Spoilers ahead for the December 2 episode of The Voice on NBC.
The Voice Season 17 recently concluded its Top 10 performances, and while there are clear favorites on who dominated the round, I can't help but feel everyone lost a little. Once again The Voice went about airing its pre-taped segments ahead of the live performance, which included footage of the contestants performing the same songs they peform minutes later live in front of the coaches, studio audience, and viewers at home. Almost every time, the rehearsal sounds better than the live performance, and I'm beginning to think it's a detriment to these singers.
It's not necessarily anyone's fault, as The Voice obviously wants its performers to have the best chance at success. This show has rarely if ever rolled a pre-roll where the singer isn't feeling confident about the song and admits they'll probably mess it up live. That's not the type of show this is, so it feels like NBC does its best to make the singer sound as great as possible in rehearsals in the pre-tape.
The problem is, this footage shows the contestant at their best, and America will soon after judge them on a live performance that more often than not can't compare. A great example from Season 17's Top 10 would be Shane Q, who slayed the chorus of Billy Ocean's "Caribbean Queen" in the rehearsal footage, but sounded far weaker in his live performance.
To be fair, it's completely possible Shane Q's live-show jitters and nearly being sent home the week prior affected this performance. Looking beyond that, there were times in the performance where the Team Kelly performer was drowned out by the band, and it almost seemed like Q had to force his voice through which could've impacted the performance. He sounded perfect in the short bit we heard in rehearsals, which made the performance all the more disappointing.
This was true even for the strong performers of the night like Rose Short, who decided to take on Blake Shelton's hit single "God's Country." Short brought the house down with her performance, and really stood out as one of the top performances of the night.
As great as the performance was, there was still a bit of the rehearsal performance in the pre-roll footage that sounded even better still. It just shows how high the bar is, and while audiences are voting based on performance in the live competition, it's hard to hear a competitor essentially compete against themselves in these instances.
Personally, I'd rather The Voice nix previewing the performance with rehearsal footage, and instead play part of the actual song that will be performed. For me, I think there's more to be gained in learning how an artist makes that song their own, and we aren't comparing the artist to how they did in a prior performance. Of course, The Voice has been doing this for years, so it doesn't seem likely it'll stop anytime soon even if it should.
The Voice airs Mondays at Tuesdays on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest news in television and movies this coming winter season and beyond.