I saw into the future this weekend. And the future is the Knockout Rounds of The Voice, Season 5. And, if you didn’t know, the season will start in September.
I signed a non-disclosure that said I wouldn’t reveal anything about the episode itself– ie. WHO is going to finals. So instead, I’ll blog about the experience of the TAPING. See, semantics, semantics. NBC, don’t sue me.
Here were a few details that stood out to me about the taping of The Voice:
1. Audience Wait Time: As an audience member, we were told from the get-go there’d be lots of downtime. We waited everywhere: in the security line, in the holding tent, and even in the air-conditioned auditorium. The audience staff was outgoing and made efforts to keep us upbeat, holding a mini sing-off and having the house DJ spin songs that people could dance to inside the auditorium.
2. Real Life Makes you Shorter: B was struck by how much shorter Cee-Lo Green looks in person. Christina Aguilera looks a lot tinier in real life. Actually, given the news articles on her weight loss (or is that “news” article?) she probably is smaller than she was the last time we saw her.
3. Blake Shelton is popular amongst the ladies. Why does this surprise me? The woman behind me in line couldn’t stop talking about how she was going to grab Blake Shelton’s butt. The woman next to me in the auditorium said she’d taken the day off “in order to have Blake Shelton’s babies.” Blake Shelton? Blake Shelton! I wouldn’t have guessed.
4. Makeup, makeup, makeup. Every time the judges so much as breathed, a SWAT team of makeup artists descended upon them. The most elegant of them, a tall, African-American woman with short, bleached hair and a gorgeous dress on, spent a lot of time powdering Cee-Lo’s bald head.
Makeup-time took up more time than the singing did.
5. Judges talk for a loooong time. In real-life, Cee-Lo, Adam, Blake, and Christina ramble on, trying to be diplomatic and kind, occasionally getting in a few punchy one-liners. This means that not every decision is suspenseful–sometimes, it’s obvious who’s going to be booted from the get-go.
I realized how skillful editors have to be to keep the TV audience in suspense. “It’s okay, this will be edited and montaged together,” Blake said after a particularly long comment to a contestant. Later, Christina commented, “Thank goodness this isn’t being filmed live!”
This also explains why the judges wear the same outfit for every round (1 battle round outfit, 1 knockout round outfit)…. the shows we watch as audience members were filmed over the course of 2+ days and edited together.
6. The “Voice” statues are real. And there are 2 of them. A simple thing, but for some reason I’d imagined them to be fake, like some sort of 3-D animation.
Okay, that’s all for now. As promised, I’ve revealed nothing about the finalists…..
I will say, though, that there are some killer singers in this upcoming season. Can’t wait to see the rest of ’em!
PS: Yes, like all mainstream TV, The Voice is problematic. The staff filled the front rows of every section stage-side with skinny white girls. With, of course, a few women of color scattered about. But we already know how TV reinforces the dominant [white] society’s beauty standards. Also, despite all this, I still love the show!