My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, March 3

The Voice

The Voice just began its tenth season, and for some reason, we’ve never watched it until now, opting for American Idol instead. Our mistake. Now, after seeing only two shows to start this season, we realize how much better it is than Idol—better singing, more drama, fun elimination process, and better banter between the judges, with Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Pharell Williams. The eliminations are complicated but understandable, relying on the judges to weed out singers through the first four stages, and with viewer voting to bring the contestants down from twenty to a final three. The preliminary auditions aren’t part of the show as they are on Idol; thus, the blind auditions, in which the judges have their backs turned away from the contestants, include only those who made it through the preliminaries.
The judges then may hit a button to turn their high-back chairs around, in essence saying yes to that performer. If more than one judge turns around, the contestant then chooses which judge’s team to join. If no one turns around, the contestant is eliminated. These blind auditions continue until each judge has a team of sixteen. The next stage, called the Battle Round, has each judge pitting two of his/her team members against each other in a duet, after which their judge chooses a winner. The other three judges each have two saves (taking a loser to join his/her team). After the battle rounds, each team then has ten (eight battle winners and two saves). In the next round, called the Knockouts, each judge pairs two of the team to compete with songs chosen by the judge who then decides the winner. After the knockouts, each team has five contestants remaining, leading to the live performances with viewers voting to see which two of the twenty will be eliminated (just as Idol does it). And finally, down to the last three, the ultimate winner again being decided by viewer votes. Whew! I warned you, it’s complicated. I’ll know how understandable it is after watching the rest of Season 10. How else is The Voice a better format than Idol? No distracting arm waving, much less audience screaming, more interesting banter among judges, better overall quality of performers, less loud, intrusive band arrangements and backup singers, no pre-judging on the basis of physical attributes. I guess the final three from both shows are pretty much equal in singing ability, but the final twenty on The Voice are generally better than the final twenty on Idol. We’re looking forward to seeing how it all plays out this season.
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