The Voice is still going strong after 12 years, as it’s about to enter its 24th season with a coaching panel that for the first time won’t include Blake Shelton. However, even with the undeniable talent of its current coaches — Reba McEntire, John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan — the singing competition can’t escape its most glaring issue: It fails to produce stars. A former contestant of France’s version of the show, La Voix, had a strong take on the competition, calling the idea of winning it “the most horrible thing that could happen,” and former coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton seem to share some of her opinions.
The Voice Alum Charlotte Cardin Rails On ‘Cookie-Cutter Contract’
Charlotte Cardin competed on the first season of France’s version of The Voice back in 2013, becoming one of the four finalists. According to a recent interview she did with the Zach Sang Show, she certainly wasn’t upset about not making it further. A TikTok post shows a portion of the interview, in which Cardin told the host:
It haunts me. I have bad dreams about winning the show. People don’t know, but it’s true — it’s the most horrible thing that could happen. I don’t know how it is now, but contract-wise, what happens is that you — before you’re even on TV for the first time, so before that Blind Audition — they have everyone sign the exact same contract, and the winner of the show is tied to that contract. … It’s the same for everyone, it’s a cookie-cutter contract that’s really not in favor of the artist, and you’re just tied for four or five albums to a music label that’s not necessarily the best label you could sign to.
She admitted that things might have changed since she was on the show, and there are likely differences in how the French version of the contract was handled, compared to the U.S. version. However, there may be more similarities than we know, given that two of The Voice’s most tenured coaches have addressed the same issue with the show here in the States.
Adam Levine And Blake Shelton On Universal Music Group: ‘The Ball’s Been Dropped’
Adam Levine and Blake Shelton were two of the original four coaches when The Voice premiered in 2011. During the Season 13 post-finale press conference in 2017, they addressed the Universal Music Group record deal that is given to each winner, with the Maroon 5 frontman saying the label “destroys” all the good that’s done on The Voice. Levine said (via Parade):
We work with these artists and give them this tremendous workshop and get them to the end of the show, and I think the work that we do on the show is amazing. We give these guys this incredible platform and this really rare thing, a lot of exposure and air time. Once we pass the torch, it is the record label that completely destroys that.
Blake Shelton added at the time that his previous two winners never even had an album released by Universal. Despite their speaking out about it, it doesn’t seem like anything changed, and the cowboy brought the issue up again following his Season 18 win with Todd Tilghman in 2020. In an interview with ET, the country singer said:
One of the frustrating things for me, as a coach on this show year after year, is that they win this record deal with Universal, and so many times the ball’s been dropped and there hasn’t been a lot of follow-through with the record deal. And I don’t care, I’ve been vocal about that from the beginning, because it’s a hard pill to swallow.
Blake Shelton famously has continued to help his team members long after they leave The Voice stage, and the fact that he’s not afraid to speak out about the issue seems to prove that he really does care about the success of the artists who cross his path. However, while some contestants of The Voice have found success after the show, it continues to lack a huge name like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, who both came out of American Idol.
Charlotte Cardin’s sentiments are kind of hard to hear, especially as we prepare to get to know a new group of artists on The Voice Season 24. Will this be the season an artist is able to break through in a big way? The Blind Auditions kick off at 8 p.m. ET Monday, September 25, on NBC.