What Singing Competitions Like The Voice Can Teach Us

“You haven’t lived until you’ve watched the Mongolian version of The Voice.”

We’ve all been there. It’s 2 a.m. I know that when I go to bed the weekend is over, and it’s back to the Monday-morning grind. A rabbit hole opens as YouTube suggests I might want to watch The Voice. Clips of a singing show? Hah. Whatever! I click “play.” In the blink of an eye, I notice the eastern sky is lit up. I’ve spent all night watching various countries’ versions of The Voice—and I could not be happier!

American TV is pretty great. We have drama, cartoons, comedies, and reality TV—ranging from good all the way down to The Bachelor. Since we own Hollywood, it can be easy to think the “American Way” is the only way, that it’s the best, and it can’t get any better.

I’ve been following The Voice since season one when CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton came together on the same stage. While I like the show, I didn’t really love it. I’ve seen it. I know what’s going on. I’ll tune in if I have nothing better to do. 

The World of The Voice?

What I did not know until that fateful evening: almost 145 countries and regions have their own version of The Voice! From Ukraine to South Africa, Russia to Spain, Argentina to China, The Voice follows a similar pattern. (Except China. For some unknown reason, they recently swapped the iconic chair turn with car seats that slide down a track into view like a roller coaster. Seriously.)

Are these versions good? Check out an AC/DC cover:

I don’t know about you, but that is one of the best versions of “Highway to Hell” that I’ve heard. Close your eyes or turn your chair around and all you have is some really great singing. Just so happens the singer’s from Thailand.

Can we connect deeply, and emotionally, with different countries and cultures if we don’t know the language? Listen to Bukhu Ganburged.

A few tears escaped my eyes during that performance and I have no idea what the words meant. But I know I felt deeply connected to this man for those moments. I can’t remember a performance on The Voice that affected me so much.

While American coaches on The Voice US are talented, they’re just a part of this elite group of musicians. One example that stands out is Mika. You may remember him from his English-language hit song Grace Kelly (33 million YouTube views). But, he also is one of four judges on The Voice France, sometimes judging songs completely in French and giving his critiques in the native language as well.

Some coaches on The Voice start out in one country and move to another. Jennifer Hudson spent the 2018 season on The Voice US fighting over talented singers like Kennedy Homes.


But what’s that? She’s also on The Voice UK? Yup! Jennifer Hudson and Tom Jones break into song on The Voice UK between contestants, putting on one of the most impressive performances of the show.

While I lamented the state of my American version of The Voice as formulaic with too much Adam-and-Blake bickering, the rest of the world was making it into something even greater.

Oh, and by the way, it turns out The Voice wasn’t ours to begin with. The original idea was Dutch and started on TV in Holland.

What Does it all Mean?

The variety of different cultures, countries, song choices, and musical stylings have renewed my respect for The Voice. No longer is this a stodgy, worn-out reality-TV show past its prime. I’ve discovered there’s so much more! Many clips are now in my watch-later playlist on YouTube. I’ve even been extolling the show’s virtues at Talimer company meetings (see the quote at the beginning of this entry.) 

Many companies were built by strong, hard-working people who invested, took chances, made sacrifices, and pushed boundaries. Companies and teams are great, and just like The Voice, they can be even better! By widening our repertoire of cultural foods (I’m looking at you Mr. Taco truck), music (Shakira anyone?) and our talent base, we as businesses can grow, too.

To clarify: A diverse workforce can, but does not necessarily mean, immigrants. America is diverse in our races, cultures, religious beliefs, sexes, creeds, experiences and many more unique qualities. Diversity fuels dynamic growth, expansion, and innovation.

To further clarify: When we aim to increase diversity in our businesses, we are not saying the original is bad. Not at all! In fact, I now appreciate and enjoy The Voice US more than ever, rejuvenated by broadening my world of musical experience. 

What we’re really saying: we can make our businesses even better by broadening our world of talent experience. 

The 145 cultural iterations of The Voice have converted me into a true fan. Imagine what will happen when business expands by embracing more diversity? 

What’s Next?

If you want to bring people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives together there is no faster way to do it than by tapping into independent workers for your next project. It’s a way to stop talking about diversity and actually hire a diverse group of people right now and get to work enjoying the competitive edge diverse teams bring to businesses.

Ready to supercharge your business with a freelancer? Talimer can show you how, but we’ll let you be the judge. Learn more at Talimer.com.


Talimer is blowing up what’s wrong with the “gig economy.” By putting freelancers first in a unique marketplace, we’re growing and empowering a diverse community of tech professionals to feel fulfilled, confident and secure in their lives. We’re doing this by providing them access to jobs, benefits and more while making it easier for businesses to secure these highly skilled, hard-to-find, on-demand freelancers. To learn more about Talimer please visit www.talimer.com.  To see Talimer’s available job opportunities, please visit www.talimer.com/job-opportunities.