Just because "The Voice" has yielded less superstars than "American Idol" now doesn't mean it will yield less superstars in the end
Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
While it's true "American Idol" has, thus far, produced more musical superstars than "The Voice," it's entirely possible the results will flip-flop in a year, or five or 10.
"American Idol" is the undisputed champion in creating overnight success stories. Contestants, unknown a few weeks or days prior, can shoot to the top of the iTunes charts or grab thousands of Twitter followers with just a few appearances.
Unfortunately, that "Idol" fame fades just as fast when the season ends. (Quick: Name last year's "American Idol" top 10. See what I mean?)
Conversely, "The Voice" provides singers with an opportunity to work with a coach and mentor(s) who will guide them throughout the season and beyond. These performers work with their coaches to obtain record deals, touring opportunities and more. Subsequently, these musicians have a stronger foundation upon which to build a livelihood.
It's for that reason "The Voice" is a perfect fit for singers Kat Perkins and Paula DeAnda.
Both Kat and Paula took a run at a music career, but ultimately came up short of their respective goals. For them, "The Voice" represents an opportunity to obtain professional guidance and overcome the obstacles that once hindered their progress.
In the final week of blind auditions, Kat, 33, whose band once opened for Bon Jovi, took to the stage to perform "Gold Dust Woman." She sought a coach to teach her more about using her voice.
Three coaches volunteered.
"What an attitude!" Shakira said following Kat's song.
"You were really incredible for many reasons," Usher said. "When I first heard it, I said, 'OK, well, she's a country artist.' I don't know a lot about country, but what I do know is when I hear a great voice, I gotta hit my button. For us to win 'The Voice' together would be incredible.
"You know, you started the performance off - it drew me in. Then you held this loooong note. I'm, like, 'Wow.' I can only imagine how much of an incredible performer you will be with the type of support and encouragement to be great."
"Let me start by telling you that you are amazing," Shakira said. "I want you desperately."
Shakira told Kat she wrote and produced 99 songs (nine albums), does her own choreography, wardrobe and co-directs her videos.
"I'm on top of every detail," Shakira said. "I'd like for you to be the architect of your own destiny. You and I could get straight to the top."
"Please correct me if I'm wrong: You're a rock singer; that was a Fleetwood Mac song," Adam Levine interjected. "Stevie Nicks has, to me, maybe the best voice of any female artist, I think, ever. We've had her on the show the first season - the season that I won.
"The end of your performance - that note - that seared the entire audience. That was unbelievable."
Kat chose Adam and said, "His pitch - he was just so sure. ... He was so determined to get the rocker chick."
On Tuesday, Kat told BTS, "I think that, for me, because it's my first time going solo, as a solo artist, that 'The Voice' is a perfect platform for (a long and successful career), because most of the contestants are solo artists and I had never done it in my career. I'd only been part of rock bands, my own rock band, so I think the platform for me is perfect for a second chance and also reinventing as a solo artist.
"A lot of - you can't get much bigger than this show to have the opportunity to do that, so I'm grateful for that and hopefully it works."
At the age of 16, Paula crafted her own single, "Doing Too Much," which she personally shopped to radio stations. She caught the ear of uber-producer Clive Davis, who signed Paula to a record deal at Arista. She charted two Gold singles and appeared on MTV's "TRL." Her career was headed in the right direction until Davis left Arista. Subsequent records were delayed, and Paula was ultimately dropped.
Now 24, Paula is looking for a "rebirth of my singing career," she said. "This opportunity would mean the world."
On "The Voice," she performed "The Way." Her sultry tone netted chair turns from Shakira and Blake Shelton.
"I was enjoying your performance a lot, especially when you attempted to do those high note with falsetto voice," Shakira said. "I noticed that there was some issues. But, I am convinced that, under my coaching, you will improve 100 percent. And what's going to happen is that you and I are gonna work so hard that, in a few weeks from now, you're going to go, 'Wow, how did I improve this much?' And that's going to happen because I'm going to be your coach."
Blake countered by appealing to Paula's Texas roots.
"You did an amazing note," he added. "We were already looking at each other (he and Shakira), like, 'Oh my gosh, this is good.' And then it was like, reaction.
"That's what I see in you is this ability to attack, and I don't think you're afraid to try anything. And continuing on from what Shakira said, when she said she sees you improving and getting better, I'm looking even further than that. I see a victory in your future. But it's only in this lane that I see that."
After some deliberation, Paula pulled into Blake's lane.
"You know, I was really impressed with Paula," Blake said afterward. "She has equal power as a falsetto vocalist as she does just regular full voice."
"Well, this experience has been amazing," Paula told BTS Tuesday. "I learned a lot of different things. I've never had one-on-one vocal coaching, and I think that (this) will help me in the long run, too. Being signed before was amazing; I loved every minute of it. But it also has its downfalls in I never got to come out with my second album and I just kind of - I'm starting from the bottom up again. So, 'The Voice' is a perfect platform for me to be on and to show people that I'm still doing it.
"You can still do it. Never give up on your dreams."
"The Voice" continues with the "Battle Rounds" Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
>>Follow Kat on Twitter@KatPerkinsMusic.
>>Follow Paula on Twitter @pauladeanda.
•Joshua Maloni writes about television shows such as "The Voice," "Helix," "Psych," "The Black List," "Grimm" and "24." Follow him on Twitter @joshuamaloni.