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“The Voice” on NBC takes on FOX’s “American Idol”

This past Tuesday marked the debut of a new reality talent competition called “The Voice“. Did you see the debut show on your Harbor Green TV lift cabinet?  The Mark Burnett produced show has established singers perform a blind audition in front of four celebrity coaches – Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Blake Shelton. These blind auditions are conducted with the coaches’ backs to the contestant. They are then judged solely on their voice, not their appearance. The coaches pick contestants they would like to mentor, often leading to fights between coaches. The idea is to mentor their picks until the end where the last contestant standing will receive a $100,000 recording contract with Universal.

When the show goes live in several weeks, viewers will have a chance to vote for contestants they would like to “save” for the next round. Unlike “American Idol”, “The Voice” does not judge and vote contestants off the show, the coaches mentor artists who already have careers in entertainment.  Some have had previous deals or worked on Broadway. Contrary to “American Idol’s” massive open calls in stadiums across the country, contestants on “The Voice” were selected by a team of representatives from the show. One gleaming similarity – Frenchie Davis, who some may recall as the disqualified contestant from “Idol” in 2003, is a contestant on “The Voice”.

With the weekly TV lineup saturated with talent shows, it will be interesting to see how “The Voice” plays out. The “American Idol” finale is scheduled for May 25. Interesting to note, “The Voice” will begin airing live episodes at the end of May – coincidence?

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