassadee Pope, the sentimental underdog with a powerful teen demographic voting bloc; Trevin Hunte, the power lover with a voice made of gold; and Terry McDermott, the unique Scotsman who dialed into the middle-aged demographic. In fact, many fans of the show have already asserted that this is the most tightly contested season in the history of the series, and that a 6-way-tie would have been the perfect outcome. Unfortunately, reality television doesn’t work like that, as only one person is able to walk away with the title and the prize at the end of the season. While viewers tend to believe that votes are cast according to singing ability, this naïve idea of voting is actually a popular fallacy amongst reality television aficionados. The votes are never cast for the best singer; they are, instead, cast for the most popular person and the contestant with the most interesting back story and/or archetype. The history of reality television almost always repeats itself, as fans of shows never really deviate from their set voting blocs. American Idol, X-Factor, and The Voice fans move in the same circles of reality television, so the shadow of premature elimination will follow almost all of the contestants on every single season of these shows.
Amanda’s elimination was mostly due to a decrease in individuality and popularity. She might have stood out vocally, but she was nowhere personable and identifiable enough to survive the onslaught of voting blocs. Amanda was not able to fit into any of the respective personality types, and because of that, she was eliminated prematurely. Reality TV trends dictate that viewers usually stick to what they know best and a professional singer with exquisite vocal control and tone is not part of the larger picture. Viewers tend to vote for the contestants who they are most easily able to relate to, and no one could really relate to Amanda on a personal and sympathetic level. Also, Amanda’s heavily publicized stint as a backup singer for Adele and Alicia Keys did not count in her favor. It seems that viewers tend to stop voting for these contestants when the finale is in sight, as they presumably believe that the contestant already has a career ahead of him/her. They couldn’t be further from the truth.
All in all, Amanda’s shocking elimination should be taken with a pinch of salt. Viewers adversely react to any form of talent in these reality television shows, as they have a tendency to stick to contestants who fit into their personal idea of what a reality talent winner should look like. It has been proven time and time again that reality television should not be used as a rule of thumb, and that many of these contestants usually have long, healthy, and prosperous careers ahead of them. Case in point: Jennifer Hudson.
Don’t cry a river over Amanda Brown. She is most probably better off not having the title of The Voice 2012. Look at what happened to Javier Colon and Jermaine Paul – they became distant memories of a 15-second reality television fairytale.