I want to preface this editorial by saying that I love The Voice. I’m one of the show’s five biggest fans, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Yet there have been some choices as far as the editing of the episodes that I haven’t agreed with. The decision not to show the battles between Celica Westbrook/Lisa Scinta and Charlie Rey/Rudy Parris in their entirety during last night’s installment made me feel like I ought to address this issue and all of its ramifications.
Since the beginning, The Voice hasn’t shown parts of the competition due to time constraints. Up until Season 3, this meant that several successful blind auditions were cut down, including but not limited to Team Adam’s Casey Desmond in Season 1, Team Adam’s Nathan Parrett and Team Christina’s Ashley de la Rosa in Season 2, and Team Christina’s Lisa Scinta in Season 3. This has always struck me as unfair to both the artists and the fans. The artists’ auditions are good enough for a superstar coach to turn around, but not to show in full on TV? And how are the fans supposed to care about a singer that they barely get to meet?
Taking that philosophy into battle rounds compounds that mistake. Take, for example, the match between Celica and Lisa (pictured above). What if Lisa had won that battle? If she were able to reach the live rounds, she’d be depending on America’s vote to survive in the competition – but America would hardly know her, since they barely got to see her in either the blind audition or battle rounds. That’s what happened to Ashley de la Rosa last year – the public didn’t get to really know her until battles, and it took Christina saving her in live shows for us to see how talented she really was. By then, it was too late: she was eliminated the next time around anyway.
As it is, having been eliminated from the competition, Lisa’s post-Voice future isn’t helped by the total lack of exposure she received on the show. She got maybe two minutes of airtime. Her fans are disappointed that they didn’t get to see more of her, and how many new ones could she make with such a limited appearance, unless viewers actively sought out her download on iTunes or audition clip online (which many people don’t do)? Making it on the show at all is a great thing, but the show can do so much more for an artist just by showing their performances in full.
And then, of course, we get into how it must feel for a singer to accomplish something as awesome as making it on The Voice, only to find out that somebody’s determined their performance is only worth maybe thirty seconds. I don’t even want to know what that is like for the artists and their loved ones. If I was able to step on that stage and get Adam Levine to turn his chair, it’d be the biggest moment of my life, hands down. If I heard that was going to be reduced to a blip, I’d be crushed. These folks work and rehearse and worry for days over their auditions and battles – isn’t it the least we can do to show the results of all that effort?
There’s a certain bittersweet irony in that the show keeps getting bigger and bigger (so big, in fact, that many of us were raising the issue of the blind auditions being too long), and yet there’s still somehow not enough airtime to show the entire competition. I’m not unsympathetic to the demands of production – it must be a difficult balancing act to get rehearsal footage, the battle, and coach critiques/decisions edited down into one segment that’s less than twenty minutes – but knowing what’s riding on the finished product, the show owes it to the artists and their fans to try and do better.
I’d love to hear from the fans on this one. What do you think of the editing decisions on The Voice? If you want to see changes, what would you suggest? When you were watching the blind auditions, did you look up the artists that we didn’t see in full on the show? Or download their iTunes songs? Tell me how this affected you – and what your thoughts are.