So No Coaches Turned Around For Malford… So What?
Last night my buddy Malford Milligan’s “Blind Audition” aired on The Voice. He came out swinging with a smooth version of Al Greene’s “Let’s Stay Together” but it wasn’t in the cards for him to make a team, and no coach turned their chair. Afterward, I quickly hopped online and posted a positive note to my Facebook to Malford and went about my evening. Then the word started getting out online and the “armchair coaches” all came rushing in. Not all of them were negative but it quickly started to get ugly.
So, after pouring through tons of comments and tweets regarding Malford’s “Blind Audition” on last night’s episode of The Voice and resisting the urge to reply, I felt compelled to instead say something here about how quick people are to get so negative and hateful regarding The Voice and it’s coaches. Many wrote how outraged they were that the coaches didn’t know Malford had released many albums before, some recorded on a major label. I myself even sent a personal tweet to Blake Shelton with a link to Malford’s catalog on iTunes in hopes of a retweet to spread the word about a solid recording career by my fellow Blues singer from Austin. (still waiting on that RT Blake!) But what folks need to remember is the premise of the “Blind Audition:” It handicaps the coaches by not allowing them to see the singer or know any of their backstory, and forces them to focus solely on vocal performance. I saw so many comments about how Malford had put out “more records than Blake or CeeLo,” or that Malford had “more talent than all the coaches combined,” etc etc. Yes, Malford has recorded a LOT of music and been on the scene for many years and by many people’s standards – mine included – has a TON of talent as a performer, but the fact that no one turned a chair for him had nothing to do with any of those things at that moment. All the coaches can do is listen and choose and after 4 seasons, they are pickier than ever. That means sometimes they hear a great singer but still don’t push their button. There are so many factors at work here but most of it boils down to personal taste and strategy. They each have strategies and are constantly “playing the game” to win. Adam Levine is notoriously strategic, having admitted after winning with Javier Colon in S1 that once he had convinced Javier to join his team, every decision he made after was to keep him in line to win. There are other things at play too, that I’m honestly not sure I’m allowed to elaborate on, but the timeline of when his audition was shot most certainly could have played a HUGE part in who wanted to press their button and who actually could push their button.
But even with all that being said, it still leaves no room for negativity or personal attacks on people that I know truly love what they do up there and do make a real effort to make good choices when they press that button and follow through with each artist the best they can. Say what you will about any of The Voice coaches, but they have each put in a ton of work to get where they are today and are have a string of hits from here to high heaven to show for it. As an artist, when you sign up to audition for The Voice – which has raised the talent bar SO high just by weeding out thousands of bad singers all over the country during open calls so that only the best possible talent steps onto that stage – by the time you are in Hollywood about to walk on that stage in front of CeeLo, Blake, Xtina, and Adam, you know what you are getting into. This wasn’t Malford’s first rodeo… He’s a pro. He made the cut, went on TV, gave a solid performance of a classic R&B song and left it out on the stage for the whole world to hear and almost the whole world to see, minus four celebrity coaches. And although he didn’t make a team, he represented himself like the true professional he always is, on and off camera. My friends in production have nothing but wonderful things to say about him and from the looks of it after reading an update from Malford’s Facebook page, the feeling is mutual. So, he didn’t make it onto The Voice.. So what!? It’s not the end of the line for him by any means and now a whole bunch more people all over the world know what we in Austin have known for years… Malford can sing his ass off. And knowing Malford, I’d be willing to bet he’ll be the first to say, “everything happens for a reason.” So quit with all the hating on the coaches and The Voice and be proud of the man for having the courage to get up on ANY stage to do what he does and be grateful that you can catch him live at The Saxon Pub on Friday, October 11th and hope that the exposure brings more fans his way.