How to Win on The Voice

I’m not much of a fan of reality TV, but my wife likes The Voice, so I usually end up watching it. Last night, I tweeted the following:

Here’s what I meant by that: ostensibly, the point of The Voice is to seduce one of the coaches into picking you and then grooming and guiding you through the show and to eventual victory. If only one coach chooses you, you’re stuck with him or her, but if multiple judges pick you, you get to choose which one will mentor you.

If Pharrell Williams is one of your options, you’re an idiot to pick anyone else.

The hat is so big because it has to hold his GENIUS.

Look, I’m sure Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Gwen Stefani are all very nice people. And I’m sure they all have interesting things to teach singers. But at the end of the day, no previous winner of The Voice has skyrocketed to success. The show’s been on for six seasons, and I’ll bet you can’t name two winners.1

So, winning The Voice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s probably like getting drunk on the best champagne in the world — you feel amazing while it’s happening, but the hangover is really gonna suck, no matter what the quality of the booze.

But Pharrell Williams isn’t just another coach or singer. He’s one of the industry’s top producers. If Blake or Gwen or Adam love your voice and you win the show, well… We’ve already seen what happens: Not much. You’re not going to be the next superstar on the strength of winning The Voice. And if you don’t win, well, it doesn’t matter how much they love you. Maybe you’ll get to open for them on tour, but… Eh. Not exactly superstardom.

But, damn — if Pharrell Williams loves you, it almost doesn’t matter if you win or lose the competition. If Phrarrell truly falls in love with you, the guy is a top-notch producer and he can pick up where the show leaves off and give you your best, most legitimate shot at stardom. Having Pharrell as your coach is like getting two bites at the apple. Hey, maybe you win the show and buck tradition by blowing up huge. If not, though, maybe Pharrell throws an arm around you and says, “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s go make a platinum album.”

And his track record speaks for itself.

So, yeah: If you’re on The Voice and one of your judge options is Pharrell, it’s a no-brainer.

Then again, what do I know? I don’t like reality TV.

  1. If you can name two winners, smartass, go ahead and sing a couple of their original songs. Ha!

Guest Blog: The Page 69 Test

At the request of the Campaign for the American Reader, I’ve subjected Blood of My Blood to the Page 69 Test, wherein authors check out page 69 of their books and discuss how that page mirrors/contributes to the book as a whole.

For Blood of My Blood? Well…

page 69 is in no way representative of the book as a whole, unless you count “creepy sense of ickiness” as representative.

Spoilers follow. Check it out.

Super-hero TV So Far: 2014 Edition

On the off-chance you’re interested in my opinion of this year in Super-Hero TV, I figured I would blog about it a little bit.

I have only minimal interest in Green Arrow as a character, so I don’t watch Arrow. If you’re looking for an opinion on that show, sorry.

Constantine and Flash have yet to debut, but I watched the season opener for Agents of SHIELD and the series premiere of Gotham and here’s what I thought:

Agents of SHIELD: The award for “Most Improved” goes to Marvel and the show that, last year, I pretty much hate-watched for most of the season. Once Captain America: The Winter Soldier hit theaters and the HYDRA reveal was out of the bag, the first season picked up considerably, but I thought it was too little, too late. But holy crap! The season opener this year was great. Whereas last season, each episode felt stretched and hollow, this year’s premiere was jam-packed with action, excellent character beats, and a very nice twist I should have seen coming…but didn’t. I don’t want to pre-judge the whole season based on one episode, so I’ll just say this: If the show runners can keep delivering like this, Season One will be forgiven. (It is blazingly obvious that the first season should have debuted in January as a mid-season replacement, providing for a tighter string of episodes leading into The Winter Soldier. Stretching it out to a full season was a bad move.)

Last season, Agents of SHIELD was trying too hard. This season — based, admittedly, on a single episode — is effortless.

Gotham: The Batman show without Batman gets the award for “Most Likely to Return from the Dead.” Since the abysmal Green Lantern movie, there haven’t been more than five or ten minutes of consecutive film footage set in the DC Universe that I’ve enjoyed. I didn’t have much hope for Gotham for a number of reasons, among them: Its position in the darkest, deepest trenches of what is already a too-dark filmic universe, as well as my general burn-out on all things Batman. So it was a nice surprise that Gotham, while treading perhaps a tad too much on the dark side, was interesting, well-done, and fun. I do wish DC/WB would realize that Frank Miller’s Year One was almost thirty years ago and start thinking of new ways to stage the death of the Waynes, but that’s a minor quibble. David Mazouz, the kid playing Bruce Wayne, was much more intense than I’d expected, and Ben McKenzie is very believable as the guy who will someday run the GCPD as Commissioner Gordon. Conflating Barbara Keane and Kate Kane seems like a move fraught with the potential for disaster, but we’ll see. It’s also a nicely diverse cast, with two white dudes as the leads, sure, but prominent backups in Montoya and Allen, as well as gangster Fish Mooney (played with subtlety and restraint by Jada Pinkett-Smith). All in all, it could have been much, much worse, especially given DC’s track record of late. I’m in.

Flash races toward us on October 7, with Constantine lighting up on October 24. I’ll let you know what I think of them, too.

Interview (& Giveaway!): Blood Rose Books

It’s a busy day here at Lyga Central! The reveal of the After the Red Rain cover, a guest-blog over at Scholastic, and now this interview at Blood Rose Books, in which I say, among other things:

The first step to eliminating darkness is turning on a light; understanding is a light.

Go check out the interview and enter to win a signed copy of Blood of My Blood!

Guest Post: On Our Minds

The folks at Scholastic asked me to blog a little bit in honor of National Comic Book Day (which is today).

Comics have always been misunderstood, going back to their inception in the 1930s. In fact, comics as a whole — an entire art form! — were dragged in front of Congress in the 1950s and deemed unfit for children, based on spurious testimony and misguided public panic.

Click here to read the whole thing.