“The Voice” semi-finals surprises, angers viewers

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In just 24 hours, NBC’s “The Voice” has managed to provoke the anger of thousands of fans who took to social media to voice their displeasure at the outcome of tonight’s eliminations.

As some fans of “The Voice” will recall, just last night DeAndre Nico performed “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars. Dozens of concerned fans of the singer called the song choice “bad” and felt that Nico’s coach, Maroon 5 singer, Adam Levine, had thrown the performer under the proverbial bus.

That sentiment continued tonight when Nico was eliminated after being in the bottom three. He was voted off after having survived near-elimination the night before. Instead, country singer Dave Fenley was voted off. But tonight Nico was voted off.

There is another issue: 14 year-old Reagan Strange was too sick to perform, yet was not voted off. Audiences have taken issue with Levine’s appearing to champion Strange more than Nico, who was there to perform. Still others are alleging that Strange is “faking” her illness.

That is a problem. If people (especially adults), are taking to social media to accuse a teenager of feigning illness to skip out on something, much like a teen might scheme to get out of school. The idea is that participating on “The Voice” is a dream of sorts for Strange and the other folks who strive to get on the show.  The hope is that if she authentically no longer wanted to be on “The Voice” she could simply quit.

The criticism for Levine is that he seemed to support Strange and not Nico. Fans have gone so far as to accuse Levine of showing a lack of concern for Nico even by the song choice for last night’s performance.

There are allegations that Levine has done this to other singers on other seasons of “The Voice, and some want him removed as a coach on “The Voice.”

Kelly Clarkson on the other hand, has been touted as a hero of the show for being more enthusiastic about Nico’s performance than his own coach.

Audiences have also commented on what they read as negative emotions displayed by Nico after the results were given. If the interpretations are correct, this latest development puts a darkness on what had been a relatively fun show.

Maybe there are attendance clauses for “The Voice” that the average viewer does not know about. And, if there are not rules to govern a singers’ illnesses before, perhaps tonight’s episode calls for a set of such rules, or at least an update to them. And, as appropriate, could viewers be filled in on the show’s policies? Failure to do so potentially creates unnecessary tensions between the viewers and the show’s coaches and creators.

“The Voice” is down to eight contestants. The next step is to whittle the remaining singers down to four. Will the show be able to eliminate the next round of singers without public outrage? That remains to be seen.

For diehard fans of the show, “The Voice” needs to retain its image as a fair show. One thing viewers are learning at this point is that it takes more than judges with their backs initially turned to make the impression that the show is fair. Clearly, once the chairs turn and distinctions are made among singers, the idea of fairness becomes a bit more murky.

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