By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
As Sundance Head celebrates his victory, the cast and crew are already planning the upcoming Season 12, which will welcome back the future Mrs. Blake Shelton (Gwen Stefani) to the coaches’ dais.
Before they go on their holiday sabbatical, I hope that the team prepares new ways on how to rejuvenate the only singing-based television competition show on TV.
If I were in the room with Mark Burnett, Carson Daly, and the production team, here are some of my suggestions that I would share:
Make it once a year
What makes America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior, So You Think You Can Dance, and The X Factor UK so special? Those shows air ONCE A YEAR. If NBC and the Powers-That-Be decide to bring the show back for Season 14 and Season 15, they make the show a yearly event. The ratings of the programs that I mentioned are high because they have a dedicated audience that waits on pins-and-needles for their favorite shows to air. I firmly believe that if the show moves to once a year, the ratings will soar.
Bye-bye, Adam & Blake!
I think it is time for the two original coaches should vacate their big red chairs! Over the past few seasons, I have noticed that the two stalwarts have made it harder for artists and coaches to win a season. Yes, Usher, Pharrell, and Christina won Seasons Six, Eight, and Ten respectively but 70-percent of the time, the bromance known as Shevine have mentored the winning artist. Adam has interfered so many times during the Instant Save Round that his mediocre artists that he champions (Season Eight’s Josh Davis, Season 10’s Nick Hagelin, and Season 11’s Josh Gallagher) have made it to the finale over impeccable artists such as Season Eight’s India Carney, Season 10’s Daniel Passino, and Season 11’s Ali Caldwell and Christian Cuevas. Plus, Blake’s country army has over flexed its muscles by voting members of his team through over other artists. Remove Adam and Blake from The Voice equation and I think viewers, who were turned off by Adam and Blake’s antics might come back.
Bring back Christina to coach full-time
Many of my close friends and family members know that Christina Aguilera is my favorite Voice coach! What I like about the six-time Grammy winning artist and one of Rolling Stone’s greatest singers of all-time is her brutal honesty and impeccable ability to stir the pot. In earlier seasons, I grinned when she could not remember Tony Vincent’s name and called Tony Lucca’s son—“his daughter” in Season Two and made Indie rocker Melanie Martinez squirm during Season Three! While those incidents have riled fans, Xtina has made up for it for her impromptu duets with hopefuls in the Blind Auditions that always steal the show (click on the links to watch her collaborations with Season Two’s Sera Hill, Season Five’s Michael Lynch, Season Eight’s Caitlin Caporale, and Season 10’s Joe Maye). In addition, several Voice alums grew exponentially under her tutelage including Alisan Porter, India Carney, Jacquie Lee, Matthew Schuler, Will Champlin, and friends to the blog: Frenchie Davis, Chris Mann, and Kimberly Nicole. If Adam and Blake decide to sayonara, producers should bring back Xtina so that they have an original coach help Carson captain the giant Reality TV cruise liner known as The Voice.
New blood in the coaches’ chairs
Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus came at the right time! While Adam and Blake have been there since Day One, I believe that they are ready to vacate the Coaches’ Compound for good. With Adam and Blake gone, I think it is the perfect time for show management to spice things by asking several familiar faces such as former American Idol judges Harry Connick, Jr., Steven Tyler, and (former Voice Australia coach) Keith Urban, The Next’s Gloria Estefan, Rising Star’s Brad Paisley, and X Factor USA alums Kelly Rowland and Nicole Scherzinger to sign up as a coach. Also, the show could follow The Voice UK’s example and bring in music legends (Boy George, Kylie Minogue, and Sir Tom Jones) to coach the artists. Throughout the past 11 seasons, a plethora of music legends including Babyface, Bette Midler, Cher, Dave Stewart, Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, John Fogerty, Lionel Richie, Patti LaBelle, and Stevie Nicks have previously assisted the Coaches during the Battle Rounds and Live Shows. Either one of those artists could easily fill Adam and Blake’s chairs for Season 14 and beyond!
Add a no-holds bar critic to evaluate each performance
What do Simon Cowell, LA Reid, Piers Morgan, and Nicki Minaj have in common? The answer: they were known to give hopefuls harsh and brutal feedback on talent competition shows. The Voice should add someone who is either a music blogger, talent manager, record executive or industry insider who can offer their feedback on each artist’s performance. Their presence will not only add drama to the show, but also could lock horns with both the artists and the coaches! Plus, who does not want to an industry insider tangle with either Adam, Blake, Christina, or Gwen on live television?
Add a “Golden Buzzer” element (The Fast Pass)
The Got Talent franchise has made constant dreams come true with their Golden Buzzer. The Golden Buzzer gives the judges or hosts the power to advance an act directly to the live shows. For the past four seasons, I have noticed that there were several artists each season that were deserving to advance to the Live Playoffs and were eliminated during both the Battle and Knockout Rounds. It would be interesting for the show to add a “fast pass” element to the show. The fast pass would automatically advance the artist directly to the Live Playoffs avoiding both the Battle and Knockout Rounds. In addition, the Fast Pass artists would be able to shadow all their teammates during both rounds and avoid being eliminated during those rounds. However, the only downside is that they would not be able to work with their coach or the celebrity advisors until the Live Playoffs. The fast pass would insert some needed drama into the show.
Increase The Voice alumni’s participation
What aggravates me about The Voice is the way they treat their alumni! They discard them like a used Kleenex tissue. The show should take a page out of the American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The X Factor UK’s playbook and invite them on more often. In fact, they should incorporate them into The Live Playoffs or the Semi-Finals. Earlier this year, American Idol brought back some of its top alumni to sing with their Top 24, which created some superb moments. During Top Eight week, I tweeted out possible combinations of Voice alumni with the Season 11 Top Eight including We McDonald performing with either Season Two’s Kim Yarbrough or Season Six’s Sisaundra Lewis; Billy Gilman and Christian Cuevas with Season Two’s Chris Mann and Season Six winner Josh Kaufman respectively; and Sundance Head with Season Five’s Will Champlin would have made great Voice magic. Hopefully, they could incorporate this idea along with the others for Season 12 and beyond!
I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to NBC & MGM Television.