Dear Channel 9 and The Voice: Kids,
I am unashamedly a fan of The Voice. While I may not watch every episode, I enjoy seeing people perform and develop their stage persona throughout the show. I enjoy the successes and train wrecks alike, as would anyone else. Because of this, I am naturally intrigued as to how The Voice: Kids will take off when it launches this weekend.
I work with kids in performing, and I know the joy that it can bring to a child to get up on stage and show people what they can do. I’ve seen the confidence it can build and the friendships it can foster. I am a vocal advocate for it.
Part of me is sceptical of how this show will be handled – that I won’t deny. But here is what I hope The Voice: Kids will be.
I hope that the contestants will be allowed to act like children. That they will have moments of nervousness and anxiety, and they will celebrate their successes with appropriately child-like glee. I hope they don’t feel the need to mimic the ‘hand-face-fanning-to-stem-the-tears’ or ‘oh-my-goodness-did-I-win-chest-clutching’ that are so often seen on reality television.
I hope they are encouraged to have fun above all else. I hope the kids won’t be forced to be mini adults; listening to advice on how this experience will change their lives, or that they have a career waiting for them, or that this is essentially their one shot at their dreams.
I hope the kids are coached to perform like kids. I hope they sing songs they enjoy and have fun with, and they perform them in costumes and outfits that make them feel comfortable and confident. Even if the lyrics are arguably vague, I hope they are not expected to sing songs about love and heartache, sex, alcohol and partying. I hope they are not dressed in any way that sexualises them or attempts to make them appear more mature than their age. I hope they are not encouraged to dance in a suggestive manner or appeal to the audience in an inappropriate way.
I would like to be able to watch The Voice: Kids and see a group of passionate and excited children singing their hearts out and loving every minute – and in doing so, celebrating the fact that they are in fact, children.
Keep that in mind at all times, and I think the show can be a hit.
Yours in faith of your ability to make the right decision,