July 24, 2011

The Voice

AXN hits the high note with THE VOICE Hottest New Show in the US set for Asian premiere this August Hosted by Carson Daly (Last Call with Carson Daly, Jimmy Kimmel’s Live!), The Voice boasts a cast of four A-list celebrity judges – Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, rapper-crooner Cee Lo Green, R&B diva Christina Aguilera and country singer Blake Shelton who have sold more than 70 million albums combined – fronting the show as coaches. They must each pick a team of eight singers from the blind auditions (where if more than one coach spins around, the contestant gets to pick) and personally mentor each of them, before whittling the 32 singers down to 16 for the battle rounds. Each coach has a high stake in the game, with bragging rights accorded to whoever has the overall winner in their team. The battle rounds is also when voting opens up to the viewers, where each iTunes purchase counts as a vote for the contestant. The emerging victor receives US$100,000 and a record deal.

The Voice has proven itself to be more than a gimmick, as the only new show this season on a major US broadcast network whose ratings rose 10% for its second episode, as compared to its premiere episode which drew in 11.8 million viewers, a big draw especially for the younger 18-34 demographic. As the Los Angeles Times summed it up, “what makes The Voice worth watching, in addition to the clever conceit, is the chemistry among the judges, and the stories.” Indeed, no reality show can ask for a more entertaining bunch of judges than the four, who bounced banter off one another and elicited chuckles with their antics in wooing each contestant to join their team. Aguilera, for one, flirted blatantly with a good-looking male contestant by asking him to first take off his hat, then his pants.

What also sets The Voice apart from other singing competition reality shows is the level of genuine involvement the coaches have with their team members, pushing them on to realize their best potential. The contestants get to learn from their mentor’s showbiz experience and even get the rare chance to perform together as equals on stage! As Aguilera explained at The Voice’s press conference in Los Angeles recently, “There is no good and bad. This isn’t about tearing people down. I want to bring these people up. The Voice really does stand for what it says.”

From ages 16 to 42, the contestants are an incredible mix in their musical styles and ethnicities – expect a blues-rock chick in her forties with a shaved head and neck tattoos, an African American raised by white Mormon parents and topped with a striking Afro, to a controversial former Idol contestant and even a folksy duo, a married couple who auditioned for the show as a team!

Episode one opened with a rousing group performance of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy by all four coaches, certainly a sign of more such fan treats to come. Also to look out for in the show are Cee Lo’s elaborate costume getups (think red robes with spiked shoulder pads!), the chemistry between the coaches and contestants, as well as the friendly, sizzling competition especially between Aguilera and Levine in the blind auditions. Sunday nights will never be lacklustre again, when AXN kickstarts its two-hour broadcast of The Voice this August! Sit back, relax and like the judges, listen with your very own ears. We guarantee that the amazing calibre of contestants in The Voice will blow you away!

(AXN's Press Release for THE VOICE)



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