Everybody wants their five minutes of fame. Now that reality TV and talent competitions are dominating the networks, there are more opportunities then ever for people to capitalize on. But there is a commercial aspect to a lot of these shows that seems to turn off those who view themselves as artists. People that value their own creative process do not want to sacrifice authenticity for exposure, and NBC's The Voice is a platform where you don't have to.
The Voice has a credibility that has attracted participants who view themselves as more then manufactured moments on TV. But there is a formulaic aspect to the show that makes it difficult to reach past the form in the shadow and see who these contestants really are. They are always singing someone else's song, and it is impossible not to compare them to the original versions. I find myself thirsty to hear their original music, and it is so refreshing when someone has an arsenal of past work to promote.
Even if you don't win The Voice, you still have prospects to build on the audience base you created throughout your time on the show. Former contestant Tony Vincent is an example of someone who is not wasting any time moving forward in his career. It is one thing to be talented at singing, but it is another to write your own music, and Vincent is on the verge of releasing a record and showing the world the artist he wants to be. I recently got a chance to interview him. We discussed his experience on the show, his time working with Cee Lo, and who he thinks should win The Voice.
TN: What was it like working with Cee Lo, and do you think you will collaborate in the future?
TV: I hope so! He is an amazing talent and a visionary of what music should be. I felt we were exchanging ideas and coming from a similar place. Putting the two of us together can lead to positive and dangerous things. During the show it was difficult to establish a core understanding for people to know who I am. I was working with other people's music and you have your coach and producers choosing the material you work with. But I believe Cee Lo had my best interests at heart and knew I would have had to compromise the further I progressed.
TN: Were there friendships that you formed with other team members despite the competition?
TV: I was very close with Justin, whom unfortunately I had to battle. This was very difficult because we had formed a sincere bond, and both of us have families to support. Me and Tony Lucca were roommates, so we had a lot of time to invest in each other. We are very different musically, but I think the world of him and he is a fantastic guitar player.
TN: Who do you think should win The Voice?
TV: Tony Lucca will win. I would be shocked if he didn't. Juliet is electric and magnetic when she takes that stage. Her winning is irrelevant for her future. She is such a commanding performer she will have a career no matter what.
TN: Do you really think people that don't win still have a chance for a career in the music business?
TV: You hear the coaches say over and over: "you are winners for making it this far" -- which may seem meaningless after being repeated so much, but it is not. In the case of Cee Lo he really wants the best for everyone he works with, and so does everyone else involved in the show. From the producers to the crew, everyone truly believes in what the message of The Voice is about.
TN: So did you notice an increase in your fan base? And what is next for you?
TV: My social media have exponentially grown. I just dropped a single on Reverbnation and the response has been so encouraging. I am working on my own album and performing my own music again, and the feedback has been nothing but positive.
I left the show with my head held high, and hearing Baby Face say that I didn't need to be told what to do meant the world to me. I am moving forward on a really positive note.
Follow Toni Nagy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tonibolognamind