The Voice introduces The StealPosted 12:23 pm on Monday, October 8th, 2012 by John 'Spartan' Nguyen
By guest writer Yuqi Khoo
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last couple years, it’s a well known fact that today’s reality TV show offerings are saturated with singing and talent competitions. Still, one such competition is taking reality T.V. by storm, and that show is The Voice. Only in its second year The Voice has already been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Program and has won a Critic’s Choice Television Award for Best Reality Series Competition—and the reason I’m waxing on about The Voice, is because recently Nerd Reactor was invited to a special press preview screening of the upcoming Battle Rounds.
Now I know what y’all are thinking, Nerd Reactor? The Voice? Where’s the connection?! I actually thought about that long and hard, and my answer to you is the fact that The Voice is a show that’s all about judging someone solely on their talent and voice, and there are so many underdogs and people who are showcased on the show that I think it’s a universal story. Not only is music something that everyone can appreciate, but so is the story of people who are longing not to be judged on how they look but instead what they can do; who are also wanting so badly for that one moment, that one chance to shine and prove all the haters wrong. I’m sure a lot of people reading this right now, know exactly how that feels.
Anyway, The Voice’s premise is simple, 4 teams each with a Coach vying for the title of “The Voice” along with a $100,000 grand prize, and a recording contract with Universal Music Group. The first episodes of the show were dedicated to the now infamous Blind Auditions, where singers are taken on stage to perform for the judges (Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Christina Aguilera) who each have their backs to the singer. After the Blind Auditions each of the teams is left with 16 members, and we go into my personal favorite section of the cycle—The Battle Rounds. During these episodes each of the coaches pitches one singer against another, singing the same song, and at the end of the song we are left with one singer standing. This season’s Battle Rounds also come with an exciting new twist, the rumored STEAL. That’s right, the STEAL!
In fact, I think this preview session was held solely to promote this amazing new twist, and after previewing the newest episode, I LOVE the new twist.
Carson explained the invention of the STEAL in the Q&A session held before the preview screening by saying that, “Early in Season 1, we noticed, as producers on the show, with Niki Dawson and Vicci Martinez and their particular battle round in Season 1. They had this incredible performance. It made for great TV for us. Great moment for everybody but CeeLo, who had pitted them against each other, and he ultimately had to say goodbye to one of them. And as Niki Dawson walked out of the room, I think we all went she has such a great talent, wouldn’t it be interesting if there would be a way to keep her? And cut to Season 3, The Steal enables us to offer a second shot if another coach is so inclined. We also saw the other coaches sort of salivating as Nicci was walking away.”
Not just that, but when he mentioned a mind-blowing battle session, my mind immediately jumped to the battle of EPIC proportions that went down between Jesse Campbell and Anthony Evans in Season 2. If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch and you’ll see how tough it would be to even choose one when both deserve it so badly!
After watching the screening of the inaugural Battle Round of Season 3, I would have to say that The Steal is indeed a great addition to the show that was very much needed. It definitely gave people a second chance who really deserved to stay, and it added fun and liveliness to the judges themselves during the performance because once again the power was in their hands. That alertness, and energy and excitement that really infuses the Blind Audition really came back in the Battle Rounds, so hands down I loved it and I can’t wait to see how other people respond to it.
In a hilarious way it took away that inevitable feeling of dread that I usually felt when I watched the Battle Rounds, because I knew that no matter how good someone sang, they might be eliminated; but, now knowing that another judge has a chance to save that singer that I wanted to stay so bad, I watch it with so much more excitement! The judges themselves are interesting to watch because the power plays are all back on the table as they’re each fighting for the ones that they want, wrestling so to speak with the other judges.
Also I can absolutely guarantee that this new episode will provide a mind blowing battle round that will be out of this world. I was blown away, as were quite a few other people in the room—that STEAL came in handy, because might I just say that I would have been absolutely heartbroken if one of those singers had to leave?
I suppose my only concern is with the execution of the STEAL at times. I hope to see in the future episodes that they make it less awkward for the contestants that are not lucky enough to get saved because it’s great when they do get saved, but it’s horrendously awkward for the viewer when they do not get saved—and almost a billion times more heart breaking as well! Still I’m excited and in love with this new twist, and I think CeeLo Green summed it up best during the interview, and I think that he gave some great advice in general to everyone, nerds included “the reward is in the risk you take”!
John “Spartan” Nguyen is the editor-in-chief at Nerd Reactor and is based in Orange County, CA. He is a graphic designer and illustrator.