I did not watch “The Voice” this season — as I said I would not in March of this year — because the show had changed into something unfamiliar and unlikable:

The way to fix The Voice — and fix it fast! — is for the coaches to be more involved in the performance preparation process.  They need to require the proper tempo.  They need to tell a contestant they are awful when they are awful.  They need to buck up and stop picking on each other and start mentoring their singers so a new and necessary talent is anointed on the show.

Imagine my surprise when I kept hearing the name “Cassadee Pope” lingering in the mainstream media as the winner of season three of The Voice.

“Hmm,”  I thought to myself, “The obnoxious spelling of ‘Cassadee’ is ringing familiar in both eye and ear.  Let me look her up.”

In doing a simple Google search on “Cassadee Pope” I was presented with this right sidebar information box right on the Google search returns page.  When I saw the reference to “Hey Monday” — I began to realize there was something odd afoot at the altar of the mainstream pop mindset if Cassadee was just crowned the “winner” of a singing competition.

The problem with Cassadee winning The Voice is that she is a Ringer if there ever was one.  On November 20, 2009 in Urban Semiotic, I wrote about Cassadee and her band — Hey Monday — with this defense:

One of the greatest joys of living an online life is the ability to celebrate, and defend, the goodness you find in the world against the crassness crashing around us, and today, we are leaping — nay, racing — to the defense of the new smash musical group, “Hey Monday” and their delightful lead singer, Cassadee Pope.

Hey Monday — starring Cassadee Pope — was a popular and growing regional band.  They recorded several albums together and made lots of professional quality music videos.  They had a sponsorship deal with Fender Guitars.  They had a massive fan base following.  How could Cassadee NOT win The Voice with a sticky web of background support like that?

It doesn’t matter if it was mentioned on the show that she used to be in a band — she never should have been allowed to compete on the show in the first place to preserve the integrity of the competition — and even Cassadee appears to confess that now in the dimness of what certainly smells like a pre-rigged win:

Pope — a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, and the former lead singer of the Warped Tour vets Hey Monday — admits she was hesitant at first to audition for “The Voice.” Last year, while still a member of her band, Pope turned down an offer to audition for Season Two. But after moving to Los Angeles to try her hand at a solo career, struggling to pay the bills and exhausting all her contacts in the music business, Pope says she was forced to reconsider her options when The Voice came calling again. “I almost passed on it again,” she admits. “I don’t know why. . . just being in the band world, you tend to get a little proud. A part of me just didn’t want to do this show because I wanted to do it from the ground up. I really wanted to do it the old-fashioned way, which is kind of impossible nowadays — especially when everyone thinks you’re going to sound exactly like your band and no one’s interested.”

Hey Monday was not an after school garage band.  Doing a search on “Cassadee Pope” on iTunes brings up all of The Voice “albums” — but when you do a search on “Hey Monday” you get no fewer than five Cassadee Pope albums, tons of songs and five high-quality, professional, music videos for purchase starring Cassadee ranging from release years between 2008 and 2011.

Certainly The Voice isn’t trying to claim they are giving Cassadee a second chance at success when her latest album and video releases for Hey Monday were just last year?

Am I missing something here?  Why is The Voice using seasoned, professional, pre-sponsored singers as Ringers to “win” their singing show?  Have American Idol and the X Factor taken up all the amateur singers and all The Voice is left with is picking over stars with expired record contracts?

Yes, I know other previously recorded singers have won The Voice in the past — but Cassadee’s “win” is too fresh, too pre-packaged, and too unauthentically raw to pass the smell test of credulity. Cassadee Pope “winning” The Voice is even more clear, and insensibly seasoned, evidence the show is unreal and prestaged — and, perhaps, even predetermined — but not, it seems, by actual talent or moral chance, but rather by a willful, and swindling, producer manipulation.

Perhaps for the next season of The Voice, they can get Billy Joel to compete.  I also understand Sir Paul McCartney is available since the demise of the Beatles.  If Cassadee Pope can compete and “win” on The Voice, then why not let true SuperStars “compete” to win the show with a celebrity coach who just happens to be less famous, and more poorly talented, than them?

10 Comments

  1. I’m not sure what’s sadder — the fact that they let a professional compete or the fact that she is struggling to pay bills despite having sold as many albums as she has with her band and turned to The Voice to get help with paying them!

    1. We don’t know that she was actually struggling to pay anything — that’s the PR sob story behind her “history” as a “struggling” singer that the show rediscovered to save her… but only after asking her last season and then this season to appear…

      1. Following that Wikipedia link I mention in the article leads to this fresh and frequent pre-pro-life before The Voice for Cassadee:

        She appeared in Fall Out Boy’s video for “America’s Suitehearts”, from their 2008 album Folie à Deux. In the video, Pope plays a girl wearing large glasses talking by the telephone who is then kidnapped. She also provided guest vocals for The Cab’s remix version of their song “Take My Hand” that appeared on Fall Out Boy’s mixtape, Welcome to the New Administration, and appeared in the music video for it the following summer of 2009. She had a guest appearance as herself in the Degrassi: The Next Generation TV Movie, Degrassi Goes Hollywood, along with Pete Wentz.

        Cassadee along with her Hey Monday bandmates as well as band members of Stereo Skyline appeared on an episode of MTV’s Silent Library. She has performed guest vocals live for We the Kings’s song We’ll Be a Dream replacing Demi Lovato (original vocals on the song) as well as live vocals for The Academy Is…, All Time Low, Attack Attack!, The Cab, Cobra Starship, Fall Out Boy, This Providence, and I See Stars. In early 2012, she embarked on her first solo acoustic tour across the east and west coast.[3][4] Pope has been dating Rian Dawson,[5] the drummer of All Time Low, since January 2010.

        She released her debut self titled EP (self-labeled) on May 22, 2012, featuring four songs; “Original Love”, “Secondhand”, “I Guess We’re Cool”, and “Told You So”. All of the songs on the EP were written by Cassadee herself.[6]

        Ha! Some undiscovered newbie, eh? SMILE!

  2. Obnoxious is the word alright. Everytime I see her smug, “I’m so talented and edgy and wild” ugly face in a picture, I become enraged and want to slap her silly. I’ve never watched the voice and I never will, and basically I’ve given up on pop music because I can’t stand the idiotic personalities nowadays.

  3. I was looking for an article that pointed to producers who, all to commonly, manipulate the viewer into believing they are experiencing an organic and real competition. Think of how predetermined her win was. Her “Hey Monday” Vevo on YouTube alone had over 20 million views, BEFORE the show. I looked at ratings for The Voice finale; about 14 million people watched. She already had more fans than people who watch the show. It was mathematically impossible for her to lose. This speaks to a deeper issue of producers creating “reality” and social engineering the public according to this media. Great article, it articulated most of the points I thought stood out and needed to be exposed.

    1. Excellent referral to her tremendous Vevo success. She was an established star months before she was selected to be on the show. If she had been washed up for 10 years, and The Voice was her second chance at the big time, okay then, I can get how that might be neat to watch and root her upward — but the way it all shook down, it all points to her being pre-selected the winner — and all that chair turning and yelling was just Pro Wrestling pretending to be a music competition show.

  4. I liked her fake, concocted, sob story, also. That was a nice touch. It shows that the producers knew there might be questions about her legitimacy; in terms of eligibility, and tried to give justification for her presence on the show. My theory is that record companies know how much money there is to be made from winners of these “competitions” especially on their debut album… and influenced the process.

    1. I think you’re right on!

      I saw her on the NBC New Year’s Eve show — pretending to be so wowed by the awesomeness of her win and newfound stardom. Such a phony! I hope she doesn’t sell any records as a revolt against this “sham” of a “competition.”

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