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?

Follow Joe Reid on Twitter.

Christina Aguilera Reflects On Early Career: “Bull-dozed” By “Disgusting” Record Label Reps

These days Christina Aguilera is all over TV as a judge on The Voice, so its easy to forget her pop star roots. Remember Genie In A Bottle? And Dirrty? (That’s two "r’s", spellcheck.) In an interview with the September issue of Lucky magazine, the singer implies she would be all to happy to forget it, too.

After politely telling her interviewer "That’s cute" when the Lucky reporter informs her that she and a bunch of friends dressed up like Aguilera and Cher to go see Burlesque at a rural Pennsylvania mall, the singer settled into a conversations with the shopping mag about her personal style. With songs like Beautiful and Fighter, it has been no secret that Aguilera’s early life was a difficult one: her father was physically abusive to Christina and her mother, causing them to flee, and they’ve been estranged in her adult life. But the singer also reveals that controlling behavior from her record label made life difficult:

When you’re young, it’s so easy to get bulldozed. … There were these two ladies who always wanted to come to fittings and dress me up like a Barbie doll. It was disgusting.

It wasn’t until her second album, Stripped, with her girl power anthems like Can’t Hold Us Down and Fighter, that Aguilera came into her own voice musically and felt more empowered in her professional life. (Rihanna has voiced similar complaints about her early career, too. For the life of me I cannot find it online, but I remember Rihanna talking in an interview once about how she was only allowed to wear certain colors of lipstick approved by her handlers. And people wonder why female pop stars have a high rate of losing it.)

Good for Christina for speaking out like this. I hope the label doesn’t freak out and make her issue a statement saying she was "misquoted."

Contact the author of this this post at Jessica.Wakeman@gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.

Five Things To Know About ‘Voice’ Winner Jermaine Paul

Last night, in case you were somehow held hostage and incommunicado in a cave in the Swat Valley region, you probably know Jermaine Paul won the second season of The Voice. But, just in case, you were, for example, too busy agitating against the Amendment 1 in North Carolina or following the ins-and-outs of the riveting Travolta-gate to fully get the lowdown on Mr. Paul, here’s a primer: 

1. Jermaine Paul was once in a band called 1Accord. They were signed to Shaquille O’Neal’s record label, TWisM Records. Mr. Paul can be heard on the background of this track, "Don’t Wanna Be Alone," from O’Neal’s album You Can’t Stop the Reign

2. Jermaine Paul went to Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, New York. This is notable for the school’s famous Riot of ’04. 

3. Jermaine Paul also appeared on the Booty Call soundtrack. Did you know that soundtrack went platinum? The song is also amazing. 

4. Jermaine Paul uses Vitamin B12 and Banana Boat Tanning Oil (this is gleaned from @JermainePaul)

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5. Barack Obama follows Jermaine Paul on Twitter. 

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Watch Eli Manning’s ‘SNL’ Promo

Don’t you love it when a TV show on one network uses the opportunity to promo a show that’s also on their network? No? Keep clicking, then.

New York Giants quarterback and two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning hosts Saturday Night Live this week. In his promo clip, released today, he joins Kenan Thompson and Jason Sudeikis for a sendup of NBC’s singing competition, The Voice. Sudeikis wears a nasty beard, Thompson takes a spiral to the shoulder and Manning pretends to sing. Although history has not been kind to athletes hosting SNL—earlier this season, Charles Barkley gave a pretty "meh" performance—it looks like Manning is at least having a good time and willing to go for the goofy, slapstick humor, which indicates there may be some promise.

Athlete hosting gigs on SNL have ranged from the thoroughly forgettable (Michael Phelps) to actually pretty funny: Derek Jeter won points for being able to poke fun at himself while playing Candy Soriano in the sketch known as "Baseball Wives," referring to himself as looking like "The Rock had sex with a Muppet." Manning’s big brother Peyton hosted SNL back in 2007 after the Colts’ Super Bowl win, an appearance which yielded one particularly memorable clip: a spoof of the NFL’s United Way commercials, in which Manning curses at small children and beans them with footballs.

The episode airs this Saturday and Rihanna will be the musical guest. Watch the clip after the jump.

And the appearance from Big Brother Peyton:

Linkage: Charlie Kaufman Tapped For New YA Series, Goodie Mob Reunites

Charlie Kaufman has signed on with Lionsgate — the home of The Hunger Games and Twilight series — to adapt yet another young adult series called Chaos Walking, about a dystopian future where thoughts are audible and privacy long gone. An inspired move! [Deadline

Victoria Beckham designed a special edition of Range Rover’s off-road vehicle, the Evoque, which has rose-gold plated accents and vintage leather inspired seats. "I think it’s very cool," she says of the car. "I did a lot of research and not just with cars, old and new, but boats, planes, movie stars, different locations." [Reuters]

Goodie Mobb reunited last night on Cee-Lo’s The Voice, where they debuted their new single, "Fight To Win," off their upcoming Age Against The Machine. [RapRadar

Last night through a series of tweets, electro-pop duo Purity Ring released the first full track, "Obedear," off their highly-anticipated debut Shrines, out this summer on 4D. [GvB]

"They’re afraid to talk to me," says Michael Moore of his now knowing interview subjects. "I have to send in my production assistants to do interviews.” [WSJ/Speakeasy]

With her old e-mail address, Kim Kardashian has dumped her "Kim Kardashian" Google alert. "I just feel I have peace of mind now," she says. "I hardly look on the Internet like I used to." She is, however, still "addicted" to Huff Post’s Real Estate section. [Paper]

Booted Contestant Bashes ‘The Voice,’ Coach Cee Lo Green

Do you know who Erin Martin is? Me either, but since this drama is too good to pass up, let’s get educated: Martin was a contestant on NBC’s singing competition show, The Voice, until she was given the boot on Tuesday’s episode by "coach" Cee Lo Green. Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get to the good stuff.

Following her elimination, AccessHollywood.com caught up with Martin, who didn’t mince words when expressing her displeasure with both Cee Lo’s coaching of her and his decision to let her go (emphasis mine):

“Oh my God, I’m so glad to be over this competition. Yes, I’m over it,” Erin told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman… “[For] the blind audition I gave a fabulous performance, and for my last song I gave a fabulous performance, and for both of those songs I chose my song."

When I gave that creative control over, it kind of just didn’t really go so well,” she added.

The former model also blamed her “Voice” coach, Cee Lo Green (and his song choices), for her early exit.

I think it was a good lesson for Cee Lo in this particular instance that, you know, when you come across a voice like mine, you have to really nurture it and he wasn’t the right person to do that,” she said. “No offense to him, it just, he wasn’t… I’m the right person to nurture my voice.”

Hm. So, if Martin thinks she’s the right person to nurture her voice, then why the hell would she sign up for a reality show whose entire premise is built on the concept of coaches "nurturing" the contestants’ voices? What a ridiculous statement. Sore loser much?

Team Cee Lo! [via ONTD]

Afternoon Links: Jason Sudekis Hosts for Once, Marky Mark & Justin Bieber Team Up

● Jason Sudekis has been tapped to host this summer’s MTV Movie Awards, meaning he’ll finally get to show his ex how it’s done. [Ryan Seacrest] ● Last night 11.8 million people watched NBC’s two-hour premiere of The Voice, a sort of mutant American Idol. [EW] ● Darren Aronofsky has been nominated jury head at this year’s Venice Film Festival, where his film The Wrestler took home the Golden Lion award in 2008. [Deadline]

Star magazine has issued a rare apology to Katie Holmes for insinuating that the actress was addicted to drugs. At least she knows Star exists (sigh). [CNN] ● Mark Wahlberg says he’s making a movie a with Justin Bieber, which has officially just become my new pickup line. [Vulture] ● Reports indicate that German actress Antje Traue is set to join Zack Snyder’s Superman project as a second villain, opposite Michael Shannon’s General Zod. She should watch this, to see what she’s up against. [Deadline]