Why Fans of ‘The Voice’ Are Hating the New Cross Battles

With so many singing competition on TV, it can be tough to stand out — but The Voice has managed to captivate an audience for 16 seasons. Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend, the current coaches, have created their teams of amazing singers through the blind audition process. And before the final winner of The Voice is announced, they’ll be battling against each other to see who can win America’s heart the most.

It seems the show has recently attempted to spice things up on the show, too. The series just introduced the concept of “cross battles” to the competition — though it seems fans aren’t happy with how the first night went. Here’s why.

What are cross battles, and how do they work?

Andrew Jannakos on "The Voice"
Andrew Jannakos on “The Voice” | Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Out of all 16 seasons of the show, audiences have never seen anything like the cross battles before. Two contestants from opposing coaches go head-to-head in a singing battle, and ultimately, it’s the audience who chooses which singer had the better performance. USA Today notes host Carson Daly explained, “The stakes are higher than ever because coaches can see their whole team taken out during this round.” After the performances are over, the public can take to their app or NBC’s website to vote for their favorite singers of the night.

According to TV Line, the first round of cross battles weren’t all that impressive. Kim Cherry, who’s on Blake Shelton’s team, faced off against Kelly Clarkson’s Betsy Ade, and the entire ordeal was quite pitchy and not exactly Voice-worthy. Even Adam Levine’s Mari and Blake Shelton’s Selkii couldn’t hold it together, as both of their vocal performances were subpar. John Legend’s Maelyn Jarmon seemed to be one of the most successful singers on the stage for the cross battle, but even so, the new concept didn’t seem to be faring well for the singers.

Here’s why fans are hating them

Fans had a lot to say about the first night of cross battles. From complaints about the concept itself to feeling as if none of the singers were good enough to win the competition, viewers took to Twitter to air their complaints. As one Twitter user wrote, “4 nights dedicated to cross-battles so it cannot be undone. The producers will say the sound system was off or something but it does not matter – the damage is done.” Another added, “These battles are An epic fail. No one sounds prepared and most sound pitchy.” Finally, a Twitter user mentioned, “WHO is choosing these songs? Horrid choices. Fire the monitor sound man.”

Others took less of an issue with the cross battles themselves and more of an issue with the performances overall. One Twitter user even called the episode “the worst” ever, and another added, “What in the world is going on tonight?! Y’all sounded better during the blind auditions.”

Some fans are completely over The Voice in general

Betsy Ade on "The Voice"
Betsy Ade on “The Voice” | Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The poor performances for the cross battles might be the final nail in the coffin for some Voice viewers. Many have complained over the years that the show gets stale after the initial blind auditions, and it seems the cross battles haven’t helped here, either. Not only that, but some are wondering if any stars who win the show will ever actually have huge, successful music careers. The Atlantic notes writer Maura Johnston wrote in Dame Magazine that the show is “better viewed as a TV show that offers wannabe stars a finite lifespan rather than a launching pad to everlasting fame” — and she may be on to something.

There’s a reason the show has lasted this long, of course, and that’s because of its loyal fan base that will most likely stick it out beyond the cross battles (even with a few complaints thrown in). Hopefully this season’s current singers can rally and make a few improvements to their next songs.

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