The Voice does have too many contestants in Season 3

During a conference call interview last week, Laura Vivas was asked whether she thought her chances of doing well on The Voice might be diminished because she’d gotten so little airtime on the show.

After seeing most of her blind audition and most of her battle round victory wind up on the cutting-room floor, the 33-year-old was as diplomatic as possible.

“I know that I have so much more to show and I feel like it could be a blessing in disguise to be able to come out of nowhere and show everybody what it is that I have to offer,” said Laura, singer for a South Florida cover band named Re-Mix. “And I’m kind of excited about that — being able to come back and just kind of make my mark and everybody kind of going, ‘Well, who’s that?’”

Then she was asked whether the show would be better off with more or fewer contestants.

Her answer: Fewer.

“Just so everybody would have their opportunity to shine, because of the fact that everybody has put so much of their heart and soul into this. So much time, so much passion,” replied Laura, adding that getting so little airtime “does make you feel a little hurt inside, because of how much you put into it.”

And you know what?

She’s absolutely right. The Voice has too many contestants.

Honestly, I’m a little confounded over what the show is doing. In Season 1, each coach’s team had eight contestants. In Season 2, each team had 12. This season, each team has 16.

In all three seasons, some blind auditions have been glossed over, condensed to a few seconds.

But in Season 1 and Season 2, you got to meet those advancing singers in the battle rounds, all of which were shown in their entirety.

Not this year. Battle rounds are being trimmed too.

And Laura isn’t the only victim. Monday night, Loren Allred advanced from a battle round the show skipped. That marks the second time we’ve seen just a few seconds of the 22-year-old New Yorker.

Four other contestants who lost their battle rounds — Lisa Scinta, Ben Taub, Adanna Duru and Ryan Jirovec — performed twice on the show without ever being showcased.

That seems unfair to those contestants because they do invest time in the show, hoping for some national exposure, win or lose.

But it’s also unfair from a competition standpoint. Eventually, viewers will be asked to help select “The Voice.” It would help if we actually heard all the voices multiple times before the voting begins.

Fewer contestants would presumably allow the show to make sure that happens.

Limiting the number of contestants could help The Voice in another way as well.

This show is simply front-end heavy. Weeks are spent on blind auditions. Weeks are spent on battle rounds. Meanwhile, contestants disappear for weeks at a time.

Then, once the live shows begin, the eliminations come fast and furious. So fast and furious, the contestants don’t have a chance to become household names the way a finalist does on … oh, say, American Idol.

Cutting the number of blind audition and battle round shows would allow The Voice to switch to a more gradual elimination process at the tail end of the show, giving us more time to familiarize ourselves with the singers who wind up in the finals.

The Voice does lots of things right. Like superior talent. Like superior judges/coaches. Like flat-out making the show fun to watch.

But it needs to get over the notion that an ever-increasing pool of contestants makes for a better show.

It doesn’t. And Season 3 is proving the point.

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2 Responses to “The Voice does have too many contestants in Season 3”

  1. JoLee says:

    I have to agree with this article in its entirety. A lot of the names on the show I had to look up and some I didn’t even recognize the faces or couldn’t place a voice. Since the show is already more than a dozen episodes in, the structure is a little confusing. I actually had to go back on my Hopper and review some of the past episodes to see if I recognized some of the names in the show but I’m sorry to say I didn’t. There’s something to be said for a show that expects you to vote for your favorites when it doesn’t even give you the chance to get to know them.

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