We’re Breaking Up With ‘The Voice’

You watch too much TV. No, you do. So do I. We all follow too many series and overload our DVRs to the point where we have to spend Sunday afternoons clearing them out like they’re our junk drawer. And there are new shows premiering all the time! Some of them worth a look—okay, most of them aren’t, but SOME. But we can’t just keep piling on like this. We’ve gotta start weeding shows out. On the plus side, if you’re a wonky sort, a good TV purge is often a great way to examine what you’re looking for in your entertainment. What you value. So each week here at BlackBook, we’re going to tell you what show you should be giving up on. It won’t be easy, but it has to be done. This week, we’re letting go of The Voice.

Getting Dumped: The Voice

What’d They Do This Time? Look, we all know why we started watching The Voice. We’d just gotten out of a grueling relationship with American Idol that left us disillusioned and with nightmares about LeeDWyze. At the time, The Voice was as good a rebound choice as anything else. A leopard never changes its spots, after all—we’re always going to need some kind of music-based talent show to rally around. And The Voice had a lot of great elements. For one thing, they seemed to value exactly what their title said they would, preferring impressive vocals over gimmicky, freakshow auditions. And the focus on mentorship, rather than throwing contestants out to the wolves not knowing anything, was a cool twist. But let’s be honest: we had one thing on our minds when we were falling for The Voice: those chairs. They were a brilliant innovation, bringing all the spontaneous excitement of a Whack-a-Mole game to the traditional singing competition. Watching the power shift from the judges one minute (will they hit that button??) to the contestant the next minute (which mentor will they choose??) is legitimately exciting TV.

This is the problem, though: everything that’s great about the show is swiveling around in those chairs, and after the audition rounds are over, there are still weeks—MONTHS, even—to go before the show settles on a winner. Which, also, not for nothing, but can you name one winner of The Voice off the top of your head? Do you even know how many there have been? The simple truth is that the contestants have never been more compelling than the judges, and the later weeks really suffer for that. After multiple seasons of trying to make the middle and later rounds as compelling as those wonderful chair-turning rounds, isn’t it time to admit that this is all the show is capable of offering, thank it for some hot rebound action, and start looking for something more stable?

Anything Else? Carson Daly. Why? Why is Carson Daly? Why is he constantly introducing himself to the families? Do the other judges even know he’s there? We should be fine with not knowing the answers to any of these questions, by the way.

What We’ll Miss: The judges, of course. Their competitive camaraderie is a lot of fun to watch. But that’s actually another reason to call it quits now, with Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green leaving after this season. If the sad last few years of American Idol have taught us anything, it’s that the desperate search for random celebrities to plug into judges’ chairs is a sad spectacle indeed. We’ll be able to get our fill of Adam Levine on American Horror Story, and THAT show will get him naked, so we’re fine with the tradeoff.

What We’ll Have More Time For: The Voice is on two nights a week, for three hours total, so it’s like breaking up with THREE shows at once! Mondays are kind of a wasteland if you’re not into Dancing with the Stars or Bones, though we’ve heard good things about Switched at Birth on ABC Family (seriously!). But on Tuesdays, you’ll have more time for the promising Ben & Kate on FOX. No singing on that one, but Lucy Punch kiiind of looks like Christina Aguilera?

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Afternoon Links: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Cast Revealed, Kid Rock Endorses Romney

● Meet the cast of Dancing With The Stars Season 14, including William "The Brad Pitt of Mexico" Levy, Gavin DeGraw, and, uh, Steve Urkel.  [THR]

● "I look at Kristen Stewart now and I think, ‘I’d never want to be that famous,’" says Jennifer Lawrence — who has only recently allowed herself to indulge in the hotel minibar — sounding an awful lot like her Hunger Games character, Katniss. [Us]

● Kid Rock came out in support of Mitt Romney last night at a rally in Michigan, where he preformed his "Born Free," the unlikely Romney campaign theme song. [ABC]

● Gawker gets the run-down on those lavish (garish?) pre-Oscar celebrity gifting suites us layman will only ever heard lore of. [Gawker]

● The best new Skrillex song is actually just this mash-up of 19 Skrillex songs all playing at once. We recommend turning the volume down before hitting play…  [Vulture]

● And when you are done with that, watch the Oscar winner for Best Animated Short: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Sweet! [Vulture]

Morning Links: DWTS Takes Heat for Casting Chaz Bono, Lady Gaga Wore a Prosthetic Penis to the VMAs

● Within hours of posting the “celebrity” line-up for the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars, ABC was swarmed with comments concerning Chaz Bono’s inclusion, implying that it signals the end of family television, and isn’t he too fat to be on TV? And so on. [TheWrap] ● Lil Wayne’s Carter IV is on track to sell 700,000 to 850,000 copies in its first week, numbers that make it the year’s second-biggest debut following only Lady Gaga. It also means it will outsell Jay and Kanye by almost double. Watch what throne? [Billboard] ● Pop-savant The-Dream has put out a new album, but in order to slide under his label’s radar, he’s releasing it under his given name, Terius Nash, and for free. Get it well it’s hot. [RadioKillRecords]

● Bravo has shot a special addressing the recent suicide of Real Housewives husband Russell Armstrong, and although they’ve yet to say, it seems likely that it will be aired in concurrence with the Beverly Hills season two premier next week. [EW] ● Justin Bieber got into what you might call a fender bender yesterday, when his Ferrari was “tapped” by a Honda. Neither party reported damages, TMZ reported the news regardless. [TMZ] ● Lady Gaga wants you to know she’s serious about her male alter-ego, Jo Calderone, so she wore a prosthetic penis for “hir” VMA performance. [Us]

Morning Links: Amy Winehouse May Have Died of Alcohol Withdrawal, Ryan Gosling Goes Bleach Blond

● The Winehouse family thinks Amy died not from an overdose, but from alcohol withdrawal. Apparently quitting cold turkey can send a dependent body into fatal shock. [LAT] ● Because there aren’t enough hours of Kardashians on television already, younger brother Rob has signed up to compete on the next season of Dancing with the Stars. [TMZ] ● Mark Wahlberg says that he’s taking Entourage to the big screen, even if he has to pay for it himself. “We’re going to do a movie, it’s a question of when and how quickly,” he assured. [THR]

● Bleached-blond hair and biker-buff, Ryan Gosling is still “a perfect famous person.” [NYDN] ● Online streaming service Pandora wins more young listeners than popular terrestrial radio stations Z100 and Hot 97. How’s that for a bomb drop, Flex? [AdAge] ● Paz de la Huerta prepared to plead guilty in her bar-brawl hearing at Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday by carefully lotioning up her long legs. “We were riveted,” a courthouse worker said of her technique. “It was lovely. Very nice lotioning.” [Page Six]

Morning Links: Nelly Furtado Donates Qadaffi’s Money, Justin Bieber Likes Women ‘In General’

● Nelly Furtado plans to donate the million dollars she made performing for the Qadaffi family to charity, making things awkward for Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Usher, and all those oil execs who are still sitting on their own Qadaffi profits. In the future, let’s all be more careful as to who’s birthday party we perform at, okay? [Twitter] ● When we last left off, Charlie Sheen was firing his publicist and sending his friends out as day-time television mercenaries. He has since geared up for a full offensive, telling Piers Morgan (amongst many other amusing things), “I’m on a quest to claim absolute victory on every front.” He also had his lawyers write a scolding letter to CBS, chiding Chuck Lorre for the halting of Two And A Half Men. [PopEater/Radar] ● Amidst all Lady Gaga’s mitosis of the future-ing, we hardly noticed little Willow Smith’s debut of “21st Century Girl,” the speculated-about follow-up to “Whip My Hair.” It’s probably time we all start checking in with Mother Monster Gaga before making any major moves. [Vibe]

● When it comes to the ladies, Justin Bieber is not picky, he’s just “into women in general.” [PopEater] ● The jewelry companies that paid Anne Hathaway $750,000 and Gwyneth Paltrow $500,000 respectively just to wear their goods to the Oscars are not going to be happy when they see how low ratings for this year’s ceremony were. [Us/NYM] ● This season’s Dancing With The Stars line-up has been announced, and it’s predictably bottom-of-the-barrel: Kristie Allen, Romeo (formerly “Lil”), and Kendra are amongst those who will be strapping up for the competition. [NYDN]

Links: The Situation & Bristol Palin Join Forces, There Is No Glenn Beck Sex Tape

● Joining Bristol Palin on Dancing With the Stars is Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey, Audrina Patridge of The Hills, the original Mama Brady, Margaret Cho, and The Situation. The other contestants matter even less. [Vulture] ● Over 75% of Americans say that Mel Gibson’s crazy racist and misogynist outbursts, readily available on the internet, would “not effect” whether they would see his films, as Roman Polanski and Woody Allen high-five. [THR] ● If Madonna and Lady Gaga are going to team up, so too are Cher and Christina Aguilera, leaving Britney Spears and Liza Minella to make a go of it. [Celebuzz]

● A Huffington Post blogger, in an attempt to be funny, offered $100,000 for a sex tape of Fox News host and Tea Party deity Glenn Beck. The blogger’s superiors were not amused and neither was God. [Gawker] ● Paris Hilton thought the cocaine was gum. Is that better or worse than claiming it’s Pixy Stix residue? [People] ● Movie pitch: Tiger Woods Takes Manhattan. It’s a porno. [US Weekly]