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James Taylor has seen fire, rain, and apparently the set of The Voice as he's heading to the NBC singing competition as Season 18's mega mentor. Given the folk singer's accolades it's no surprise he'd be asked to come on the show to help pull in audiences at home and serve as a mentor, but beyond that reasoning I'm personally having trouble grasping how he's a good fit.
This isn't a dig at James Taylor, as what I see as this bad fit has nothing to do with his qualifications. He's a multi-Grammy winner with a career that has spanned decades and songs that will live on for many years to come, but that doesn't mean he can be a massive help to the remaining contestants in Season 18 of The Voice as they enter the Knockout Rounds.
To begin, James Taylor's main genres he's worked in throughout his career only relate to a few artists in the competition. Most of these singing hopefuls in Season 18 of The Voice are looking to be pop stars, R&B singers, or modern country stars. There are certainly tinges of folk style in the remaining competitors, and obviously some country, but not the type Taylor was jamming out in his day.
After that, what remains are Taylor's guitar skills and song-writing ability. While any lesson James Taylor would have to give on either should be gladly gobbled up by a contestant on The Voice, neither skill is especially prioritized in the competition. In truth, even talented musicians are asked to forgo playing an instrument to focus on the singing. This is The Voice after all, a show where cover songs are performed way more than original songs.
Taylor Swift made sense as a mega mentor on The Voice Season 17. She's a contemporary artist with insane amounts of success in both country and pop, an accomplished songwriter, and most everyone in the competition that season could relate to her. James Taylor has around 30 years on one of the oldest competitors in this competition, Todd Tilghman. Shouldn't a mega mentor be an artist a little closer to the era the majority of artists grew up in?
No doubt most of the competitors have heard a song or two by James Taylor in their day, but this was more their parents', or in some cases, their grandparents' music. To me, it seems more like The Voice reaching for the biggest name it can get, and worrying less about the overall impact or value that artist can provide to the competitors in Season 18. Perhaps the upcoming mentorship episodes will prove me wrong, but I just can't see the value Taylor will add.
The Voice airs on NBC Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for the latest on the competition, and for more on what's happening in television and movies.