Editorial: Let’s Talk About Editing

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.

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Exclusive to Big Red Chairs. No reproduction permitted. All rights reserved.





9 thoughts on “Editorial: Let’s Talk About Editing

  1. I agree with you 100% on these points, Brittany! And while I do understand that production and editing is not EASY, I personally feel that they showed a few too many underwhelming blind auditions in which none of the coaches turned their chairs. Now, there are SOME blind auditions in which the coaches didn’t turn around that very much deserved air-time–Anita Antoinette w/”No Woman No Cry” for example! However, there were some underwhelming Blinds where @ the end, I found myself wishing I had those last 5 mins of my life back!! Here is what I think could/should have been done:

    Cut the underwhelming blind auditions in which the coaches didn’t turn around in 1/2…in terms of both length of segment (if you MUST include them), and number included! That could have EASILY cut the entire show down by an entire episode! Had they done this, the Blinds could’ve ended an episode early and there would have been NO NEED for the “filler episode” of the “Best of the Blinds”, or whatever they called it?!?! (I admit, I didn’t even watch that episode–I had something more pressing to do that night–but wasn’t even all that concerned when I realized I didn’t DVR it!) The Battle Rounds could have started a week earlier, thus giving them 2 episodes, or 3 additional HOURS of air time for the Battle Rounds. Surely they wouldn’t have had to cut any of them short in this case?!?!

    Yes, I have given this some thought because I was pretty peeved, you could even go so far as to say I was APPALLED, at the stripped down Battle Rounds last night! I’m glad you brought it up!


    You think The Voice might need a Production Assistant?!?!?! Hahahaha!

  2. I feel bad for Lisa Scinta being edited out twice. Same for Sam James, who got edited out twice in two seasons (he’s the third guy who came back and made it the second time). I understand that NBC is trying to balance the music against what makes compelling TV, and I don’t have a problem with all of the blind auditions that didn’t get a chair turned, because they all had interesting personal stories worthy of airtime, regardless of the outcome. Except for Moses Stone, those few full videos that I’ve managed to find haven’t been that great, in all honesty (quite a bit of pitchiness and a noticeable lack of banter between the coaches), and I still remember the very painful Xenia v. Sara battle from season 1. But, there’s still stuff they could do to avoid what they did to Lisa Scinta. One would be to advertise during the broadcast that viewers can see the full video segment – including the contestant intro for the blind audition, and the coaching footage for the battle – online. Another would be to switch back to showing 4 battles an hour (like in season 1) instead of 3 an hour. Is it my imagination, or is more of the airtime gone to commercials, now? I also like the suggestion of replacing the “Best Of” episode with a real episode with the performances that were edited out.

  3. Well, now we know – there’s going to be 3 weeks of battles – 9 hours total, which gives time for 27 of the 32 battles. The Knock-outs (which sound very much like last year’s “instant eliminations”) are being broadcast during the last week of October. That means there’s 3 more battles to be dropped. Hmm.

    1. Wow. I really do think we need to cut back on the number of artists and get back to an amount that can be completely accomodated.

      Not to mention, that means live shows will probably go November-early December (because you know no one will be working around the winter holidays), and that’ll leave what? Two months before Season 4 starts broadcasting (assuming it goes in the February post-Super Bowl slot again)? The word “burnout” keeps rolling around in my head, for everyone involved. Particularly Adam and Blake, because at least Cee Lo and Christina are on to other things after this.

      1. It’s not just Adam and Blake juggling 26 singers each between two seasons, this time. They’re just the first two to go through this. It’s going to be an issue for any coach who agrees to do two consecutive seasons, from now on.

        There’s a lot of dynamic forces at work, here. On the one hand are all the people involved in The Voice, itself, and the experience that the contestants receive – of which the TV footage is only one part of, though a very important part. (To me, it sounds like the ultimate music camp.) But on the other is the network, which is clearly leveraging whatever it can out of the show to rebuild their program portfolio. Remember that NBC gave them a shot at this music show, in the very beginning, when no one could compete against the American Idol juggernaut. Now, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are all winning nights, thanks to football and a lot of The Voice leading in for the shows that follow. And don’t forget their opening Wednesday whammy on X-Factor, either. Season 3 is being pumped up for November sweeps; I’m sure season 4 will hit either the Feb or May sweeps (hopefully not both, as that would make for a very long season).

        We’ve come a long way from the little summer replacement show, haven’t we? Now, it seems like every singing show, foreign or domestic, has big superstar singers offering (or attempting to offer) constructive critiques to aspiring artists – and bantering/bickering among themselves at the same time. And every show has their expensive star attraction sitting in the middle seat. The whole look and feel has changed.

        For me, 12 singers per team is about all I can keep track of; it’s a happy medium between 8 and 16. Ten would be better for my poor head. I like the steal, but in limited amounts, so I hope that feature doesn’t grow into a free-for-all in future seasons. With the coaches rotating in and out, I hope the show can stay true to its roots, and not lose perspective in all the bigness that comes with success.

        And there’s my two cent editorial. Chow.

  4. I just discovered your blog, I like it 🙂 I think I will just read the recaps here and watch the videos on youtube, because the talking between songs is really to long when you have a crappy internet connexion as I do.

    As for the editing, I agree, it’s a shame. They should at least put the full performances online and mention during the show that they’re available. Now, it’s just as if it never happened. At least, it’s not on their youtube channel… Only the cropped version. Too bad, I really wanted to see that duo of rudy and charlie, I love the song they performed.

    1. Aw. thanks Stephanie! I am trying to find the full missing duets and as soon as I do, I’ll post them.

      I’m not sure who maintains the official YouTube channel, but they’re not perfect. I know they pulled all the Season 2 videos after awhile, then brought some but not all of them back…it gets confusing sometimes.

  5. I agree 100%!!! I feel cheated when I don’t get to see full performances. Do less of something else and NEVER leave out any part of a performance!!!! Not fair to performers, frustrating for audiences, and smells of partiality within The Voice creators, producers, and judges.

  6. I definitely agree with your points here. Because the auditions and battle rounds are both pretaped a couple of months in advance, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t go back and edit the audition footage to make sure they at least show every battle winners’ audition performances. They know which singers are going to the live shows where the viewers help decide their fate. It’s absolutely irresponsible on their part to omit those performances in favor of extended “sob story” footage and commercials.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing the background of each contestant because it makes me feel more connected to them. But when entire auditions and battle rounds are on the cutting room floor, we don’t need to hear what a contestant had for breakfast three days ago!!! Especially for a show that prides itself on focusing solely on the voice, it’d be nice to see them break the mold of soliciting sympathy votes. It’s important to give us some insight into where the contestants get their passion and emotions from in their performances, but it shouldn’t take precedence over, y’know, the voice.

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