Typically The Voice
Playoffs occur like any other live shows on the series. The cast of contestants just happens to be a lot bigger. The artists perform, voting opens at the end of the episode, then voting closes sometime the following day with the results to come in a following episode. For season 14, though, The Voice
did something new and very, very stupid.
The Voice Recap: The Playoffs Reach Their Messy Conclusion>>>
The Voice instituted "live voting," something that typically only happens during the Instant Save. Instead of voting being open to the entire voting audience, the Top 12 of The Voice was decided only by viewers who watched the East Coast showing and more specifically watched every segment in real-time.
Voting for each team wasn't open for the whole episode, but just the portion of the episode in which the team was singing. In other words, voting for Team Blake was open while Team Blake was still performing. The second Team Alicia came onto the stage, voting closed for Team Blake.
This is pretty annoying in itself. Yet The Voice made things even more idiotic with how the votes were counted. Presumably because there was such a limited window, The Voice calculated votes with very specific methods. Votes only counted when they were retweets of a posting from The Voice Twitter account and when they came from The Voice smartphone app. So not only did voting happen far too quickly, but it was heavily influenced by those artists who have the biggest social media followings.
The contestants with the most Twitter followers had a huge step up in making it through to the Top 12. Sometimes these followings matched up with the actual talent. Team Alicia's Jackie Foster and Britton Buchanan have two of the biggest followings (at 4,000+ followers
and 5,000+ followers
, respectively.) They were voted through due to viewer votes in the Live Playoffs. Yet they also happen to be two of the most talented artists in the competition.
In other cases things didn't work so smoothly. Team Kelly's Kaleb Lee has double the amount of followers on Twitter
compared to D.R. King and Tish Haynes Keys. Even though Kaleb is just an OK country singer, he managed to beat out both of those much more accomplished and unique artists, simply because he has a bigger social media following.
This voting is problematic enough, but the way the last artist was chosen on each team was also very messy. In concept, it was pretty normal. Each coach chose one artist from their team to round things out and create a Top 3. Yet usually this coach pick happens when things are narrowed down to just two artists. In season 14, the coaches had to chose from four remaining artists.
This isn't just cruel to the artists. It gives the coaches way too much control, way too late in the season. When the Live Shows happen, the audience should have a greater say than the coaches. The audience should, at the very least, be able to limit which artists the coaches can save. With this format, the coaches were pretty much able to do whatever they wanted. This resulted in Adam saving Jackie Verna simply because he had heard a song on the radio he'd like to hear her perform in the future.
Even with Adam's Jackie mistake, he still was brutal honest in the Live Playoffs finale. Before choosing Jackie, Adam was the only coach to vocally express his displeasure in the format, calling it "stupid" and something The Voice should never do again. Adam might've been wrong in saving Jackie Verna but he was dead-on with his estimation of the voting.
But do you agree? Was the Live Playoffs voting a broken mess? Did it make the Playoffs at all exciting? Should season 15 return to the old format or was it a good idea to switch things up?
(Image courtesy of NBC)