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On The Coach Choices Contestants Make On ‘The Voice’

Jack Tomas

Jack Tomas

Trae Patton/NBC

When you watch The Voice as closely as we do, you start to notice certain patterns emerge during the blind auditions. Sure, Blake and Adam fight and Miley and Jennifer are sassy and that’s what a lot of people pay attention to. But there is more to the contestant’s choices than the bickering of the coaches.

What makes The Voice so interesting is that the coaches and the contestants both pick each other. The coaches swivel their chairs and then, (unless only one judge turns around), the contestant picks who they want to coach them. But one thing becomes pretty clear if you watch the show: people take, subconsciously perhaps, race and gender into account in their choices. It makes sense that someone would choose one of the coaches whose own voices, genre, and career mirror the style of the contestant. That’s how it should be, but it’s not always so.


I’m not going to call out any one contestant because I don’t want to make accusations. But, for example, Miley’s team so far is ALL women. Mind you, Miley Cyrus is one of the biggest pop stars of the last ten years. She’d be a great coach who has been singing her whole life. But no dudes choose her. The guys go with Adam and Blake almost to a fault, UNLESS, of course, race enters into it. If the contestants are African-American they tend to go with Jennifer. What’s going on there?

I’m not trying to cause controversy here, just making an observation. The contestants can pick whoever they want and they only have seconds to choose. And yet, I can’t help but think that subconsciously they might be making the wrong choice for superficial reasons.

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