The Voice-Another Singing Competitive Reality Series Begins Its Run Against American Idol

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It's just the strangest thing. I went to the web site for NBC's The Voice and you can buy the songs sung by the contenders in the blind auditions. BUY them? Why on earth would anyone want to BUY an audition song? I mean I might buy my granddaughter's audition song, my daughter's perhaps. But to pay money for a song sung with hopes of GETTING a singing gig?

I still suppose that this is done mostly by family and home-town fans of the contenders.

 did get the code for one contender, name is Charlotte Sometimes….I'm not making that name up.

Now let's talk about this show.

One of The Voice's bigger claims to originality is how it unabashedly goes up against American Idol. The Voice will soon begin its weekly elimination round where the mentors of the singers begin to cull down the contenders that they'd chosen in the blind auditions down to becoming their finalist to become the grand prize winner.

The most notable in terms of winning this competition is what is called the "blind auditions".

The notion is, the viewing audience must assume, that THIS singing reality competitive show is about the VOICE and nothing but the VOICE.

American Idol, you see, is softly criticized from time to time for being as much about a look or star power as the singing power of the competitor's voice.

Come on….star power is what it's all about, let's not pretend here. Of course the contender must have a good voice. The competition is tough; a mediocre singer is not going to win even if he or she exudes sex appeal or is way cool. Looks and being cool are often the tie-breakers for talent competition, particular singing talent competitions.

But goodness we've got X Factor, American Idol, The Voice...singing competitions, with America's Got Talent also featuring the talent of the song. All of these shows are fairly successful, the singing reality competition series being the stuff that draws in viewers in America, at least for now. I imagine there's enough undiscovered singing talent across the fruited plains to satisfy the demand of the filling up contender slots with every day more coming of the required age to finally enter the fray for their own vocal victory.

I'm not real clear how this show works except the blind auditions are kind of clever and fun to watch.

An amateur singer comes out on the stage and sings the allowed seconds to showcase his or her voice. Four judges, for now consisting of Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton are seated on chairs with their back to the singer. As the judge/mentor listens to the singer, they can push a buzzer that will turn their chair around to face the singer while the words "I WANT YOU" light up and surround the base of the chair.

The singer continued to the end as one or up to all four of the judges can press the buzzer and turn around. Such a contender with more than one vote can choose the judge/mentor of their choice. It must be nice to be in such a position.

At some point the judge/mentor their group and there begins a culling down of the group. Each judge/mentor gets 12 contenders via the blind auditions. After this the group is culled down via varying methodologies. Two singers will compete against each other, perhaps.. The judge then must choose the contenders that will continue on up until each judge/mentor has one contender left. Last year was this reality show's first season and I only saw bits of it at the end. Then I marveled at the audacity of launching a singing reality show right up against American Idol. I didn't think it would last.

But The Voice is back this year. We'll be following it more closely and through the miracle of DVR we will watch the shows and enjoy the competition.

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