NBC’s “The Voice” returns for its fifth season on Monday and guess what? With coaches Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green back, it’s exactly as you remember it and we’re willing to assume that’s just fine with its fans.
On the heels of its Emmy win for Outstanding Reality Competition on Sunday, “The Voice” has every reason to keep its “Mr. Nice Guy” formula intact. The series is unique in that it refuses to put bad singers on television.
“They think they can sing, the producers lead them along,” executive producer and showrunner Mark Burnett told reporters of the show’s competition recently. “And they come on and they’re hopeful, and they sing, and they don’t know they’re so bad, you know? Maybe some do, but a lot don’t know they’re bad, and then get ripped. This is not that show. This show has changed the dramatic hook from humiliating a singer.”
Instead, the show actually turns the tables (not just the chairs) on its coaches when more than one of them wants to bring a singer onto its team. The balance of power gets shifted.
“These guys are used to winning every time, right?” Burnett said. “And now they’re absolutely throwing themselves in and pitching themselves, to ‘join my team, join my team, join my team,’ and not getting what they want.”
“Hushes the ego,” a svelte and almost Zen-like Aguilera added.
On Monday’s premiere episode, Aguilera and Green, take a quick moment to get accustomed to being back in the coaches’ chairs. But a moment is all they really have, because the competition picks back up again very quickly. Expect some nudging of Green by Adam Levine when he thinks the soul singer isn’t fighting hard enough. And, watch as a “refreshed” Aguilera uses her time off from the show as a weapon when trying to win over competitors.
The Blind Auditions still do exactly what they’re meant to do: Wipe away all the preconceived notions we have about race, gender, style, age, etc. and concentrate on the voice. The best moments, as you’ll see on Monday’s premiere, happens when even our preconceived notions of who’s behind a voice gets challenged.
“The Voice” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.