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I Can See Your Voice Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Creator: Ken Jeong
Stars: Ken Jeong, Cheryl Hines, Adrienne Houghton
A ridiculous premise, that sees celebrity judges guess which contestant can sing the best without hearing their voice, is turned into unlikely fun
First came Pop Idol (which became American Idol), a show which judged people based on how they looked and sounded. Then came The Voice, which judged them by how they sounded alone. And now, in what will hopefully mark the logical endpoint for all musical competition shows, comes I Can See Your Voice.
As well as being the sort of thing that a serial killer from a bad 1990s thriller would whisper in your ear immediately before murdering you, I Can See Your Voice is a new Fox show that hauls a succession of poor saps to the fore and tries to determine whether or not they can sing based entirely on how they look.
That’s literally the show. We’re shown six performers – who for some reason are never referred to by their name, preferring instead to go by monikers like The Golfer or The Mathlete – and are told what might be real or fake biographies about them. They lip-sync (to their own voice if they can sing, or someone else’s if they can’t), and a team of “celebrity detectives” have to guess their vocal ability. That’s it. Get it right and a member of the public wins some money. Get it wrong and nothing bad happens whatsoever.
Very quickly, on the subject of celebrity detectives, what on Earth does Nick Lachey have on the television producers of America? He’s on the panel here, alongside figures like Arsenio Hall and Kelly Osbourne, but he’s introduced as “music superstar Nick Lachey”. After Love is Blind and its infamous “Obviously I’m Nick Lachey” introduction, I’m convinced that one of two things is happening. Either I’m wrong and Nick Lachey is much, much, much more famous than I ever realised, or Nick Lachey has somehow found a way to blackmail the entire television industry. Producers, please blink twice if you’re in danger. Together we can beat this man.
But back to the show. On paper, I Can See Your Voice should represent a brand new low. On paper it is gaspingly superficial, cynically derivative and annoyingly repetitive. It looks like the sort of thing you would only watch drunk, and out of spite. However, the amazing thing is that, despite going in expecting to hate it, I Can See Your Voice contains some of the most joyful moments I’ve seen on TV of late.
Like The Masked Singer before it, there’s untold amounts of fun to be had at the reveal. The object of the game is to whittle down the group of singers one by one, by eliminating the duffers first. Once they’ve been eliminated, the singers have to perform in front of everyone. If they suck, it’s brilliant. The bad singers all uniformly go for the throat of whatever song they massacre; ripping it to shreds like they’re being booted out of a 3am karaoke party. They don’t care. They have nothing to lose. It’s beautiful to see.
Better yet, people hate the good singers. The first good singer in episode one comes out of nowhere; their lip-syncing is half-hearted and limp, and nobody believes they could possibly carry a tune. So when they sing, and the voice of an angel comes out, people are genuinely outraged. The member of the public is angry at losing money. The celebrity detectives are furious about being duped. The audience recoils like they’ve just been sprayed with vomit. It’s amazing.
There are bigger questions to ask about I Can See Your Voice. Like, where exactly are we supposed to mark the line between good and bad singing? It’s the age-old question that used to plague Pop Idol. If David Bowie turned up and auditioned, would he go through to the next round? And so it is here. The “good” singers here tend to be technically proficient rather than charismatic. Perhaps this is why, in the final round, the one remaining singer has to duet with Nick Lachey. Lachey is a man of such perfect scientific bland mediocrity that he acts like a sort of control variable for the show. If they can sing better than him, they’re good; if they can’t, they have to be bad.
But never mind. I Can See Your Voice is much more of a hoot than you might expect. If it is a success, and I suspect it might be, brace yourself for future spin-offs like I Can Touch Your Scent and I Can Sniff Your Thoughts.
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