The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Provides an Escape From Our Dull Reality

Coaches Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Blake Shelton sit in their chairs as the virtual audience watches from behind. (Trae Patton/NBC)

Let’s face it: pandemics are tough. This one has certainly proven so. Every day is another weary reminder of this warped reality we are living in. Nothing is normal anymore. And at the end of the day, we want to unwind and forget about all our worries. Sometimes we just want to turn on the TV and relax for a while. 

How can we relax, though, when there’s just more horrible news every day? Sure, news is so important, especially right now when we feel so isolated from everyone else. But, sometimes we’re just not in the mood. “COVID this.” “COVID that.” Disaster after disaster. In addition to that, the upcoming election stress. Sometimes it’s all just too much.

But what does that leave us with to watch on cable TV? The options seem quite limited these days, despite there being endless amounts of channels. No wonder people prefer streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

There is one show, however, that stands out from the rest. A show completely different from the others. The Voice

Story continues below advertisement

The first episode of Season 19 premiered on Monday, October 19 on NBC. After months of being stuck at home, without concerts or plays to go see, The Voice finally gives viewers a chance to escape from the struggles of daily life again. 

The Voice, a reality singing competition, features ordinary people from across the country seeking to pursue their passion of singing and performing live (for them, at least, the show doesn’t air on TV live) on an actual stage. 

It begins with blind auditions, with the chairs of the coaches turned towards the audience instead of the stage. This leaves the coaches, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, focusing solely on the voice of the singer. It’s not about their presence on stage, their appearance, or how well they engage with the audience, like many pop singers today. It’s about their voice

When a coach is convinced enough, they press their button, and the chair turns around so they can watch the rest of the performance. By pressing the button, they are claiming the singer for their team. The singer then gets to pick one of the coaches who turned their chair, allowing them to choose which one they would like to have coaching them throughout their journey on the show. If none of the coaches turn their chairs, then the singer cannot continue on the show. The coaches each form teams with their singers, and begin sessions to work with them, encourage them and give them advice. 

This selection process is what makes the show unique. The competitors get to pick their path themselves. It doesn’t rely solely on judges who have no connection with the singers, and harshly give out criticism. Instead, the singers get to pick a coach who will guide them along the way and connect with them.

At the end of Season 18 in the spring, all the contestants had to sing from home, and the judges tuned in virtually, but this new season gives us hope for normalcy once again. The show is back to being held in the studio in LA, though everyone has to follow safety measures. The coaches are not allowed to come within six feet of the contestants, and the crew, and even some backup instrumental players are wearing masks.

Although, The Voice looks a little different from years past, due to the pandemic, it once again gives us the excitement of live(ish) performances. There is a special excitement and connection that you don’t get with shows on streaming services. There is no live in-person audience anymore, but there are audience members tuning in live via video on a screen in the back, giving the effect of an in-person audience. 

Coaches Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson pose for an announcement for The Voice Season 19, which premiered on October 19. (Billboard)

This did not deter the coaches, however. John Legend made sure to shake all the hands of the singers on his team with a long stick with a glove attached to the end (don’t worry, it was sanitized after every use). Gwen Stefami used a T-shirt launcher to shoot out a T-shirt to her singers on stage, so she didn’t have to get within six feet. Kelly Clarkson also had accessories to give out. She had a mini closet set up on the side, with purple jackets and masks saying “Team Kelly” on them for each of her teammates. Blake Shelton, however, had the funniest prop of the night. He gave a cardboard cutout of himself with a mask on to each of his team members.

This show is full of positive attitudes. The coaches share their excitement to train the next generation of stars, and the competitors have a fresh enthusiasm for singing, each bringing something new to the stage. The coaches always give some positive feedback, and truly mean it. Through their expressions, you can see the passion in their hearts for these new singers. 

The Voice is the perfect show to watch for pure entertainment at the end of a long day. We need more shows like it, because they let us be happy and enjoy music sung by ordinary people, like ourselves, who are chasing their passions, all while their icons coach them. These singers give viewers inspiration and hope during this tough time. Without concerts to go to, this is one of the closest things we’ll get to live singing in a while. Enjoy it. Tune in on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC at 8 p.m. Soak it all in. Listen to the music and feel the beat. Let it take you to a world far away from here. This is your chance to escape, even just for a little bit.

By Naomi Breuer

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Naomi Breuer
Naomi Breuer, Editor-in-Chief
I am Editor-in-Chief of Dateline this year. As a junior last year, I was a Publications Editor and Middle School News Advisor. As a sophomore, I was WIS News Editor, and Arts Editor as a freshman. Other than Dateline, I enjoy baking, playing guitar, biking and participating in Model UN.

Comments (0)

All International Dateline Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *