Since my graduation, I have found myself with what could be referred to as "free time."
I have not had such a thing in four whole years.
Well. . . I was a super-nerd in high school. I did this program called Academic Decathlon. I shut myself in my room for hours as I pored over thick notebooks of minute detail in ten academic subjects. I could spout off the characteristics of a Chinese erhu and explain all the ins and outs of global warming while doing calculus without a graphing calculator (against the rules--I'm still bitter about that one). And my team won a national championship.
Explains a lot, yes?
So I have been turning on the TV a lot more than I have in recent memory--just because I can (take THAT, responsibility!). And tonight, when I put on the tube for some background noise, I came across on NBC program called The Voice.
And it is awkward. On steroids.
In theory, the format show is pretty cool idea. There are three rounds: a blind audition round, where the celebs/"coaches" choose their team based upon voice only. The coaches then mentor their flock, and set their team members off in pairs for a second round of battle whilst pairs sing the same song--and the coach picks whose performance advances. In the third round, the team members perform live (the phase of the show I watched) and garner votes. It's like American Idol, Oprah, and a musical gladiator battle all rolled into a couple hours.
However--fart jokes, innuendo, gratuitous love fests, and a pleasantly plump Christina Aguilera made for one interesting evening.
First of all, the panel of judges/life coaches/Richard Simmons-esque cheerleaders are comprised of the genre rainbow that is Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Cee Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley, Blake Shelton of the Nashville scene (and Mr. Miranda Lambert), and Xtina. Separately, these are all pretty cool people--I am fans of their music, and they are highly respected in their musical circles (even Blake, I guess? That statement is questionable). But together. . . the dynamic is just weird. Like when group members are trying to force a smile and play nice during a presentation to the class.
The contestants seemed better than your average American Idol contestants, I guess. There were a couple I'd buy a song off of iTunes for. But. . . the judges had NO criticism. At all. It was all one big love fest after each performance.
Cee Lo, on girl who sings Kanye's "Heartless" as a jazzy lounge singer: "I feel like. . . that was the best rendition of a song I've ever heard."
Blake Shelton, after EVERY performance: "Aww mayuhhn...Ahm just sew PERR-OWD of yooo!"
Xtina, on sub-Scotty McCreery cowboy: "Umm...I'm just waiting for you to take your pants off. Amiright, ladies?!"
. . .
I knew there was a reason I wasn't getting cable in the new house.