The first time I watched The Voice it was under duress. I was at a friend’s house, the type of friend we all have, the friend who has, let’s say, unfortunate taste in reality programming. She likes the shows where Real Housewives who are neither real nor housewives yell at each other and then cry. Or the ones where people give each other roses and spend months deciding who they’re going to marry, even though everyone involved knows no one’s actually getting married. Or, the lowest of the low, the shows where people dance. Dancing with the Stars; So You Think You Can Dance; Let’s Talk About a Dance, Do The Dance, Then Talk About How We Think The Dance Went. Awful, awful stuff. So, last year, when my friend told me we were going to be watching an episode of The Voice, I cringed. I had never seen the show, but I was familiar with the premise. Someone sings, the judges have to decide how good they are without being able to see them, then to signify their approval they turn around their chair. Basically, it’s American Idol with bar stools. Whoopdee doo. But my friend was insistent, so I poured myself a stiff drink and settled in for two hours of hell. Then The Voice began, I watched it for five minutes, and turned to my friend and said, “Holy Crap, I am totally in love with The Voice.” If I had a rose handy, I would’ve given it to the TV.
I don’t know what it is about The Voice that makes it so irresistible. Certainly the built in tension of which judge will turn their chair for a singer gives it a suspenseful hook that no other singing show has. Seeing no one turn their chair is genuinely heartbreaking, seeing every judge spin and fight for the contestant to be on their team is a true thrill. And perhaps the greatest compliment of all: The Voice even makes Carson Daly captivating. The show should change its slogan from “The Best, Hands Down,” to “We Took That Guy That America Universally Agreed Was a Douche and Turned Him Into Your Best Pal.” Amazing work, NBC, amazing work.Clearly I’m charged up for the premiere, and I have a feeling you are too. So here’s a list of ways to get ready for Season 3. They won’t make you a good singer, but they will make you a really good watcher.
Buy Swiveling Chair. Swivel In It. Give Opinions:It’s amazing how powerful your words become when spoken immediately after you’ve turned around in your chair. Honestly, you should try it. I have a swiveling chair and all week I’ve been using it to spin around and tell people what I think of them, Voice-style. Of course, I live alone, so the people I’ve been talking to have been my cat. “You missed the litter box earlier.” “Your fur is soft.” “It’s about time we did something about that breath!” All messages I’ve delivered to her after a quick and pointed turn in my seat. And honestly, I feel like they’ve really hit home. If only our friend Carson was around for an interview to get her side of things.
Hang Out With Three Awesome Friends and One Guy Who Sucks: Judges Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton are all delightful. Funny, opinionated, each with an individual style. Then there’s Adam Levine. A sentence that takes a normal person 5 seconds to speak takes Levine half an hour. He milks every inch of teenage girl hysteria out of the crowd, then carefully chooses each word of his critique as if somewhere deep inside of him he has really interesting words he has yet to discover. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t. Some people you’d pay to watch read a phonebook, I’d pay to hit Adam Levine with that same book.
Find Two Gigantic Cantaloupes. Cover Them with Half a Tissue: Someone call the cops, because Christina Aguilera’s cleavage has gotten out of control. Every time they cut to her last season, the screen was 25% face, 75% boob. Seriously, she’s operating at a 3-to-1 boob ratio nowadays. It’s not that it’s sexy or unsexy, it’s just distracting. It’s liking watching someone talk who’s hiding in a handful of balloons. I think it was on purpose, because every week it seemed like her shirts were getting smaller and were boobs were expanding, to the point where the laws of physics were in question. To best prepare for the return of Christina’s Aguileras, stare at two gigantic pieces of fruit (I recommend melon), covered with a casually thrown kleenex or wet-nap. I find it takes awhile for your eyes to adjust, and I don’t want you missing any auditions.
Make Plans For November and December: He’s the dirty little secret about The Voice: after the auditions are over, the show gets pretty lame pretty fast. Producers promised a new structure to the tedious middle rounds where contestants are being whittled down, so we’ll see how that goes. But for now, I’m making other plans until the season finale. Last year, I actually texted in my vote. I’m a grown adult man who voted in a singing competition. What’s happening to me?!
Ask Yourself WWCLD?: Cee Lo Green is short, portly, wears sweatsuits on national television, and last season happily farted on air — all while remaining totally awesome. If that’s not the definition of being a badass, I don’t know what is. In celebration, let out your inner Cee Lo. Maybe head to the office in sweats and a tank top, or let one rip in the elevator. No solution can be wrong if you ask first “What Would Cee Lo Would Do?”