Although Summer is almost over, it doesn’t mean you won’t have anything to look forward to come fall. September not only brings us the beginning of the new TV season, but an onslaught of Oscar contenders in theaters — including The Master, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. What other pop culture delights can you indulge in this week? See below to find out.
Tag: The Voice (71-80 of 141)
Oh, it’s on.
The Voice is officially challenging The X Factor for the title of Biggest Non-Idol Singing Show. NBC just announced that next week, it will air The Voice on three consecutive nights rather than two — meaning that on Wednesday, the series’ third audition episode will go head to head with The X Factor‘s season premiere on Fox.
Simon Cowell isn’t too pleased about this development: “This is a cynical, cold-hearted, unprofessional way of doing business,” he told TMZ today, explaining he thought NBC and Fox had a “gentleman’s agreement” to air The Voice on Mondays and Tuesdays, while X Factor would appear Wednesdays and Thursdays. “Britney’s not going to appreciate the fact that Christina — who has been a bit of a rival — isn’t allowing Britney to have a night of her own,” Cowell added. And whether or not Cowell’s assessment is correct, these shows are clearly engaged in a battle for melismatic dominance.
So, what will it be: Britney or Christina? Flash or substance? Chairs or another kind of chair? Let’s examine what we know about both The Voice Season 3 and The X Factor Season 2, category by category:
When NBC’s rival singing competition The Voice returned in February, I felt like I was the only Idol fan left in America. Media outlets championed NBC’s chair-spinning competition, with its flashy format — an audition style that’s admittedly superior to Idol‘s — and sass-spewing judges, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. “The Voice is more relevant, more meaningful, more compelling and more entertaining right now,” said Alex Strachan of the Montreal Gazette. “After a decade, we no longer believe in the Idol factory,” wrote EW’s Mark Harris. Those barbs stung me (an American Idol junkie) personally — these critics’ concerns had me worried that the freight train of Idol might be chugging to a stop. The Voice briefly legitimized this fear by pulling ahead in the coveted 18- to 49-year-old demographic and beating the Fox stalwart in the ratings race.
Still, I stuck with Idol this season, and I’m glad I did. After three months of watching, I remain convinced that American Idol is a viable singing competition — with the best vocals of any show on TV. American Idol kept its focus on the contestants and their singing, and over the course of the spring, it reclaimed its title as the highest-rated television show on television.
Here’s why Idol reigns supreme:
By Whitney Pastorek
Stuck in traffic on the way to the finale of The Voice tonight, I felt a palpable excitement, PopWatchers. Last night’s epic battle of Jermaine Paul, Chris Mann, Juliet Simms, and Tony Lucca had featured such fireworks – both literal and (yes, Adam) metaphorical – I felt certain that I was about to bear witness to a dramatic spectacle! Would Christina punch Adam in the face? Would Tony Lucca’s wife rip out Christina’s weave? Would audience members spontaneously combust in the heat? I did not know, but I was prepared for anything.
Sadly, the answer turned out to be: none of the above. It was a somewhat languid finale for those of us there in person, as the heat in the soundstage led not to combustion, but wilting. It took very little time for Bill the Warmup Dude to inform us that we were the quietest audience ever. “Your clapping should be contagious, like a cold,” Bill told us. “I need your applause to be real applause, with both hands making noise.” Eventually he gave up, and just told everyone that Justin Bieber would be performing later. That did the trick. READ FULL STORY
The finale feels like graduation. When you look back, it offers a time of reflection. Last night we showed video of the four finalists’ transformations and how far they’ve all come, and you look back and it’s amazing, the journey that we’ve all had. Since the Super Bowl, this season has absolutely flown by. We had a lot of the eliminated artists in the audience last night, and you’ll see some of them on the air tonight. It’s been so wonderful to see how confident everyone is now. The four finalists are all there for a reason, and they’re strong not only because they’re four of the strongest voices in the competition, but they’re the artists who have risen to the occasion. I think anybody could win this thing, I really do. There’s not a runaway winner here. Tonight’s going to be really, really interesting.
By Whitney Pastorek
Was it all a dream, PopWatchers? These past months, in which I did no blogging, covered no singing competitions, never ended a question with “[comma] PopWatchers” — did I hallucinate them somehow? Or is it possible that your Aunt Whittlz set out on a path in her life that led her from EW, circled through the Thousand Acre Wood, and deposited her right back here, to a PopWatch blog about a singing competition? Am I some sort of demented Tigger with a penchant for self-abuse? You be the judge!
Actually, please don’t. I haven’t missed that part.
Hi! I’m back, for a two-night-only limited engagement as your On The Scene Reporter Person for NBC’s hit singing/chair-rotating competition, The Voice. [Read Melissa Maerz's recap here.] Are you excited? I am! In fact, after burning my brains to a crisp covering Idol for I-can’t-even-count-how-many seasons (what? it was only three years?), I couldn’t wait to get into the Voice soundstage, henceforth to be known as the VoiceBox, and start scribbling down the snark I’ve been storing in my wooden leg under all the bourbon. READ FULL STORY
This is THE VOICE! The performances are over, the voting lines are open and in 24 hours, America will have crowned its winner for season two of television’s best singing competition. So who will it be!? READ FULL STORY
There are a few mysteries to solve this week, starting with a new one from Sherlock Holmes on the second season of Sherlock on PBS, then moving through the start of season finales to discover the winner of The Voice. Later in the week, find some great pop culture graduation gifts (’tis the season…) like the new Stephen Colbert book, and then don’t forget to do something nice for your mom next Sunday. Have a great week!
Sherlock returns to Masterpiece Mystery, PBS, 9 p.m.
Making plans for Sunday nights the next few weeks is elementary, my dear PopWatchers. Benedict Cumberbatch is back as everyone’s favorite detective and Martin Freeman joins him as Watson for the second season of the beloved Steven-Moffat-and-Mark-Gatiss series. This week: Could Sherlock be in love? Check out Ken Tucker’s preview below. READ FULL STORY
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen tonight’s elimination episode of The Voice, stop reading now! Unless you want to know the identities of the four singers moving on to the final round…
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