Augusta’s Morning News with John Patrick, Mary Liz Nolan, and Chris Michaels

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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 14: Bill Cody and Blake Shelton attend the "The Voice" Visits Nashville press conference at Ole Red on November 14, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

My name is John, and I like The Voice!

So, by way of background, I used to pompously say, during the “heyday” of “reality” shows that they weren’t really real, and I couldn’t be bothered wasting my time.  Then, I discovered “Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels” and I couldn’t look away.  If you remember the show, Simmons was/is the lead singer for the group KISS and the show followed the day to day activities of Gene, his model wife, Shannon Tweed and their two children.  I had to watch it every week.  I was fascinated how Simmons was able to keep reinventing not only himself, but KISS and continued to keep them relevant well past any reasonable time.

That brings me to The Voice.  My relationship with the show began because I’m friends with one of the people that finds the singers for the show.  He began to say to me, “you should really listen to this singer, he/she is wonderful”.  So, I tuned in.  I was immediately captivated by the Blind Auditions (The Blinds).  Just, for the most part, regular folks, who can sing, looking for a big break.  From time to time there’s a professional in the mix, used to sing professionally, etc.  But for the most part, it’s the girl next door, the guy singing in bars weekend nights.  And it’s their families, who are traveling this road with them.  Standing offstage hoping one of the judges turns their chairs.

Oh, the judges.  There have been a few…from Blake Shelton, to Adam Levine, Usher, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Joe Jonas, Alcia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, to mane some.  The interaction with the judges is entertaining as well.

Now in the spirit of full disclosure, and not something my friend would like to hear, but once we get through the three weeks of “The Blinds”, then I tend to lose interest.  I’ll tune in from time to time, but the innocence is gone.  The singers are now in the competition to win.  And interestingly, VERY FEW winners from the now more than 20 “seasons” have gone on to any success.  Even, arguably one the most famous alumni from any show such as this, Kelly, didn’t come from The Voice, she came from American Idol. So did Carrie Underwood.

But I’ve just never gotten into American Idol.

The show used to air two seasons each year.  It seems the pandemic, and the desire to not wear out their welcome has convinced the producers to slow down.  There was no show this spring, but, FEAR NOT, the show will return this fall, debuting on Monday, September 19th for season 22.  The judges this season are Blake Shelton, John Legend, Gwen Stafani and Camila Cabello.

To get you ready for the new season, over the next few weeks, I thought I’d post some of my favorite “Blinds” through the years.  In some cases the singers went on to win the season, but many times they did not.

Take the one here, it quite possibly is MY ALL TIME FAVORITE blind audition, but, in the end, Mary Sarah did NOT win.

But she did do this…six years ago