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The Voice is indisputably one of the most popular talent competitions shows on the air. Currently in its seventeenth season and boasting an A-list coaches’ panel, including Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Blake Shelton, the show attracts viewers yearning to see the next great vocalist, and the next great bickering match between Clarkson and Shelton (now that the Levine-Shelton bromance is amiss). 

The Voice
‘The Voice’ Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Blake Shelton | Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

While The Voice has managed to draw audiences for years, and attract talent from all over the globe, one thing always seems to surprise viewers: the coaches do not always seem to pick the best vocalist as the show continues. What we mean by best: the person whose voice is objectively the cleanest, the strongest, the most pitch-perfect, you get the idea. 

So, why is this the case? When watching The Voice, viewers will often take to social media and online discussion forums to comment on what they find to be “shocking” choices. One fan, starting a discussion about Kelly Clarkson’s most recent choices, asked why she makes “the worst decisions on who to move forward;” one explanation likely holds true for Clarkson, as well as the rest of the panel.

The coachability factor is huge on ‘The Voice’ 

If you’re sitting at home, watching The Voice, and thinking, “I would have chosen the other one … the other guy would have had it in the bag,” you’re not alone. However, you’re also unaware of all that goes on behind-the-scenes. You may be neglecting to consider the many factors that ultimately decide who gets to move on. While the show is called The Voice, it’s not just about the person with the biggest belt, and the most pristine pipes from the get-go.

One fan took time to explain why Kelly Clarkson may have made some of the decisions she has made this season — Alex over Injoy, Damali over Brook, etc — stating: 

Maybe they aren’t the most pleasant to deal with behind the scenes. Or she doesn’t think they’re coachable, at least not coachable for her. The fact that non of them were stolen though tells me there’s probably more to it than what we see on tv. In the few seconds we heard I thought Gracee sounded much better than Brennan. The other two I was surprised about, but maybe she sees something she can work with in the other contestants. Who knows.

Reddit User

Kelly Clarkson is a professional who yearns to work with other professionals. Some singers may sound objectively more talented; however, they may also be harder to mold, or more resilient to instruction. Adaptability is big on this show; you can’t come on and win if you don’t improve with time — they are coaches, not judges. 

You must be able to grow

Clarkson, as the fan explains, is likely making her biggest decisions based on coachability; if a singer portrays a stuck-in-their-ways mindset, they won’t make it to the end. One fan added:

Or she doesn’t think they’re coachable,

This is a huge one. Every coach at some point has mentioned this is the biggest thing for them.

Several coaches have passed up great singers with experience for inexperienced singers that were coachable.

Adam one season had a classically trained singer. The girl’s vocals were pitch perfect every time but there wasn’t much for her to be coached on other than her stage presence which sucked.

Reddit User

When it comes down to it, the coaches likely seem to pick weaker singers when the stronger singers lack the potential to grow (for some reason we never come to discover).