Tonight’s premiere of NBC’s new singing show “The Voice” features a former “American Idol” star, a homeless hopeful from Atlanta, and a married couple who can’t afford to move out of the in-law’s basement.
Each is hoping to be selected in blind auditions and groomed by one of four pop music superstars: Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, country singer Blake Shelton, hip-hop icon Cee Lo Green and pop siren Christina Aguilera.
Highlights? The judges really do have chemistry. The excitement is genuine. Cee Lo, as you can’t help but notices wears a diamond watch that nearly requires you to put on sunglasses. And the button the judges push is the source of numerous potential punchlines and new catch phrases.
Still have questions before the big two-hour kickoff? No problem. We’ve got your answers…
Isn’t this just like “American Idol”? Yes. Except the judges can’t see who is singing. And they sit in big red swivel chairs that turn around when you hit a button. And they’re not judges, BTW – they’re “coaches” who will help groom the contestants they select for their teams. So actually, no. It’s nothing like “Idol”.
So what’s the prize? The contest offers $100,000 cash and a record deal with Universal Republic. “The real prize is you now know these four guys and you have been on television and you have a chance to really grow,” producer Mark Burnett insists. “People can easily say we will give you millions of dollars or whatever. But who at the beginning of their career… what use is that? All that can really do is tank you.”
How competitive are the coaches? If more than one coach shows interest in a singer, the contestant must choose between them. That’s where the celebrities have to sell themselves. “At your age, too much change in your life can be devastating,” Shelton tells one shy teen singer. “CeeLo is gonna come in dressed like Batman one day. It’ll be too much. I can be that male figure that you can depend on.” Later, Aguilera warns another auditioner not to fall for the hard sell from Levine: “He is a little bit of a wheeler dealer. He will sell a used car to your grandma.”
What’s Carson Daly’s job anyway? While the former TRL star is billed as “Host” he rarely appears on stage. In the first episode he spends almost all his time in what looks like a holding room watching the performances on TV with friends and family members.
“The Voice” airs tonight at 8:00 PM on NBC.