The 12th season of The Voice premiered recently and while coaches have come and gone, presidents have come and gone, one big consistency about the show is how positive the coaches are. Superstars Adam Levine, Alicia Key, Gwen Stefani, and Blake Sheldon have great chemistry and it’s a pleasure to see their natural selves.
If you’ve missed the last 11 seasons of it, the premise is that the coaches build their “teams” which compete against each other and for the title of the voice – the initial stage is done blind and the only thing the judges hear are the voices until they decide they want the person on their team.
This show, in many ways, is the exact opposite of American Idol. It’s positive, it’s encouraging, and most importantly, the coaches are able to connect with the artists they want to develop and really be human. Adam Levine is the quintessential rock star, who’d dated a lot of supermodels, but also posts pictures of his baby daughter on Instagram. Gwen Stefani was the original badass, who also fell in love with fellow talented coach, Blake Sheldon. Alicia Keys is phenomenal, positive, a light on the show.
Some of the contestants who audition are really young – Monday night’s episode had a 15-year-old girl audition, and she was so excited when the first coach turned, that he was basically already encouraging her to keep singing. It was the absolute reaction of a teenage girl, and that’s what is pure about this show. Treating kids with kid gloves is what needs to happen – think about how young 15 really is?
And to go a little further, the coaches don’t treat the unsuccessful contestants as jokes – there’s a sense of respect and recognition that sometimes people have bad nights and sometimes they need to come back. It’s not laughing at people for having a dream, it’s not mocking them for the sake of going viral, and it’s saying something nice, even if the performance wasn’t the best. Most importantly, perhaps, the show is true to its premise – the raw talent, and not the look. And yet, the coaches, are having fun, they enjoy themselves, they’re light-hearted, and they’re not about their individual accomplishments as much as they are about helping their teams. Above all, this show is a breath of positivity in a landscape where tears and disappointment and a zero sum game mean high viewership numbers.