The Voice of America

Ashby K.

Staff Writer

They can hear the singer, but they cannot see the singer. The singing talent is astonishing, but how does the singer look?  That is what television viewers get to follow as celebrity vocal coaches can only hear, not see, the talent on The Voice, a popular NBC singing competition show. The audience can see the contestants as they audition and watch the reaction of the celebrity coaches before and after they see them perform.  Currently in its fourth season, this singing talent show has been exciting from the start.  The show offers singers the opportunity to be judged solely on their voice by singing in blind auditions.  This first stage of the show captivates audiences to keep them hanging onThe Voice AK 2 until the last singer is standing with a record deal and a ton of cash.  Season four premiered March 25, 2013.

The show is based on the original show The Voice of Holland, a Dutch singing competition television show.  The Voice begins with public auditions for all singers. As the singers advance to the taped auditions, each contestant sings one song on stage to draw the attention of the audience and the judges. The auditions are blind, which means the four judges have their chairs turned with their backs to the singers. Sophomore Hannah Braxton said, “The blind auditions are my favorite part of the show because you know how the judges really feel about the singer’s voice.” Blind auditions allow the judges to judge solely on the voices of the singers, instead of being influenced by their looks. If a judge is interested in the singer joining his/her team, the judge can press a button to turn the chair around and see the contestant. Mrs. Rhonda Cowart, social studies teacher at WHS, said, “My favorite part is when the judges turn their chairs around and see the contestant for the first time.” If more than one judge turns the chair around showing interest, the contestant gets to choose which judge he/she wants as a mentor and joins that team. If none of the coaches press the button by the end of the contestant’s performance, the contestant is eliminated immediately. During the blind auditions, the judges choose their teams, each consisting of twelve contestants.

After the blind auditions, the judges, who are aThe Voice AK 3rtists themselves, coach and mentor their contestant team members. They give the contestants advice with the help of another celebrity artist advisor.  Next, each coach sends his/her team through battle rounds, which are when the coach picks two of his own contestants to sing against each other by singing a duet together on stage. Sophomore Grace Botti said, “The duets are my favorite part of the season because they always put two different singers together to sing the same song.” After the performance, the coach picks which contestant he/she would like to keep on the team. This decision can be very hard for the coach at times. The contestant that the coach does not choose is now up for grabs, and the other three coaches have an opportunity to steal the contestant.

After the battle rounds come the knockout rounds. The contestants still sing against another contestant on their team, but they sing separately. Each contestant picks his/her own song and sings individually. The contestants do not find out who they will be singing against until minutes before going on stage. The judges pick the winner of each knockout round, and the other contestant gets sent home.

The last phase of The Voice is the live performance phase. The contestants still competing in the game perform on live television against the other contestants still remaining on their team. The audience members vote for the artist they like the most. At the end of each episode, the two players with the fewest votes get sent home. At the end of the season, the winning contestant receives $100,000 and a record deal.  Season one’s winner was Adam Levine’s R&B singing contestant Javier Colon, who has released three albums: Javier, Left of Center, and Come Through for You. Season two’s winner was Blake Shelton’s R&B/ soul singing contestant Jermaine Paul, who hThe Voice AK 5as released eight singles and is releasing his first album, titled Finally, in 2013. Season three’s winner was Blake Shelton’s pop singing contestant, Cassadee Pope; she has released four albums: Hold on Tight, Beneath It All, Candles – EP, and The Christmas EP.

This season of The Voice is in the live performance phase now. There are ten contestants left competing to be named The Voice. The remaining contestants include Amber Carrington, 19 year-old pop singer; Josiah Hawley, 27 year-old pop rock singer; Michelle Chamuel, 26 year-old pop singer; and many more. The finale performances will be aired on May 20, 2013 and the results, including announcing the winner, will be aired on May 21, 2013.

This year’s coaches on The Voice are Adam Levine, Usher, Shakira, and Blake Shelton. Adam Levine is an American singer and songwriter in the pop-rock band Maroon 5. Sophomore Katya Gaffney said, “Adam Levine is my favorite coach on The Voice because he is a great mentor to the contestants.” Usher is also an American singer and songwriter who is best known for his popular R&B and hip hop songs. Shakira is a Colombian singer and songwriter who has many other talents such as being a model, dancer, and choreographer. Blake Shelton is an American country music singer and songwriter. This year’s advisors are Hillary Scott, lead singer from the band Lady Antebellum, Sheryl Crow, singer whose music includes all genres, Pharrell Williams, lead singer from the band N.E.R.D., and Joel Madden, lead singer from the band Good Charlotte and judge on The Voice Australia. All of the coaches and advisors are very talented, so each is a fantastic choice to mentor the contestants on The Voice (season four).

The Voice has many exciting elements and grabs the viewers’ attention in a big way from the start. Celebrities, incredible singing talent, sincere reactions, surprising twists and a big win makes The Voice  a fantastic show for the entire family to enjoy.  The name of the show describes the true meaning of the show.  It is all about the voice!

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