There may be an impending budget crisis in Congress (again?), a slew of atrocities abroad, and an upcoming mayoral election in our biggest city, but we all know what the real news item of the day is: the motherfucking Voice is back on NBC. Tonight’s episode will be the first with Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green back in place of Shakira and Usher, who will in turn be back in their places in the Spring… Sigh. Whatever. All we want to see anyway is some ugly people thanking The Voice for the opportunity to be judged not for their ugliness and Carson Daly doing his awkward half-smile, half-grimace. That’s television. So, respectfully, we offer you a drinking game to enhance your viewing experience. If you follow all the rules you will likely require EMSing, so you should probably also consider playing it as an eating game (those exist, maybe), or, as I will, a motivational tactic (i.e. fold a piece of laundry every time something happens). Without further ado:
- Drink when Carson uses completely unnecessary superlatives to introduce the judges at the start of the show
- Drink when Blake mentions how many times he’s won, or refers to some obscure country music award he’s received
- Drink when Carson responds completely inappropriately to the contestants’ sob stories
- Drink when a contestant clearly hasn’t overcome real adversity, and instead says something like “I once had a really bad viral infection that gave me a sore throat and made me miss my high school musical”
- Drink when a contestant’s antechamber voiceover frets that this is his/her “only” or “last” shot to obtain his/her “dream”
- Drink when Carson awkwardly hugs a contestant’s family member in the viewing room; drink twice if he tries to hug them but they ignore him
- Drink when a contestant cries out of happiness; pour one out for the fallen homies if he/she cries for not making the cut
- Make everyone else drink if you can predict which contestant will be the lead-in to the mandatory “[Contestant’s name] wasn’t the only one who failed to impress the judges… [montage of rejects]”
- Drink when a contestant tells the coaches that they love them all and listen to all their music, then picks Adam without considering the decision at all
- Drink when two or three coaches have already turned, then freak out and go “WHAT?? YOU? STOP!” when the final coach turns. Drink again if the last one to turn is Adam.
- Drink when a coach (read: Christina) is the only one to turn for a mediocre contestant, then makes herself feel better by pretending to be really excited
- Throw your drink at the television when they toss things over to Christina Milian in the Sprint Skybox
- Drink when Cee Lo is shown creepily holding an animal and (probably) talking to it about his team
- Drink when anyone refers to someone who plays acoustic guitar as a “singer-songwriter” for no obvious reason other than that they have a guitar
- Drink when Adam tries to steal a country artist from Blake; drink again if he succeeds
- Make everyone else drink if you predict which scantily clad female contestant will make Cee Lo inappropriately and obviously aroused
- Drink when a contestant says they know their dead relative is “proud of them” or “watching over them” for their audition
- Throw your cowboy hat in the air and clink your spurs together in jubilation every time Blake’s folksy charm prevents any other coach from actually getting a country singer on his/her team. Then face a bottle of whiskey in despair when you realize how sad it is that you can’t win The Voice without at least some semblance of country twang.
- Drink when Carson plugs the iTunes version of the blind audition performances; drink twice if Christina Milian does it
- Make everyone else drink if you’re the first to identify a disgustingly obvious product placement (Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Kia)
- Drink when the coaches (read: Adam and Blake) say something about a bromance that ends up being borderline homophobic
- Finish your drink if the last contestant is a four-chair turn
Most importantly, enjoy the best show on television. We know we will.