The Voice 2.0: Why do we love this shit so much?

It’s a Monday night. You’ve just got home from uni, you’ve dumped your backpack on the floor and you find yourself sliding comfortably down the couch. “Ok, I’ll get off my ass and do something productive,” you say. Do you a) look over your Crim notes, b) work on that presentation you’ve been procrastinating over or c) make plans to meet up with a friend tomorrow? “None of the above!” you say, as the TV booms “THIS IS THE VOICE”, coercing you to sit and watch, not moving a millimetre away from that comfy seat you’re in.

The Voice. Much like that one Justin Bieber song we’re ashamed to admit is in our iTunes collection, it’s that guilty pleasure we like to indulge in once in a while. Or maybe all the time. Maybe you have 7 Bieber titles. I won’t judge.

After its enormous popularity last year, the talent show is back again for 2013. Sure, the formula of the show stands out from its predecessors like Idol and Got Talent. Wannabe superstars audition ‘blind’, where the coaches, with backs turned, judge contestants purely on singing ability. Not any of this ‘image’ or ‘attractiveness’ crap. The title of ‘coach’ itself – given to the four celebs who sign on for the show – just oozes a refreshing, unprecedented aura of genuine care for their prodigies, visions of coaches and contestants hand-in-hand, skipping off into the sunset. Kudos to the Dutch creators, I guess. It’s nice to see originality hasn’t yet become extinct.

So, should we care about the show anymore? Do we need The Voice 2.0? I mean, it’s sooo 2012. Are we Monash kiddos sheep enough to jump on the bandwagon with the rest of Australian telly sponges? Surely our elitist intelligence tells us we should save brain cells. Or do we genuinely wanna watch the damn show?

Let’s examine the reasons for tuning in again this year. There’s the oh-so enjoyable task of counting the ways Seal lures auditionees into joining his team. Don’t forget to pop in a few kitsch phrases like “I feel blessed to listen to you”, “You have something I can’t give you” and “You make me believe”. Just how many of these singing hopefuls are promised worldwide fame? Surely not all of them are that amazing, right? Oh, and between auditions, viewers are spoilt with behind-the-scene footage of what OPI nail shade the Sealmonster is sporting. Quality viewing.

Then there’s Delta. LOL. Long gone are the days of her playing innocent little Nina Tucker on Neighbours, belting out Born To Try. Props to her that she’s made it to those fancy red chairs, but it sure does say a truckload about the success of your home-grown music industry when you consider who’s plonked next to her. Alas, there are the Delta outfits – was she aiming to resemble a bottle of J’adore Dior? – and her incessant need to be one of “the bros”, always late for group hugs due to her giraffing around in a pair of pay-check devouring heels. From her pitching strategy of “when words fail, blow kisses” to the Twitter account dedicated to a pair of specs she wore on set one day, you know when Delta’s in the house.

Ricky has been well-behaved, polite and only inappropriate on one odd occasion, but where’s the fun in that?

Joel Madden, with his trademark toothpick, has clearly won over Aussie hearts as the Logie award recipient for Most Popular Male New Talent. Nevertheless, it’s a constant battle between listening to his cheesy lines – “Your voice is like butter, put it on anything and it tastes good” – and pondering just how much dosh his script writer gets for them.

The producers crowd around the drawing room, strategising how to draw out as many ad breaks as possible. Then there’s the extreme close up on tears flooding down an unsuccessful singer’s face. Their upbringing, their years of heartbreak, their journey so far. Chez The Voice, you’ll get a nice big kaleidoscope of emotions, and occasionally you’ll hear someone sing.

So no, I don’t need to hear that the V Room is sponsored by Vodafone 986 times. No, I don’t buy into the “Were they or weren’t they?!?” fluff that Delta and host Darren McMullen were ever an item – obviously a crappy attempt at a marketing ploy. No, I don’t want 17 minutes of Jessika Samarges fluffing her hair while she explains that she’s more than just hot. But if you can put up with a bit of dramatisation, a few weighty promises and a tonne of clichés, you’ll get a chance to hear some quality, spine-tingling vocals. And isn’t that why we watch the show in the first place? There you have it. The Voice is your choice, young grasshopper.

Julia Greenhalf

The author Julia Greenhalf

Julia is currently doing her second year of Arts and is a sucker for a cheesy pun. She's a wordsmith by day, jazz enthusiast by night. Avid avocado addict and Big Bang Theory fanatic. Hopes to skip off into a few French sunsets one day.

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