Here’s a little test for you:
Name last year’s The Voice winner. No? How about the year before last?
Not likely. But we BET you can name the judges.
That’s because the show that promises to take talented hopefuls, desperate for a break, sign them up to the big shiny floor show and pair them with industry mentors with the promise they will become an industry megastar, actually hasn’t made one yet.
What it does do, very well, is feed the celebrity status, bank balances and record sales of the judges.
That’s the conclusion that Monique Bowley came to on Mamamia Out Loud this week after she sat down to watch the show that 1.5 million Australians are watching. Where she was expecting to hear the voices of talented unknowns, but found they were drowned out by the antics of the four judges.
Listen to Mons’ epic Voice critique on Mamamia Out Loud, here.
She has a point. Last week’s opening song of the show set the tone – where it was the judges performing on stage, ferociously gyrating and competing for vocal prowess. They’ve all released singles. They’ve released albums. They are going on tour and they want you to know about it, buy their tickets, see THEM.
Mons says it’s the reality TV equivalent of The Hunger Games. The judges are The Capitol, the glitterati that sit on their high throne who control the districts fate.
The contestants? Good luck. You guys are District 12. And you’re never going to be The Capitol.
It's The Hunger Voice.
So instead of seeing shiny-eyed hopefuls take their dreams to the nation, you'll find yourself watching the judges compete against each other for Best Chair Spin, Most Theatrical Chair Spin, Most Shocked Facial Expressions, Biggest Dramatic Comment, OTT Theatrics, and THEN, most astonishingly, the Gate Crash, where they slide in on contestants.
Is it entertaining? Shit yeah. Those judges are famous for a reason: they're performers. We click and read and devour all the gossip, the infighting, the tussle over the contestants.
But there comes a point where you have to think; c'mon people. It's not always about you.
Claire Howell is a lovely sounding 18 year old from The Gold Coast who has about 24 seconds in the spotlight, until Jesse J hops up on stage for a crack. Because, remember you guys, it's all about the judges.
That's a young man who was supposed to sing a Ronan Keating song. Except, well shit. That didn't happen.
And, like Monique says:
"We've heard you sing that song, Ronan. We know you can sing it well.
You've sung it, THOUSANDS of times. SO HOW 'BOUT YOU LET SOMEONE ELSE HAVE A GO.
How about you stop sliding in on people that want their time? You already have your fame. They only get 24 seconds of the spotlight. So let them have it."
It's her message, from HER voice, to The Voice.
What do you think? Has the show become too much about the judges?