I've always had this sad, sappy heart for the reality TV shows that give aspiring musicians a chance to shine - or not shine. I love music and I love being able to see people reach a level of fame and confidence that they might not have found unless they had the opportunity to be on television.
"American Idol" started this phenomenon of taking nobodies and making them somebodies. I personally always think of Kelly Clarkson, perhaps the most famous and successful contestant of the show, when I think of "American Idol."
Not only did "American Idol" break into the world of music with its mix up of humor, drama and talent, it led the way for other shows to be created, putting different twists on the competition.
You could probably rattle off a few different shows that have the same premise: "America's Got Talent," "X Factor" in the U.S., and other spin-offs in different countries.
With all these different "copycats," the shows kind of lost their luster. We tend to make fun of them now. The winners of these shows usually end up having their 15 minutes of fame, only ending up to be has-beens.
One of my favorite copycat shows is "The Voice," which began to air in 2011. A lot of times with these shows, it's the judges, not the talents, who are emphasized, and this is true of "The Voice" as well.
And how can it not be? You have four self-obsessed celebrities vying for attention on "The Voice." Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine choose talent to be on their teams and eventually battle it out to see who has the most-talented singer.
Now in Season 3, the four judges have formed a normal banter. Well, except Cee Lo - he doesn't really talk that much, he just has the shock factor of a bird sitting on his shoulder or maybe having a cat with him. Adam and Blake have a "bromance," which is a very popular thing these days apparently. Christina thinks the world also revolves around her and her 10 pounds of makeup and even more weaves of different colored hair placed on her head.
Watching this show made me, once again, as usual, have a love-hate relationship with each of the judges. For one, I can say that at least Christina has talent compared to other judges on other shows, including Demi Lovato, who sounds like a screaming and-or dying cat while singing, and Britney Spears who, come on now people, has no right to tell people if they are talented or not.
The show also represents different genres of popular music as well; Christina with pop, Blake with country, Cee Lo with R&B and funk and Adam Levine with "alternative." (I put that in quotes because I'm still not really sure how to classify Maroon 5. Not that I listen to them or anything. Ummm.)
The judges also switch things up by picking team members that may not be the choice you thought they would pick. I've seen Blake pick blatantly soulful singers - nowhere near country. I've seen Christina go for funky rockers and Cee Lo pick twangy guitar players.
"The Voice" also gives contestants second chances that they might not have been able to have. A lot of times you see singers competing who have had failed record contracts or jobs already in the music field. "American Idol" requires their contestants to not have any past experience like that.
I also like the battling aspect that the show has. The judges will pick team members and have them battle it out on a song that both their voices suit just to see who comes out on top.
You can watch "The Voice" on NBC at 8 p.m. Mondays.