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The Voice virtual telecast of the TOP 17 challenges the mind. It raise many question sued up with HOW DID THEY DO THAT telecast? The talent's performances were excellent. Their songs choices and studio settings was each contestants creation. BUT… how did this show as the Beatles sang… COME TOGETHER?



Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Please excuse me but due to my having a background as a musician, journalist and smalltime TV producer I need to initiate creative license in the structure and technical perspective of this column. I've done my research and have many questions that remain in my mind. For many of THE VOICE viewers the saying WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW WON'T HURT YOU applies.

Firstly the opening of the show was a smashing hit with James Taylor singing a song devoted to dealing with and overcoming the hardships of the quarantine brought on by the COVID-19. He was joined virtually by the harmonies and singing of the contestants on the show. It was brilliant BUT… HOW DID THEY DO THAT? I WANT THAT SONG!

Prior to THE VOICE - TOP 17 show with the quarantine COVID-19 limitations the question arose how are going to do it. To some degree most of the questions were answered from the top of the show when host Carson Daly explained that each contestant and coach received a video production kit that they had to assemble. Twenty one feeds from 21 areas had to be put together.

The TOP 17 contestants were responsible for choosing their own songs and setting for the background of their home studios. All songs sang by the artists were prerecorded prior to the airing of the so called LIVE SHOW. Although prerecorded and live are two different things the reasons why all makes sense.

That explains the singer's performances. The comments by their coaches remains unexplained BUT logically if their selling the show to be a live event lets assume that after televising the prerecorded performances that the live part comes into effect when the coaches make their comments and the contestants listen.

What fails to make sense is HOW did the music and musicians come together to back the vocals. Although the vocals were prerecorded were the musicians listening to the vocals IN REAL TIME and playing along OR were the vocals done with a click track OR mechanical rhythm to maintain timing. THEN… was the music laired on independently instrument by instrument after the vocals? HOW WAS ALL OF THIS SYNCHRONIZATION DONE?

The magic then requires for someone to MIX and BLEND all of the tracks together. Given that there is a delay time factor in doing remote locations that is clearly evident when during a news telecast there is a delay time when the host of a news show is communicating with a reporter in the field. Given that The Voice claims they had 21 FEEDS to deal with that explains the 17 singers and 4 coaches. That raises the question HOW WERE THE MUSICIANS FEEDS FACTORED IN?

The bottom line is the production under such conditions was superb, BRILLIANT and other words that escape me at this time. The one explanation that could have featured in blending the show together was the program utilized a technology named MICROSOFT TEAM. If that is the reason why it all came together and SYNCHRONIZED, then Microsoft needs a round of applause.

But hey… now that I've purged my technical concerns and PRAISE lets get on to the contestants.

All of the contestants performed brilliantly. The one weakness was poor lighting or using too much light on their faces that washed away their features. That includes Blake Shelton whose face looked like a powdered ghost.

The bottom line is all of the decisions by the voting public and coaches were spot on. Many contestants that were eliminated were worthy of going forward to the TOP 9. The result is simply a matter of the talent this season was super strong.

I can't recall any season where the talent was so strong. As coach Kelly Clarkson said regarding what enables one to remain on the show that it is not only about power or a big voice but it's about, "character, song choice and who you are as a person… innately."

The performance of Zan Friskum 22, was the most memorable and creative. Her choosing a setting of walking through the woods to a mini home trailer while singing "Blowin' in the Wind" stimulated many thoughts. While sitting on her bed/couch singing one thought was is that how she lives in a trailer where in her environment she can think and write songs?

Her setting was the most naturally real. The question is does she really live that way in a trailer behind her family's home in Seattle, Washington? That setting was out of the box and perhaps why her coach, John Legend, choose to save her for the TOP 9. Thunderstorm Artis and CammWess learned how to adjust and overcome rejection during their journey to the TOP 9. Both were rejected by their original coaches. Both earned the PUBLIC'S VOTE to the TOP 9.

Thunderstorm was originally on Legend's team but stolen by Nick Jonas. CammWess was originally with Clarkson but stolen by Legend. That sums up the what comes around goes around game and the luck of the draw.

The biggest SURVIVOR was Joanna Serenko who was on every team but Clarkson's. Following two cuts by her coaches she went on the have the highest number if votes on Shelton's team to qualify for the instant save. She won and goes through to the TOP 9. The 18-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri was originally a four chair turn in the blinds when she selected Jonas to be her coach.

Our favorite voice is preacher Todd Tilghman 41, from Meridian, Mississippi. Tilghman has been consistent in his performances and song choices. Should he win he will be one of the oldest contestants to win THE VOICE competition.

Overall, all of the TOP 17 contestants sang from their soul and hearts. They all possess the vocal talent that is worthy of listening to over and over again. In a weird way there were so many contestants that were eliminated that if there was another show that they competed in it most likely would warrant the attention of a sizeable viewing audience.

The bottom line... it's ON TO THE TOP 9!

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