The Voice has been the red headed step child of the talent television industry, with shows like X-Factor and American Idol having been the frontrunners in their sheer entertainment and production value. Executive produced by Mark Burnett of Survivor fame and created by Dutchman John De Mol, who started Big Brother and Endemol Productions back in 1997, the show debuted to unexpected critical praise during its premiere season. The show, albeit campy at times, has been an unfathomable powerhouse, mostly due to the star factor of the judges.
The likes of Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Cee-Lo Green (and a smattering of superstar guests) have been swinging their chairs around like psychiatrists at a “Schizophrenics for World Domination” convention. The premise of The Voice is unlike any other acerbic talent show out there, because the contestants are never chosen on face value, but only on their vocal ability. This gimmick has truly cemented The Voice as an influential and industry busting television show. The first and second seasons were strong front runners for the Oprah generation, as both seasons have been wrought with over stylized sentimentality and a penchant for loving the underdog. It is this, the fight for the hapless singer, which has made this show one of the most popular reality television phenomena to appear on our screens.
The third season, starting this coming Monday (10/09/12) was lauded by Adam Levine on Twitter. He sent out a Tweet a couple of days ago in which he claimed that this season, in his not so humble opinion, was going to be “the best season yet.” We will have to see for ourselves whether we are in agreement, Adam, even though we have been stuck to The Voice for the past two seasons like drooling lunatics. See, The Voice draws in its audience in an unparalleled manner, giving the audience an opportunity to root for the underdog. This is usually seen in other reality television shows, but never before in such an illustrious manner. This is what sets The Voice apart from the garden variety of reality television shows – the gentle manner in which it approaches the contestants, always nudging them along a set path.
The third season will be a milestone moment for the show, as most reality shows which survive past this point usually become a juggernaut in the television industry. Unfortunately, most of these third seasons result in television doldrums, with viewers either walking away, or the viewers sticking around for a fourth, fifth and maybe even sixth season. These dried out third season doldrums have appeared in several other reality shows, including Mark Burnett’s own god of reality television, Survivor. It has also been described as the death season, because as soon as the trilogy mark is hit, viewers seem to become bored with the format and usually demand something new to be brought to the show. American Idol was hit with this same lulling in viewership when the super successful second season with Clay Aiken came to an end and the third season introduced the likes of Fantasia Barrino, Jennifer Hudson and Diana DeGarmo. This exact same slow down of entertainment also happened in Mark Burnett’s other super successful reality television show, The Apprentice.
We believe Mark Burnett has learned from his mistakes in the past and will continue to bring us some of the greatest reality television shows in the universe, but one thing is for certain, The Voice will have to up its game with the rumoured changes this season. We really don’t want to lose this show to dwindling viewership and nonchalant production decisions which have previously crippled our favourite shows – i.e. American Idol, Survivor, America’s Next Top Model etc.
We will be watching closely, will you? Let us know in the comments below.