How 'The Voice' judges are boosting song success through the show

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani performed the duet 'Go Ahead and Break My Heart' on a recent episode of 'The Voice,' a program for which Shelton is a judge and Stefani has previously served as a judge. 

Tyler Golden/NBC
'The Voice' judge Blake Shelton performs on a May 9 episode of the NBC program.

"The Voice" judges Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani performed their new song on a recent episode of the NBC singing competition "The Voice." 

Mr. Shelton is currently serving as a judge on the reality competition along with Adam Levine of Maroon 5, singer Christina Aguilera, and Pharrell Williams. Ms. Stefani has been a judge on "Voice" in the past. 

The two performed their duet "Go Ahead and Break My Heart" on the May 9 episode of the program, which also included contestants such as Laith Al-Saadi, Alisan Porter, and Nick Hagelin singing their latest numbers. Another added emotional layer to the duo's performance is the fact that they are in a relationship and wrote the duet together.

"Go," which will appear on Shelton's new album "If I'm Honest" to be released on May 20, is currently at number three on the iTunes top songs chart.

Both Stefani and Shelton have experienced commercial success with their songs in the past, with Stefani's newest album "This Is What The Truth Feels Like,”'which came out last month, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200, which measures album sales, and Shelton's 2011 album "Red River Blue" reaching that same ranking on the Billboard 200. 

And now they may experience even more success following the performance of their new song. Judges on popular singing competitions are often performers in their own right and so sometimes do renditions of their tracks on the shows. This can lead to an increase in the success of a song.

Hollywood Reporter writer Fred Bronson noted in 2014 that all three judges of "American Idol" at the time – singers Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. – were all experiencing good sales and that Ms. Lopez and Mr. Connick Jr. had recently performed their songs on the program.

Mr. Bronson wrote of Connick Jr., "He performed on last week's results show, which was sure to cause a chart impact this week. His album 'Every Man Should Know' rocketed from 21 to 1 on Top Jazz Albums." 

The effect has been happening for some time, with USA Today writer Brian Mansfield noting that sales for Lopez's song "Dance Again" increased after she performed it on "Idol" in 2012, which Mr. Mansfield wrote "might account for a good chunk of its 39 percent week-to-week gain." 

The benefit for artists is clear. If their program is successful, they're reaching a large amount of viewers if they perform on a show.

However, Mark Carpowich of The Huffington Post feels that these segments can take the focus away from the program's contestants. "The show will likely feature [the judges] in a starring role, devoting valuable air time to their own performances, promotional opportunities, and playful banter," Mr. Carpowich wrote of "The Voice" in 2014. "The contestants, on the other hand, will probably once again take a back seat...."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to