'The Voice': What did you think?

After seeing 900 billion commercials for The Voice (and after covering Idol for the past five-and-a-half years), I figured I had to at least check it out. I hadn't counted on enjoying it as much as I did.

The show is not simple. Its concept, which was explained repeatedly through last night's two-hour premiere by host Carson Daly (whom I feel like calling a host organism, for some reason), goes like this:


There are four "coaches, not judges" -- Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. They will be forming teams of 8 contestants, whom they'll mentor. In the first round, there are blind auditions. The judges sit turned away from the stage as the contestants (who have been hand-picked for this honor) perform. If the coaches want to offer the person a chance to be on their team, the push a button that flips their chair around. If one coach turns around, the contestant is automatically on that person's team. If more than one does, the contestant gets to choose who to work with.

See? Complicated. But wait. So then, after the teams are formed, they work with their coaches, and there is a big face-off performance. The coaches will have to cut four of their eight people. After that, it goes to a live show and audience voting.

Look, I've said a million times that the finale voting process for Dancing With the Stars is more complicated than the Electoral College, but I think this show takes the cake.

That said, even though it feels like it should just be a gimmicky retread, the show is enjoyable. The interplay among the judges as they rally for the contestants to join their teams is amusing and unexpectedly warm. For as big of stars as these four are, seeing them josh each other and get so competitive is really strange and entertaining. In short, they have good chemistry.

The show opened with Cee-Lo, Adam, Christina and Blake performing Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" together, and the aforementioned chemistry was evident right off the bat.

As the show went on, there were some surprises -- a soulful-sounding voice that was coming from a 16-year-old girl, a lovely twangy tone from an average-Joe, a rocking performance from a bald-by-choice woman who just had the best time on stage. Oh, and Frenchie Davis! From season two of American Idol (but who was disqualified after topless photos of her were discovered online)! Oh, and Cee-Lo recognized her, which totally tripped Frenchie out.

There were also two different pretty-girl scenarios: one who wasn't selected by any of the judges, who had regrets after they turned around and saw her, and one who had always been worried she was succeeding because of her looks getting proof that she does indeed have chops.

I'm still trying to get a handle on what happens after the blind auditions are done, but I'll definitely be turning in again.


Did you watch? What did you think? By far the most annoying part of the show was Carson Daly. When the ads started, the campaign included a spot in which he talked and talked about how he never thought he would be involved in a show like this, but once he heard the other names involved, he decided he had to do it. Please. He's lucky that it wasn't a deal-breaker for the coaches that Carson was involved!

If you missed it, the premiere is reairing tonight at 9.