I like watching The Voice, and for two seasons in a row, I’ve gotten attached to my favorite contestants. (Beverly and Javier rocked season one, and this year, I’m pulling for Tony and Juliet. And I’m still sad about what happened to Jesse.)
But really, it seems like the show’s biggest winner is Maroon 5, the band fronted by judge Adam Levine. Last fall, they stormed back to the top of the charts with “Moves Like Jagger,” featuring fellow judge Christina Aguilera. For both acts, it was their first big hit in ages, and the song immediately exploded after being premiered in a live performance on The Voice.
And you know what? Good. “Moves Like Jagger” is a great pop song, and I’m glad The Voice delivered it to my ears.
It looks like history is repeating itself this season. Earlier this week, Maroon 5 took to the show to premiere “Payphone,” their new single with rapper Wiz Khalifa. And just like “Jagger,” it’s fantastic. Instantly catchy, great hook, and Khalifa’s rap complements the rest of the tune. As of this writing, it’s the #1 song on the iTunes chart, which means it will probably have a high debut on next week’s Hot 100. Once again, the show is sending a judge to the stratosphere, and with Christina Aguilera and fellow judge Cee-Lo working on music together, it may unleash another hit single before long.
But isn’t it funny that the show’s contestants can’t match the chart success of the judges? Wasn’t it supposed to be Javier who rocketed up the Hot 100 last year? Where’s his “Moves Like Jagger?”
Maybe we shouldn’t worry, though. At least The Voice keeps introducing us to great pop songs, even if they’re not performed by the people we’re voting for.
(SIDEBAR: Who uses a payphone? Is it 1986?)
Mark Blankenship has written about pop music for The New York Times and NPR. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship. He’ll vote for Tony Lucca several more times.