A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Judging the judges

Just like the rest of the Australian population (if the latest ratings figures and Google analytics are anything to go by), we are just mildly obsessed with The Voice here at Stancombe.
Also, like the majority of the population, if Chinese whispers are anything to go by…Delta is really lagging in the popularity stakes over here.

So we ponder...what IS IT about her that is SO VERY ANNOYING?? Let’s pose an analogy for a moment that might ring true for anyone out there who has worked with a Creative Director over the years who supports their own ideas first, foremost and forever (rather than directing other people’s ideas and creative energies to shape them into better more robust ideas and individuals). The issue is that Delta can’t let go of Delta, and seems to only want to create individuals in her own shadow – rather than helping to craft the individual talents and personas of those artists themselves. Some people call this phenomenon a ‘one trick pony’ – and we think this is Delta’s downfall. Especially since this show is as much about the competition between the judges than it is about the competition between the artists. In fact, judging the judges is what makes The Voice stand apart from other reality singing shows.

Admit it, Seal getting Chris Sebastian and Yshrael Pascual to sing Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ was at first a strange choice indeed, (and it clearly made both vocalists squirm) – but it did allow them to be tested on another battlefront altogether, that of breaking through comfort barriers and of performance experience. It was a strategic decision to allow the cream to come to the top. Ditto when Keith Urban got Jimmy Cupples and Glenn Whitehall to step outside their comfort zone singing a Birds of Tokyo number…and how good was Laura Bunting vs Mali-Koa Hood on the 4 Non Blondes? Hello, Joel Madden. Hello!

And, herein lies the point.  Who’s the real winner?  Why, it’s the masterful mentors who choose the tracks and push them in new directions.  The best performance is intrinsically linked to the best mentor – the judges that step outside of their own comfort zone and usual genre and get their artists to do the same seem to get the best personal growth, the biggest surprises and the most love from us – but we haven’t seen this yet from Delta. Only a barrage of big-up, Diva style, Mariah-Carey-type tunes…so we ask…does Delta really have what it takes to be a true Creative Director, or is she just a great vocalist with really lovely long hair?


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