‘THE VOICE’ ★★★
8 to 10 tonight, then 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays on WMAQ-Channel 5
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
I try to come to every show with an open mind, and in this case I failed. I was predisposed to hate “The Voice.” I have reached the tipping point with talent competitions, and if I have to hear Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” as interpreted by one more boy-bandless boy, I’m going to cough up a hair ball.
So as much as it pains me to say this, “The Voice” is not that bad.
The idea of contestants competing on the merits of their singing alone is a noble one, even if it’s not as inspiring in execution. As soon as the coaches are allowed to see the singers, they comment on how good-looking they are. And the pre-screening producers haven’t seen fit to throw any Susan Boyles up onstage yet.
But the coaches were surprisingly engaging — why had no one called the yummy Blake Shelton to my attention before? — and Christina Aguilera’s hot-mess potential is off the charts. Soon the coaches will be aided by other recording luminaries: Shelton with Reba, Cee Lo Green with Monica, Aguilera with singer-songwriter Sia and Adam Levine with music director Adam Blackstone.
Last week the “Voice” premiere won its two-hour time period in all key demographics — and it was up against “Dancing With the Stars” and “Glee.” After another week of auditions, the teams will pit their singers against each other until each coach is left with one. After the four finalists face off, one voice will be backed by $100,000 and a recording contract.
Once the viewers get involved with the voting, I doubt we’re going to see sheer talent triumph. But if you’re a purist, you could always try watching “The Voice” with your eyes closed.