Sound Off

The Voice: Reality TV's Best Singing Competition Yet

The Voice, which is hosted by former TRL dreamboat Carson Daly, involves four judges: Adam Levine, Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton. The judges, who serve as coaches, faced away from the auditioning singers during last night's blind auditions so as to remain unbiased in regard to each singer's image. Each coach has to recruit eight singers for his or her team. Once the teams are picked, the four judges will work on personal coaching with each of the eight artists they've chosen. The coaches, who have friendly and humorous chemistry among each other, even give up opportunities for each other if they feel another coach would be a better fit for a contestant.

One of the aspects of the The Voice's first episode was that the show got right down to business. Each contestant that was shown on the first episode was talented. Though auditions did take place prior to the round with the coaches, those rounds were not aired. Unlike American Idol or even the upcoming show The X-Factor, which has an audition process that I've been informed is a disgusting sham, there weren't any people who were aired on the first episode of the blind auditions of The Voice who were being shown to be made a fool of.

This show is all music, all talent, and all down to business. It's great to finally have a show that cuts to the chase and doesn't waste its audience's time.

After an explanation of the show's premise, The Voice kicked off with a sick cover by all four judges of "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley.

Among the show's most pleasant surprises was Frenchie Davis who, as you may remember from reality television, was disqualified from American Idol because a topless-photo scandal in 2003. It's awesome that Christina Aguilera is helping Davis keep her dream alive for the time being.

There were a handful of other particularly talented performers as well. A fantastic married couple known as Elenowen performed as a country duet that threw off the coaches, but pleasantly so. A homeless female singer put a creative, original spin on "Come As You Are" by Nirvana as nobody has ever heard it performed before.

A beautiful girl named Kelsey Rey's vocal abilities and good looks proved what this show is all about. She claimed that her looks had always helped further her career. Even though it doesn't often work this way, singers should be judged solely on their voice, and for once in her life, that's finally what she got. She sang Estelle's "American Boy" and got recruited to Cee-Lo's team.

Future episodes will include a battle round where two artists singing the same song on the same stage. Their coach will choose between them and eventually each coach will narrow down his or her team to four people. After that, the live shows will be instated, and the voting responsibilities will be turned over to the audience.

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Lenni Rosenblum