It’s the final day of the no-longer-live play offs, and the good news was this gimmick was over before I got bored of it. The better news is next week we finally start voting, with all the result shows and iTues rankings that entails. Idol is probably shaking in their boots. For the first time ever, I’m going to agree they ought to be.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s watch Usher cut his team from five to three.
Last Wednesday, The Voice surprised us by starting a gimmick in the middle of the week. More importantly, it took away our long held–well three season held–right to vote to bring the Top 20 down to a Top 12. NBC and Mark Burnett, complicit in Voter Suppression. This is what happens when the Supreme Court votes to take away our rights. TV shows should not be considered people, my friend.
Blake already cut his team down from five to three. Tonight Teams Adam and Shakira will do the same. Let’s get to it.
Who ever heard of The Voice starting a new gimmick mid-week? But yet here we are. In what may be their first nod to not being an Idol sized hit, our last gimmick has also been switched up. Instead of going six hours in one week back to back to back, the playoffs are now running along the same schedule as everything else. An hour tonight for one team, and then the usual three-hour schedule for the other three teams.
But that does mean something was lost in the process–namely, us viewers. These PlayOffs, when they were live, were live because we at home were voting. We were voting and we were buying tracks on iTunes. Through that, we at home got to pick eight of the top twelve to go through to the Idol-like final rounds (two from each team.) That left one slot for each coach to put through their favorite, lest we choose poorly.
That’s all gone now. With the retooling to make the PlayOffs fit the schedule instead of adjusting the schedule to fit the PlayOffs, we won’t get any say in who makes the Top 12. The coaches will make all the decisions for us. You might argue that Idol does the same. Yes–but then we still have ten weeks of voting. The Voice, because they fear boring us, sends home two at a time each week. Taking away the PlayOffs means we only have five weeks of voting. By the time you’ve involved the audience, the show is practically over.
Let’s see how this goes.
It’s our last night of The BattleRounds Part Two: The BattleRounds, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I couldn’t be more thankful.
It doesn’t matter tha this “Part Two” version starred a different celebrity. It doesn’t matter that we saw the contestants being shown their last battle for critique, or were staged agreeing on what their song should be. At the end of the day, when it comes time to sing, we were sitting through the exact same pre-determined results gimmick. Tonight marks four weeks of it. Even the Blind Auditions–The Voice‘s most popular segment–dare not drag out for more than three. And I, for one, am bored.
Boredom is the kiss of death for this show. The Voice doesn’t produce Kelly Clarksons or Philip Phillips. It’s not designed to, and it’s admitted it is not really trying. This show admits it’s not about the kids, it’s about the coaches. They get away with that because, in the end, they are damned entertaining. The moment they lose that, they have nothing.
Let’s get these last battles out of the way and be thankful we won’t have to sit through anymore until the fall.
Back in the saddle for night two of our reimagined BattleRounds, now new and improved with extra British accents.
Let’s get to it.
We now come to the least effective gimmick section The Voice has. Back when the show debuted, this section didn’t exist–the cast was small enough that the show could whittle down the auditions in one set of “Demented Duet” BattleRounds and then go directly to the live shows. As the show cast expanded, the need for more Battles did too, until we found ourselves in season three with six episodes, only to still need another gimmick to get down to four contestants per mentor. This is where the “KnockOut Rounds” were created.
But the problem with the KnockOutRounds is that they were arbitrary. The producers wanted something other than a duet battle, but they didn’t have the nerve to have two contestants sing the same song two times running. So everyone sang their own thing–and the resulting decisions often felt like a bunch of judging apples to oranges, with all winners predetermined. To be fair–all the winners have been predetermined in every pretaped round. But the production has gotten better at hiding that over the years. The KnockOutRounds were the last vestige of Obviousness.
So out with the old and in with the new–the contestants will sing the same song tonight. But not one right after the other–the production still can’t bring themselves to do that. So it’s just more duets–literally two more episodes of BattleRounds. With this not-actually-new gimmick (rechristened “BattleRounds Part Two” by someone with absolutely no creativity, but a whole lot of honesty) comes a new celebrity: Chris Martin of Coldplay (but no longer of “Married to GOOPy Gwyneth Paltrow”) will be on hand to mentor all four teams of contestants. Also, because the show needs Carson to be happy, there will be Steals in this round as well. (They were added to the KnockOutRounds last fall, and worked rather well for those who thought ahead about how to use them.)
We’ve reached the end of gimmick number two. Tonight we’ll see three battles and montage our way through the rest of the contestants. Then next week it’s on to a whole brand new gimmick we’ve never seen before. Yes, the KnockOut Rounds (which were really BattleRounds Part 2) are gone and in their place…are “Battle Rounds Part 2.”
Oh. Well, at least they’ll feature the suddenly topical Chris Martin. Except these are the pretaped segments, so (much like CeeLo’s departure) these pesky gossip stories don’t exist in their world yet.
Now that Carson has finished recapping, let’s get to it.
We’re halfway through our second gimmick of the seasons and things are going swimmingly, if a little uninterestingly at this particular juncture.
Carson recaps all the snoozy, snoozy action from last week before throwing us back into it. Remember, we have twelve whole contestants to get through tonight in a two hour window. Gotta make sure there’s plenty of time for the leisurely pacing, plugs for Shakira’s new album, and excess banter.
After tonight we’ll be already halfway through our second gimmick, the BattleRounds. Carson speeds us through the recap, since we only have an hour.
I love how he acts like “The Steal” is such a big deal still instead of quickly becoming old and busted. (At least there’s word that our next gimmick, the “Knockout Rounds”–which were old and busted on arrival–are getting a make over.) He also claims we’ll be seeing 12 contestants move through tonight, when anyone who pays attention knows an hour means six. Twelve means three battles will be montaged. Thanks for taking all the suspense out of the evening Carson!
New gimmick, new gimmick! Move down, move down!
Thanks, but no thanks for the recap Carson. If the footage we’re looking at has that glossy sheen to it, it ca safely be fast forwarded through. Let’s get to what matters: which celebrities are going to get extra camera time on network TV! Much will probably be made of Team Shakira having Miranda Lambert instead of her being on her husband’s team. Speaking of which, Team Blake has The Band Perry–yes the whole band. Team Adam has the he’s-so-2013-it-hurts Aloe Blacc. Team Usher brought in the illustrious Jill Scott.
Thing being a two hour show, we’ll once again be getting through 12 contestants at a stately pace. Let’s see if I remember them all from the auditions.