I realize that shows like The Voice are just games, albeit ones with real-world consequences. But as history has shown, people competing on them can have even more successful careers than those who win, by serving as a platform. And I know, too, that personal taste is just that -- personal.
But I watch TV, any TV, because I'm entertained or interested by what's one. That's why God invented the DVR and fast-forward button. I found myself using it a lot last night on The Voice and will do so in the remaining weeks. The singers who remain on the show are all quite talented, some more than others, and a couple far more talented and well-deserving of winning.
But. As much as this is all subjective, the fact that this one singer, Sissaundra Lewis, was dropped from the group of eight is one of the more boggling things I've seen on one of these shows. And it's not that she was dropped, which is bad enough, but that in the final "sudden death' save voting, she finished...last. Eighth out of eight.
And while I speak personally, I include in my comments the opinion of all four coaches who have been raving about her -- even the rival coaches -- all season, and in her final performance, as well. To the point of saying things like, "I don't know how you do what you do?" And "Do you have any idea how good you are?" And "What planet do you come from??" And "When this competition is all over, if you ever start a school to teach singing, I think all four of us just judges will sign up to learn from you."
And she finished...last???
It's not I'm personally offended. I'm not. It's not that this means anything in terms of whether she has a career after the show. It doesn't mean a thing. It's more a case (for me) of finding the show less entertaining to watch or caring much about the "results," since the public has made its sensibility clear. (And one thing they made clear is that if you're 10 years older than everyone else, be grateful that you got to the top eight.) If that's what the audience wants, so be it. That's the game. Fine. But it doesn't necessarily make for a more entertaining show. And as I said, I watch for the entertainment. Not deeply caring who wins. I wish the best to those I like the most, but...it's a game. It's the career that matters. Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles, Pink, Elton John, Sting, U2 and on and on never won a TV singing competition. They all did just fine. Ruben Studdard won American Idol. Jennifer Hudson finished seventh -- and subsequently won an Oscar. Katherine McPhee finished second -- and then starred in a TV series and movies.
I suspect that Christina Grimmie is now the singer in the lead. And she might have won anyway. And would be well-deserving. She's extremely good. My preference is otherwise, but that's moot. The point is that Ms. Grimmie doesn't have to contend with Sissaundra Lewis any longer, and the path is so much easier. I'll keep watching -- it's an entertaining show. Just not remotely (pun intended) as entertaining as it was last week. After all, as I said, I'll have my finger on the fast forward button more often.
I don't think Sissaundra Lewis's final performance was as showy or high-octane dynamic as her earlier ones. But not all songs demand that. It was every bit as wonderful a performance as her others: moody, rich, vibrant, and deeply thoughtful. And it got equal raves from the coaches, all of them. Even from the rivals, who likely felt that she was the one to "beat" as their were praising her to the rafters.
This is the person that the judges,studio audience and voting public had been watching and listening to, who finished last out of eight.
Or this. This is Sissaundra Lewis's Blind Audition, when all the coaches only had her voice to go on. And the expression on their faces as one-by-one they each turned around and watched and listened to her perform -- and fought over her to be on their team.
This is who finished last out of the final eight.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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