Open Letter Sent To NBC:
Even a casual observer can see and hear the exponential leap into mediocrity The Voice takes as soon as it is opened up to unchecked American audience voting. Compelling and durable television is smart, unique and inspiring. But those qualities completely go away when the producers allow the audience to start determining all. Adam Levine’s notorious lament of frustration last year, “I hate this country” is totally understandable given the overwhelming country music leanings which surface over and over again in the face of audience votes. A lot of us feel there should be a separate country music version of the show.
Matthew Schuler is one of the most talented artists to emerge anywhere in recent memory. His dismissal last night is the latest harbinger of the show’s inevitable descent into unwatchable wasteland. The show’s popularity may seem unassailable – but if the producers are smart, they will see the need to change the voting mechanism to temper unbridled audience opinion as the sole driver. Instead of Twitter, find a way to bring the coaches expertise and opinions back into the equation. Or maybe there’s a way for the opinions of the initial co-coaches to weigh in at points of elimination. It is a mistake to suddenly render the celebrity coaches completely impotent at a certain point in the show. Unfiltered mob rule is always wrong and dumb. The audience wants and needs the opinions and decisions of the celebrity coaches they revere.
It will be depressing to watch the blind auditions knowing what will inevitably happen to the best and brightest. The Voice has always been one of my favorites. But unless there’s a change in the voting process, I doubt that I will watch next season or ever again.