Despite Facing Many Challenges, Season 18 of “The Voice” Was the Best Yet


Hailey Reeves

Halfway through season 18 of “The Voice,” contestants and coaches started streaming performances from their homes for viewers.

Mandy Sisul, Assistant Editor

When Season 18 of “The Voice” started on Feb. 24, it seemed as if it was going to be another normal season excluding a few minor changes.

Yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, this season ended up being anything but normal and faced many challenges in continuing to produce episodes during this unprecedented time.

The coaches for this season included Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Nick Jonas. Shelton has been a coach since the series began in 2011, and is the only original coach left on the show. As for Jonas, this was his first season as a coach, and he replaced Gwen Stefani as a coach from the previous season.

My favorite coach throughout the season was Nick Jonas. I enjoy his music from his solo album as well as his multiple albums with the Jonas Brothers, so I was very excited to hear that he would be a coach this season. Though it was only his first year coaching, he did much better this season than I had anticipated. 

Season 18 of “The Voice” continued to follow the same format as previous years. Contestants started by trying out during “the blind auditions,” where coaches fought against each other to have them on their team. From there, contestants competed in the “battle rounds,” against other members of their team in order to advance to the “knockouts,” ending the pre-recorded shows.

Normally after those first three rounds, they continue on to the “live shows” where the contestants represent their coaches during a live, on-air episode. 

Up until the “live shows,” the show had no problem producing episodes during quarantine. However, their first obstacle came on May 4, when it was time for the first live show during the pandemic. 

In order to keep proper social distancing requirements, the show was no longer able to stream live from Los Angeles, and both coaches and contestants had to continue on with the season from home. They were now in charge of their own lighting, makeup, audio and video gear, and wardrobe.

For all of the contestants, performing from home eliminated any interaction with the crowd while on stage, and forced all of the singers to rely solely on their voices to help them through the rest of the competition. 

Though the circumstances were less than ideal, viewers were still able to continue listening and watching the performances. In my opinion, the show was very successful in making this work, and adjusting to the at-home streaming. The video quality was clear, and there would only be minor technical difficulties if any occurred. 

“The Voice” aired live from home for three weeks of competition until the season finale on Tuesday, May 19. 

In the final episode, there were only five contestants left: Micah from Team Kelly, Thunderstorm from Team Nick, CammWess from Team John, and both Todd and Toneisha from Team Blake. Each artist sang two songs during their last performance, which included one of their own original songs along with any other song of their choice. 

People all across America voted for their favorite artist to decide the winner for the season. After the remaining contestants were narrowed down to only Toneisha, Todd, and Thunderstorm, host Carson Daily announced Todd Tilghman as the winner of season 18 of “The Voice.”

My favorite artist throughout the competition was Thunderstorm, who represented Team Nick in the finale. He originally started out with Team John, but then was stolen by Jonas during the knockout rounds when Legend chose another artist over him. Although he did not win, I personally enjoyed Thunderstorm because his voice was very soulful and unique compared to the other artists.  

I recommend watching this season of “The Voice” because of the range of age groups and genres of artists among the contestants. For this reason, the show was extremely competitive and made each round full of incredible performances. 

I also really enjoyed all four of the coaches on the show, and I believe that they helped make this season more competitive and comedic. They would prank and make jokes about each other constantly throughout the season. For instance, Shelton got Jonas a notepad that he decorated to mock Jonas for taking notes of contestant’s performances. All of the coaches had a playful relationship while still being competitive with each other.  

In previous seasons, I had not watched the show past the first round because I lost interest in the competition. However, this season was much more engaging and entertaining than any other season that I have watched. Not only did I enjoy the coaches more, but I felt that season 18 was more oriented towards all age groups rather than adults specifically. I was able to recognize and connect more to the songs this season than I have been able to in previous years. 

So far, none of the coaches have announced their plans for season 19 of “The Voice.” The show is planning to air its next season in September, but no dates have been made official yet. In the meantime, season 18 can be streamed on the NBC app and Hulu.