So the BBC’s answer to the X Factor arrived last week in the form of The Voice. An American import where contestants are judged only on their singing ability by competing in Blind Auditions. There are four judges with their backs to the contestant and if they like what they hear they buzz them in and their chair turns round.
On first impressions it does seem like any other TV talent show, and really it is. But it has enough originality to make it worth while. The producers of the show invited acts to come audition instead of having open auditions so you know from the start they can actually sing. The good thing about that is there are no joke acts, the bad thing; there are no joke acts. Everyone is very SERIOUS. And how do we know it’s a serious music competition? They are playing acoustic guitars; that’s a dead giveaway. By the end of the Blind Auditions each judge should have ten members on their team, Avengers-style.
So in the first couple of episodes we had the obligatory ex boy band member; Sean from 5ive. Nobody wanted him. It does seem a bit harsh when that happens. Especially after Jessie J admitted that 5ive was the first concert she went to. Ouch.
We also had a singer from the West End, Kerry Ellis. You name it, she’s been in it. So when she was trying to make that last note stretch I didn’t feel too bad for her when no one buzzed as she already has an amazing job.
It was also interesting to see how the judges interacted with each other. They were quite feisty when it came down to getting contestants to choose them. I thought everybody would want to go with will.i.am just because he can sell records, love him or loathe him, but he seemed to struggle to recruit certain contestants. Danny from The Script seems to be doing alright, he’s going down a treat with the guitar playing guys at least. The young girls love Jessie J and the slightly older contestants want Tom. I’d go will.i.am but I seem to be in the minority.
The name dropping is fantastic ; Tom Jones’ story about when he went to Hawaii to play guitar with Elvis was amazing. He has some tales to weave, that’s for sure.
There’s obviously going to be a few more weeks of the Blind Auditions which is a good idea. If the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent has taught us anything it’s viewers like to see a journey on talent shows.
While the contestants are singing it’s actually quite nerve racking waiting to see if they buzz or not. There are still a couple of sob stories, not quite as bad as X Factor but they’re there.
I think they should have given the judges a mic instead of this subtitled mouthing that is going on. It’s good to hear what they’re thinking. Also the pretending to move their hands is getting old; push the button or don’t.
Reggie Yates and Holly Willoughby have the Ant & Dec/ Dermot role of waiting backstage and talking to the families. They haven’t really had much to do yet, we’ll see when the live shows start how good they are.
For me, the biggest test will be when the second round comes. I don’t know how The Voice works but surely after the first round it’s based on the complete package just like X Factor?
The Voice isn’t a rival to Britain’s Got Talent, they are two different shows. I’m definitely hooked on The Voice; I’ll watch BGT on ITV Player later.
Words by Natz, find her on twitter here