A “cheating” scandal will lead to many viewers talking about last night’s episode of The Voice, but the latest step away from ground rules is not good for the credibility of the show.
This year’s Voice has been full of rule-bending and format changes that may be short-term gain for long-term pain.
Last night rapper Denzel abandoned a Childish Gambino song This is America for his an original composition, after coach Kelly Rowland said the performer needed to be authentic to who he is. But in a dismissal of the show’s authenticity she said, “rules were made to be broken.”
But Boy George was having none of it, leading to a tense row.
“It’s kind of naughty,” he told Rowland.
“What about the other people? If you’ve got an original song you want to throw down?”
“When it comes to hip hop specifically … you can’t rap somebody else’s feelings … it doesn’t make any sense” Rowland insisted.
When Guy Sebastian called for more original music on TV, Delta Goodrem interjected.
“That’s not fair,” she said. “I am all for original music, don’t get me wrong… but there is about 40 other people in this competition who would kill to sing their original. So why should we just say Denzel can do it?”
“We’re trying to look for an even playing field,” said Boy George.
“Everyone’s been like breaking the rules this year!” he added. “I’m sorry. Everyone.”
On social media last night he weighed in again.
I would’ve loved to have sing one of mine 😂❤️
— Vendulka (@VendulkaMusic) June 16, 2019
Amongst the other curious moments during the run were:
- Kelly Rowland saving one eliminated artist by creating a duo
- Delta Goodrem pressing her save button a second time after her first save contestant chose Guy Sebastian.
- Kelly Rowland also chose a singer who forgot the words
- The “world first” creation of All-Stars and inclusion of a former Australia’s Got Talent champion
The show has previously accommodated singers outside conventions with ‘looper’ Sam Perry winning last year and a contestant entered a few days shy of his 15th birthday, which was the minimum age in 2018.
The Voice this year has uncovered some top singers, and Guy Sebastian has been a welcome addition. All of these things, along with the odd controversy lead to healthy ratings in its 8th season on air.
But continued side-stepping of basic format rules is a risky proposition and Nine should rein it in if it doesn’t want to damage the brand.