Those of you who know me know that Dora, Diego, Blue, and the Backyardigans rule my TV. The only viewing I squeeze in are a half-hour of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams (love), and a half-hour of Extra. This way, I get a healthy mix of serious world news and not-at-all-serious Hollywood news.
The one other show I have been making a point to watch is The Voice, and last week I found myself suddenly in love with Blake Shelton. I am not a country music fan, and I must confess that I had no idea who he was when the show started. He’s instantly likeable and fits in well with the panel, so even though I didn’t know him, I liked him and loved the show.
Last week is when I became a huge fan. Here’s why: viewers voted to save one person from Blake’s team. That person was Dia Frampton, who sang a version of Kanye West’s “Heartless” the week before. Now, Blake had to save one person from elimination. He chose Xenia, a 16-year-old girl with little singing experience who did a version of Jessie J’s “Price Tag” the week before. Both Dia and Xenia broke into iTunes top 100 with their performances. Even still, many people were surprised that he picked Xenia.
I wasn’t. His fatherly affection for her is obvious if you are watching the show. His reason for saving her is what made my heart swell. The night he made his decision, he told the audience he could not “affect change with Jared or Patrick like I can with Xenia.” In other words, he wants to teach her. Yes, this is a competition, and, trust me, the girl can sing. Surely they both want to win, but his comment made it clear that he is taking his role of “coach” seriously. I’m not saying the other coaches aren’t, but Frenchie Davis has been on Broadway and Javier Colon has had a record contract. Many of the contestants have lots of professional experience. Xenia is just getting started.
Blake wants to affect change–to coach and teach her, and make her better, even if she doesn’t win. As a teacher, I get that. I haven’t always bonded with the smartest student in my class or the one who has read more books than I have. Sometimes, I connect most with the student who has the ability, isn’t where he or she should be for a number of reasons, and wants my help to improve. And when that student does improve? What an awesome thing, for the student mostly, of course, but also for the teacher because at that moment, you feel as a parent does: proud of them and hopeful for them.
So, Blake Shelton gets a big gold star and a piece of my teacher heart for saving Xenia, the young girl with the cool voice and lots of potential. I can’t wait to see her next performance and where her career goes from here.