The Voice Season 11 Preview: Miley Cyrus & Alicia Keys – Keeping it Real

The Voice doesn’t officially start until Monday September 19th.  However,  on August 29th, right after the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, NBC gives fans a sneak peek of the show. The Voice season 11 preview videos leading up this builds on the theme of the new incoming superstar coaches – Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys – being two women.   I’m sure you’ve seen this promo on TV, you know, the one with Cyrus and Keys arriving to The Voice in an alien spaceship?


I must admit, my reaction to this was mixed. Yes, it was funny and a nice homage to space alien movies.  Still, it was annoying to feel like having two women on The Voice was an alien invasion. After all, there’s been a woman coach every season. At least online the tagline for the video gives this some clarity.

The new season of The Voice is sure to be out of this world with superstar coaches Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys joining Adam and Blake.

Now, the above is a sentiment I can agree with! These are huge music stars that have been in the business since before they were legal!  Keys signed her first deal with Columbia Records at 15.  By 17 she had left them for artistic differences and signed with Clive Davis at Arista Records – and left with when he formed his own label.

Cyrus is similar to the original female Voice coach. Christina Aguilera.  Like Aguilera, Cyrus grew up honing her chops and learning the business in the Disney school for future super stars.  They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….  Disney’s track record seems to prove the point.)  In terms of being a coach, both of these women have immense talent, experience and success – all things a coach needs!

Actually, the one thing this ad campaign has done is make me wonder is why there hasn’t been two female coaches before.  The Voice coach mix in breaks down in musical terms.  There’s a coach with a strong background in one of the four biggest musical genres: Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country.

Sure, the talents and focuses of each coach overlaps, but the general idea that each genre is represented.  I’ve always thought the single woman coach was coincidental, a question of whom they could get.  It didn’t occur to me that it was supposed to always be just one woman.

However, now it does seem like having two women is a real format change.  It’s strange. Like, it’s never occurred to them that the pool for R&B could include women?  I say this about R&B because Cyrus’s turn as a coach in The Voice season 10 knockouts showed she had the makings of a good coach. The spot really was grooming her for the pop coach job now.  The real format switch is adding Keys as the R&B person because that person has always been a guy.

The Voice Season 11 Preview Video

The hyping of the two women angle during all The Voice season 11 preview videos  is one piece that jumped out at me.  Then there’s something Cyrus says in this particular clip.  Her words makes it seem like the idea that there could be two women on the show was a serious, had to be thought about, format change.




Again, her comment is funny, but also sounds like a real thing that was discussed.

As much as the world like to make this “girl catfight” scenario – that’s actually Blake and Adam. – Miley Cyrus

I’m so glad Cyrus isn’t the type to pull punches!  Despite the splashes of pink in that last video clip, I do like that the larger focus of it is on what these artists bring to The Voice as artists – not as “women.”  Adam Levine talks about Cyrus’s “youthful spirit” as a component the show’s been missing.  Blake Sheldon praises her talent as a performer as well as her “ear” for music.  Sheldon also talks about the writing and producing skills of Keys.  It’s about the music, not the gender.

The Voice Season 11 Preview – What to Expect

At the same time, because it is such a departure, it can’t help but be about gender. That’s the catch-22 about just about everything these days. From the run for president, to a woman directing a big-budget movie, to adding another woman to The Voice, the story’s the same. It shouldn’t be a big deal…but yet it is.

In terms of the show itself, the bits of interaction between the four has a nice chemistry. That’s a must for this show to really work. The other is believing that these people care about the people they are working with.

Honestly though, if a person wasn’t like that they wouldn’t be coaching on The Voice.  It’s one of the things I’ve loved about the show from day one.  There’s a real commitment by whomever is on there to meet and mentor talent, often way beyond the time on the show.

Finally, far more interesting than the gender difference, is the age difference.  Music-wise Keys and Cyrus are a different generation than Sheldon and Levine. It will be interesting to see what they listen for and their approaches to things.  E! notes that the two women have become good friends. Together, I think they are going to make this one of the show’s best season’s yet!

Don’t forget: The Voice season 11 preview is right after the closing ceremonies of the Olympics on Sunday, August 21st!

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