Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Voice

Over on Janet's Journal, I said I was going to do a post about The Voice.  If you haven't seen this show yet, I really wouldn't bother.  It was only the first couple of episodes I want to talk about anyway, and after those two, they changed the format to a kind of steel-cage death match for singers.  (Imagine two girls inside a mock boxing ring screaming singing Pink's F***in' Perfect at each other - offkey, no less.  I wanted to rip my own ears off.  Thank goodness I didn't have to resort to that because I have a remote and working fingers.)

Nope, I want to focus on the format of those first two episodes.  Four judges of varying goodness (in my opinion) with varying qualifications sit with their backs to the singer.  The singer walks on stage and starts singing.  The minute a judge thinks he can work with the singer, he hits a button indicates he's interested.  If more than one judge hits the button, the singer has to pick between them - choosing whoever she thinks would be best at furthering her career.

Sound familiar?

Sure, in the query process, there aren't any fancy spinning chairs with flashy lights.  You only sing to one judge at a time.  And there are way more than 4 judges.  Still, there we are putting our work out to a group of faceless judges who have no clue who we really are - other than that one performance. 

One shot.  That's all we get.  And with that one performance, we have to present our work in the best light possible just to stay in the game.  Except sometimes we just shoot ourselves in the foot...

On one of the episodes of The Voice, a guy came out with his guitar.  He had an okay voice, and he looked like he ought to be singing something Country/Western.  I think his voice would've lent itself well to something in the vein of Garth Brooks or that other guy who sings patriotic songs (I don't listen to country much, can ya tell).  Then he started singing a song I'd never heard before that, in my opinion, kinda sucked.  None of the judges hit their button for him, but after he was done, Blake Shelton (the country singer judge) told the guy he should've never picked a Lady Gaga song.

Well, duh.

Another gal came out, and I thought she was quite nice.  She did something country as well, but she picked a song by Blake Shelton's fiancee - on purpose, hoping it would give her an edge.  No one hit for her either.  Blake's answer was that he was intimately familiar with her music choice and she didn't offer anything new or different to something he already loved. 

See where I'm going here?

And then we came to this pretty little blonde - covered in tattoos and looking a bit like Gwen Stefani (after she went solo and got better personal hygiene).  This girl came out with Pink's Sober.  And she slaughtered it.  She tried every vocal trick in the book, but she couldn't sing the way Pink sings.  Maybe she shouldn't have tried.  Maybe if she'd tried something simpler, she might've made it.  (Okay, so Aguilera picked her for her team, but that makes my point. I don't like that woman, at all.)

In the first case, we have a guy who went with the wrong genre.  Maybe he did it because he thought the song was popular, but he failed by not sticking to his strengths.

In the second case, we have a girl who thought she was giving herself a boost by picking a story the judge loved - but she gave him the same old same old without adding anything new or special enough to get representation.

In the last case, we had a girl who could've used a few more years working on her craft but went for it anyway and ended up with a judge who wasn't all that good herself.  (Time will tell whether this chick actually makes it big despite my criticisms.  Stranger things have happened.)

Okay, I got distracted thinking about how popular Aguilera is even though I can't stand her, and now I can't remember where I was going with all this. 

I guess my point is that sometimes we do the best we can and still don't get the success we were looking for.   (Like the one kid who sang Train's Hey Soul Sister (better than Train, if you ask me) and only got a hit from the country/western guy.  He looked totally bummed, but them's the breaks.)  And sometimes we only think we're doing the best we can but we're only getting in our own ways.   

Or maybe I didn't have a point and this was just an interesting analogy.  Hey, cut me a break.  It's early on a Sunday morning here.  =op

What do you think?  Did any of you watch The Voice? 


  1. What a great comparison! I don't watch "The Voice," but you explained it perfectly. Now I feel like I need to see it just because it makes so much sense when analyzed from a query point of view.

  2. Ooh, so glad I didn't invest my time in that show - the next stage of the competition sounds horrendous!

    But your analogy/comparison of the first stage and writing is brilliant. Thanks for sharing your thoughts - and reminding me that querying is a diffiicult process everyone has to go through.

  3. I loved your analogy! Didn't see the Voice but not sure I can now. I'll get all anxious because it'll be too much like querying!

  4. Interesting comparison! I heard it was really good, but now you say no. Haven't seen it yet. Might give it a shot, we'll see.

  5. Great analogy. My friends have been oohing and aahing over The Voice but I haven't been able to watch it yet.

    One shot. You're so right. And if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.