Why We Like Singing Talent Shows So Much : The Record New variations on Idol remind us we actually like our pop stars a little weird.
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We Are The Champions: Why We Like Singing Talent Shows So Much

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We Are The Champions: Why We Like Singing Talent Shows So Much

We Are The Champions: Why We Like Singing Talent Shows So Much

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Tonight, a winner will be crowned in the latest reality TV singing competition, "The Voice."

I: (Singing) I have no choice. I hear your voice. Heaven help me...

MONTAGNE: We as NPR's pop music critic, Ann Powers, for her take on what makes the voice stand out.

ANN POWERS: Here's Christina Aguilera about to see which of her two final team players goes home.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA: Unidentified Man #1: Well, let's take a look...

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

POWERS: And, you know, high school is a great thing and I really hope that Christina signs my yearbook.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: That is so sweet. Although Simon Cowell was nothing, if not completely popular.

POWERS: Unidentified Man #4: Biggest time out for L.A.'s singing audition ever.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

MONTAGNE: And where are all these people coming from?

POWERS: So what we have now are people in between professional and amateur. And that's what we're hearing on these shows.

MONTAGNE: Well, let's talk about becoming professional, you know, after the show. Because over the years, "American Idol," of course, has given us Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. But most people go on these shows and, even if they do well, never heard from again. Can they produce stars?

POWERS: For example, Constantine Maroulis was an "Idol" that people thought was sort of cheesy. He's become a Broadway star. He even won a Tony. So they do make careers in the music industry, but they don't necessarily top the charts.

MONTAGNE: Ann, thank you for joining us.

POWERS: Well, thanks so much. I have to go to my singing lesson now. You know, I'm thinking about my next career.

MONTAGNE: Ann Powers is NPR's pop music critic. And she writes for the Record blog NPR.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: And this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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