Subscribe to Paula's newsletter

* indicates required

The Voice

A Little Reality Check

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to my sister for getting me hooked on The Voice. The three weeks I spent with her in November have ruined me.

I’d successfully avoided reality TV shows for years. I couldn’t tell you who got voted off any islands. Ever. I “get” the reference, but that’s about it. My husband took our sons to visit his family one year at Christmas. They were gone for ten days and when they came back, no one could find the TV remote. I never touched it the entire time they were gone.

That’s because years ago, when my first son was born, I swore to myself I wasn’t going to turn into a Stephen King stay-at-home mom cliché who sits around all day watching soap operas and talk shows while eating chocolate-covered cherries.  When I neglected my children, I sacrificed them for reading time. Hence the Stephen King reference. (Salem’s Lot, anyone?) Although come to think of it, I put them in front of the TV so they wouldn’t bother me. That could explain their addiction.

I also spent a few days with my mother not long ago and discovered she’s totally into reality TV.  

This otherwise very intelligent woman had me watching some sort of dance show with her, and I confess I was fascinated enough by Sister Wives to sit through three solid hours of it, but I had to draw the line at The Bachelorette.  I swear brain cells were dying by that point. She’s retired and not a big reader, so I’ll concede that at her age it’s acceptable entertainment.  As a former teacher librarian with a background in implementing computer systems, I’m not sure she fits the Stephen King mold anyway. She’s not a big chocolate consumer either.

I went home with no serious side effects and remained largely indifferent to TV, reality or otherwise.

Or so I thought.

First, a little more background. I have a feeling my mother greased the wheels for what was about to happen at my sister’s—in more ways than one.  My siblings and I all grew up listening to Mom play the guitar and trying to teach us to sing. People came to our house for impromptu kitchen parties. Her whole side of the family loves music. The Von Trapps would have felt right at home in that bunch. Yet, although my brother landed feet first in the Canadian music industry as a sound engineer, to my mother’s great disappointment, none of us ever displayed any real musical abilities.

But boy, do we know and appreciate talent in others when we see and hear it.

I would never have sat down in front of The Voice on my own. My sister provided me with a convenient excuse to check it out. Since it was her house and her TV, and she knew right where her remote control was at all times, I was powerless to stop her.

My biggest issue with reality TV – and remember, this is uninformed because I didn’t watch it – is that people put themselves out there and don’t seem to mind looking stupid or mean. And worse, talentless.

So when my sister turned on The Voice, I was prepared to spend my time on *ahem* Facebook. (Hangs head in shame.) And then I realized someone on this show had TALENT. So did the next person. And the one after that. They were down to eight finalists by this time.

I waited for the judges to annihilate the contestants. Because that’s what they do, right?

No. The judges were awesome, too.  Blake Shelton has to be the nicest man alive. (Although I do have a few issues with Christina Aguilera’s backhanded compliments for Melanie. The girl is seventeen years old and amazing.)

I’m never going to be the person who rushes home to watch a favourite TV show. But now I do have to see who wins on The Voice.

FYI, after hearing Over the Rainbow I’m rooting for Nicholas.

Who’s your reality TV show hero?