‘The Voice’: 10 Life Lessons We All Learned From Season 4
Since Danielle Bradbery was announced as The Voice champ on Tuesday, we’ve taken the appropriate time to mourn for the other contestants, store our Team Michelle Chamuel glasses until her world tour and write no less than 10 unanswered letters to Xtina confirming that she will, indeed, be returning next season (because if this is all some cruel joke…).
We’ve also had a moment to reflect upon the countless lessons that can be gleaned from Season 4.
Did we say countless? We totally meant countable (10), and countdown-able.
Before Shakira and Usher abdicate their red chairs officially, take a look back on the season and — just like the eager contestants — learn and grow from the infinite wisdom of the coaches, contestants and voters alike.
10. If at first you don’t succeed, try to get those chairs to spin again! Although she’s not the first contestant to audition, fail, and return, Michelle Chamuel went farther than any returning contestant has ever gone. The self-proclaimed introvert auditioned unsuccessfully in the previous season, but got three chairs to turn when she sang Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” for Season 4. Joining Team Usher, Chamuel ultimately placed second this time around.
Garrett Gardner, another returning contestant, also made it as far as the Top 12, before he was voted off after singing a rock version of Backstreet Boys‘ “I Want it That Way.” Speaking of which…
9. A wrong choice on song choice equals elimination. The show may be called The Voice, but it should really be called The Voice And The Choice. Try as he might, poor Garrett Gardner’s fate was sealed when Shakira assigned a Backstreet Boys ballad to the soulful singer. Without the theme weeks that Idol runs on, song choice plays a key role in the contestants’ future — especially when a large chunk of the voting is done via iTunes downloads! Some other key missteps that preceded eliminations were Amber Carrington taking on the challenging Katy Perry anthem “Firework” in the semifinals, and Judith Hill inexplicably singing “#thatPower” before she was shockingly ousted.
8. No one likes a pro (this season). Okay, was Judith Hill’s departure really all that shocking? For weeks, the early favorite was criticized for competing in a show meant for amateurs, while she herself had a professional background (ICYMI: she was scheduled to tour as a duet parter on the This is It tour…with Michael Jackson). There is no actual rule against professionals joining the show, but the court of public opinion found her guilty. The powerhouse was eliminated after the Top 8.
7. Don’t ever say “I hate this country” on national television. It was the unpatriotic comment heard round the world when Adam Levine uttered “I hate this country” after Judith Hill was eliminated. (Can’t even blame this one on the NSA, Adam Levine: you, my friend, were voluntarily wearing a mic.) While he was fairly obviously not gearing up for treason, the comment was inflated to a full blown controversy. So if you have nothing nice to say…
6. …at least attempt to make a critique! Even Lotus-hating viewers who still wear their “Team Britney” t-shirts eventually ended up missing Christina Aguilera in the red chair. Why? It’s not that we don’t love Shakira (so fierce), but she didn’t have it in her to tell anyone they had an “off” performance. Her compliment-itis seemed to spread to all of the coaches by the end of the season, earning even the most lackluster performances a “That was really fun.”
5. It appears duos can make it on The Voice! Gone are the days where a duo makes it through the Blind Audition with nothing but a sarcastic slow-clap from the audience. The Swon Brothers proved that there is a place for the right duo at the top when they placed third. So audition away, duos…
4. …unless you’re a gimmicky and weird duo. The identically dressed identical Morgan Twins may have made it through the Blind Auditions, but even the wide-eyed Blake Shelton had to know their inherent creepy factor would alienate voters when it came to the live shows. The blond bombshells didn’t even get a televised Battle Round, where they also wore matching outfits.
3. This country will vote for country. Either Blake Shelton’s coaching ability is that good, or Top 40 lovers everywhere are opening their hearts to country…and not just modern hits. Four out of the top six finalists were county — Team Blake’s Holly Tucker, The Swon Brothers and Danielle Bradbery, and Team Adam’s Amber Carrington — while the non-country performers in the Top 6 (Michelle Chamuel and Sasha Allen) sang songs by Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood! Oh, and (obvi), winner Danielle Bradbery is as country as it gets. Her repertoire spanned from poppy Taylor Swift numbers all the way back to “Okie From Muskogee.” Which brings us to…
2. Losing your cool is a good thing. Usher began the Blind Auditions leaned back with one leg up, figuring that the contestants would come to him. When that strategy failed just about every time, he had to change it up. The R&B-pop crooner had to fight Adam and Shakira for Michelle Chamuel, telling her “We could go far!” He even took his leg down and sunglasses off. The rest is history.
1. Age doesn’t matter…unless you’re old. It’s sad, but true. While middle-aged (plus) contestants made it through the Blind Auditions, they were not making it far. Out of the 16 contestants to make it to the live round, in fact, only Karina Iglesias was over 30, and she was eliminated immediately.
That’s it for this Season. Only a few more months before the next round of The Voice swings back around, with all of its infinite wisdom. Lord knows Xtina and Cee Lo have only expanded their horizons during hiatus, and will return wiser…and skinnier.
What valuable life lessons did you learn during The Voice Season 4?