Mark Lennon, perhaps one of the best singers on this planet, turned down by “The Voice” on NBC.
Mark Lennon, my uncle, my friend and mentor to many, appeared on NBC’s “The Voice” last Tuesday night hoping to impress the judges and perhaps start a new chapter to his “already hugely successful” singing career. It was a much anticipated episode as Venice friends and family from around the world glued themselves in front of their TV’s, every Monday and Tuesday night for the last three weeks, awaiting the National debut of Mark Lennon on The Voice Auditions episode 6.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know the outcome of the episode and odds are you’re pretty confused and/or upset about the decision made by the judges. If you haven’t seen it, you can click (here) to view the clip from Tuesday’s show.
And the question asked by so many….”Why didn’t the judges turn around?” In my opinion, the producers looked at Mark Lennon and said, “This guy is too happy, comes from a great family, has a shitload of fans and is already super successful…what drama and ratings does that bring to our show?” You’re right….none. It had nothing to do with his voice. We all know the guys vocal chords were hand delivered from an angel. Not to say the other contestants weren’t great singers but you’ll notice that majority of the ones that got picked had dramatic back stories involving loss, death or economic hardship and nothing left in their lives but the capability to cry on a dime and the dream to make it big. And honestly, do you think the judges wanted a guy on the show that could probably sing their own songs better than they ever could…? I doubt it! It’s not about talent, it’s about ratings, demographics and the puppeteers that run the networks.
What us grounded people have to remember is that fame (especially the “reality” celebrity life) can be a very evil path to follow and some souls just weren’t meant to wear those shoes. Countless argue that the Band Venice never “really” made it big and that their songs rarely got played on the radio. But coming from a younger cousin/nephew of the band and growing up in the Lennon family, I can’t tell you how famous and lucky these guys actually are. I’m incredibly privileged to tell people I’m part of the Lennon family and related to “the” Mark Lennon and the band Venice. There isn’t a week that goes by where I don’t run into someone that knows somebody that knows Marky, Kippy, Michael or Pat or the band Venice and how their music positively impacted their lives. That my friends is true fame. And so what if millions of people from the Midwest don’t get to see Mark Lennon on The Voice every week. Can you tell me who won the Voice the last two seasons? I sure as hell don’t know. I can honestly say that I’d rather have 10,000 fans that buy my entire album and know EVERY single song by heart than 10,000,000 fans that download one of my songs and listen to it for a month. There are famous bands and then there are legendary bands, and I think we all know where Venice falls.
After the show aired, my initial anger and hatred towards The Voice and its producers was diluted when I started to read all of the immediate feedback on the internet from Marks friends and family. Some of the best words came from Mark’s cousin and Venice Band member Kipp Lennon and you can read that (here). It made me realize even more that my uncle Marky had already surpassed a level of success that most could only dream of. Instead of gaining random fans from a “reality” show, he was brought closer to the thousands around the globe that already love and respect him as an artist and friend. Mark Lennon doesn’t need “reality” judges to tell him that he’s amazing because pure artists like Mark Lennon don’t need to be judged.
So I leave with thanking NBC and The Voice for allowing Mark Lennon the 90 seconds to spread his vocals across the world to millions. I also would like thank the judges, Adam, Blake, Shakira and Usher for releasing him from the shackles of reality television.
I’ve said my peace and could blog on for days but I’ll leave you with one of my favorites, a Mark Lennon display of what a “Voice” is supposed to sound like. Click (here) and you be the judge.
Also there are still tickets for the Jackson Brown, Gary Wright and Venice For The Arts Benfit Concert at Santa Monica High School, Barnum Hall on May 18th, get tickets (here), you won’t want to miss this show!
The Other Pat Lennon, nephew of Mark Lennon