Reality TV

‘Reality Check’: Are the ‘Voice’ Coaches Screwing Up the Steal?

Credit: TVLine

Credit: TVLine‘s Michael Slezak returns with American Idol Season 6 finalist Melinda Doolittle for an all-new episode of Reality Check, dissecting the week in reality singing competitions.

This week’s episode covers the best of The Voice Battle Rounds, as well as some of the more confusing matchups so far. In addition, Michael and Melinda question whether the coaches might actually be screwing up the entire concept of the Steal. It’s another keen, incisive episode!

Check out the full video below via


Michael and Melinda make some pretty excellent points about how patently ridiculous the use (or lack thereof) of the Steal ended up being. I could definitely see the argument for how there just might be some measure of ageism in the coaches’ decisions not to save Donna Allen. I mean, really, Cee Lo’s excuse for not stealing Donna was one of the dumbest explanations I’ve ever heard. You don’t want people to know your game plan? What does that even MEAN in a competition like this? What does a game plan matter when it ultimately all comes down to America? At least say “Donna is fantastic, but I don’t think she’s right for my team, so I’m saving one of my steals for a contestant who I feel will be a better fit for Team Cee Lo.”

With that said, I actually found Michael’s point about Adam’s absurd decision to match two top contenders against each other to be the more salient observation. I feel like the coaches pair up the battle rounds based on what will make the best duet, without really considering that making a good duet pairing isn’t the point of the battle round. Sure, we’re supposed to enjoy the matchup on both an entertainment and aesthetic level, but the real point of the battle round is not to pit two of the competition’s strongest singers against each other. They’ll be competing each other every week from top 12 onward, for crying out loud! Why force one of the strongest singers of the competition out of the competition before the competition even starts?

Why pair Tessanne against Donna and force yourself to lose one of them while keeping a less remarkable singer? Pair them against weaker competition and take them both to the Knockout Round! The battle round always works best when approached at the level of an NCAA tournament, with the top seeds facing the weaker competition: the uneven matchups inspire the middle-of-the-pack singers to really bring their A-game in order to score the upset win, and ultimately, no matter what happens, the cream has a better shot of rising to the top. But if you pit two world-class teams against each other in the first round, you end up with Purdue in the championship game.

I also appreciated Melinda’s observation about the point of the steal being the correction of an injustice. The battle between Amber and Timyra-Joi was insane, but not nearly as insane as all the coaches yammering on about what an incredible battle it was, only to then sit on their hands and let Timyra-Joi go. Yet Briana Cuoco and Monika Leigh somehow get a second chance? I don’t know, man. I enjoy The Voice, but this season isn’t off to the most inspiring start.

What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments!

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