Will Yet Another Voice Winner Bite the Dust?

I believe I had this. Again. And a while ago, actually.

In her blog[1] immediately after the penultimate show for Season 9 of The Voice aka The Game Show with Singing, Rolling Stone/Yahoo Music writer Lyndsey Parker was already speculating that presumptive front-runner Jordan Smith would be better off not winning – “Republic Records has famously failed to promote the Voice stars it signs.”

Her opinion was echoed by Voice coach Pharrell Williams who subtly indicated on the air that Republic might not know how to promote Jordan effectively should he triumph.

And back in an October interview with Howard Stern[2], Voice coach Adam Levine was not so subtle about the show’s mismanagement of its winners and inability to produce a single star artist:

“The show ends, and they’re like, ‘OK, they don’t matter to me anymore.’”

None of this is new news to me. Exactly one year ago I posed the question, “Why would I want anybody to win?” In that blog, I cited specific details of how badly Voice winners have fared:

  • Three “winners” in seven seasons that didn’t actually get to make a record with the recording contract that was purportedly their prize.
  • A fourth, Season 5’s Tessanne Chin, released an album that sold so few copies (7,000) that it virtually was a non-release.
  • The first winner Javier Colon has said that he got so little support from the show and his “record deal” that he would have been better off losing and having the freedom to promote himself.
  • And where is last season’s winner, Sawyer Fredericks?

However, I would add one thing to Adam Levine’s rant – his failure to bite the hand that’s feeding him by casting all the blame on the record label and none on the show itself. Certainly they are complicit in this duping of the millions of weekly viewers that the show in some way matters for the contestants.

Each week for two seasons per year, NBC and the show’s producers (and to some degree the coaches) ignore the fact that The Voice’s primary partner – the record label that provides the prize – has repeatedly and utterly failed to live up to its promise for eight seasons. That promise is the reason the show exists!

Their look-the-other-way stance was never more evident than in May when I wrote on Season 7 winner Craig Wayne Boyd making his “triumphant return” to The Voice and being congratulated on all his post-show “success” by host and executive producer Carson Daly on the same day Craig had been dropped by the label just 5 months after his, uh, “victory”!

In the interest of full disclosure, the brazen dishonesty of this show drove me away some time ago, so I don’t know anything about Jordan Smith or any of the other contestants. Except this. After all the money and Emmy Awards The Voice has earned, the show needs to hold up its part of the bargain to the contestants and all of their fans, and the casual viewers that actually think the show does what it tells them it’s doing. Or is it too much to ask that a reality show be real when it really matters?


[1] The Voice Season 9 Final Showdown: Would Jordan Smith Be Better Off Not Winning? https://www.yahoo.com/music/the-voice-season-9-final-showdown-would-jordan-051804920.html

[2] Adam Levine slams record labels for mismanaging The Voice winners http://www.sunherald.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article41683695.html

Explore posts in the same categories: Mindless Rant or Intelligent Commentary, The Voice

3 Comments on “Will Yet Another Voice Winner Bite the Dust?”

  1. Val Says:

    Really – it’s just a shame. It’s a fun format to watch and the support on the show seems legit. But each “winner” is domed to obscurity and someone in the shows management is responsible for that decision.

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