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New Choice on "The Voice"

By Janvi Acharya and Oswah Chaudhry

Ariana Grande got a role as the newest judge on "The Voice.” Announced in March, Grande replaced Nick Jonas to become the guest coach for the 21st season. She is now sitting with famous veteran coaches Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson to see the future of aspiring artists. Shelton and Legend have given her warm welcomes, and Clarkson expressed her overflowing excitement for having another woman as a judge.

Artwork by Shadia Zayer

Ariana Grande is the artist behind the chair this season.

With Grande being a new judge, many viewers are tuning in to watch the show. However, as popular as Grande may be, the show's ratings have dipped since the beginning of the season. The premiere drew in 7.22 million viewers, which is nearly 12% down from last year and 8% down from season 19. This may be due to the time it airs, and not because of Grande herself. Many of her international fans are only able to watch highlights of the show on YouTube, due to the different time zones. With many fans struggling to catch it live, the number of live viewers is less, despite the fact that more people are keeping up with it.

It is also reported that she is being paid more than the other judges. In fact, she is the highest paid judge in the history of “The Voice.” While she is making 20 to 25 million dollars, her fellow judges are making less. Clarkson is making between 14 to 22 million dollars, while Legend and Shelton are making 13 million dollars. This salary difference is quite large, but many say since she’s very talented, she is going to get paid more.

"I can see the unfairness, but she's a really good singer so she's gonna get paid more," said junior Laela Santana Branker.

Grande being named as a new member of "The Voice" has brought quite an uproar in the audience's opinions about her. Grande’s take on coaching is unique. When coaching artists on her team, many of them say that she cares about vocal health more than other coaches. For example, Ariana gives each member of her team a “vocal health kit lunch box” filled with goodies to protect their voices while singing. Grande wants her team members to have careers after the show, so this kit helps prepare them. This is a chief part of coaching that others forget about or might not care enough about. Her focus on vocal health, "lunch boxes” and her fame as a singer might make her a more frequently chosen coach than veteran coaches who have been performing professionally for 20 to 30 years.

"I don't really mind that she's a judge on "The Voice." She's a very talented person and she deserves this position," said seventh grader Alisa Dervisevic.

While Grande is a successful artist, it’s hard to say that “The Voice’s” popularity has skyrocketed with her appearing on it. The audience has mixed opinions about her being a judge on the show, and her coaching style.


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