Did the BBC really have The Voice (UK)?

La la la.

I see the success over in other countries but I wonder if other countries thrive onfailure as much as we Brits do. I man Twitter over the course of the dire straits we like to call ‘auditions’ for the X Factor and for Britain’s Got Talent and nothing seems to go down better than when somebody very harmonically challenged appears on our screens. It will be at these that Twitter will explode and the trends will appear. Only a few good people in the mix of bad seems to please us British people.

However, those two examples exist on ITV. BBC seems to have more depth to it and showed possibly the highest standard of singing ever seen in one week on television. For me, the fact that the contestants could all sing was a welcome break from strangled cat syndrome that graces the X Factor hopefuls in the first round (and arguably even in the last). The talent brought its own personality with it and a chance to actually feel the music within the person – something you find many singing stars still can’t do today. The show brought us your ADELE’s and Beyonce’s whilst the other shows give you Rebecca Black and Nicki Minaj (otherwise known by another, more collective word).

The concept of the show is fantastic. When I sit and watch the X Factor in its live stages, I often wonder how long each contestant spent in hair, wardrobe and make-up before they were allowed to even rehearse for the evening. The show has increasingly revolved around looks not voice. Despite living in it, post-modern consumerist society bugs the hell out of me because of its obsession with branding. Designer labels, different types of mascara, bright green nail polish – you name it, there are at least 35 variations of it. Even during the audition stages, the candidates look like they have been in the salon for the past 3 days and told what to wear. People just do not look themselves and if they don’t look themselves how can they be themselves?

That was why The Voice took me. The idea of a ‘blind’ audition is golden. At last some headway on bursting the bad reputation of shows only ‘going for the pretty ones’. An audition here would take place on a large stage in front of the backs of four giant red chairs. The singer would take the stage as themselves and sing their heart out. No eyes on them to start with and possibly none on them to end with. The judges just had to listen. Listen and decide. During the performance, each judge could decide if the singer would be worthy of a place on their Team of 10 for the show. Sounds easy but the judges demonstrated how hard this process actually is. Then, when they had pushed their button and been turned around to face the voice they saw the person and revealed a rather creepy ‘I want you’ banner below their seat. If a judge didn’t press their button then they were turned around at the end of the performance anyway. The person then gave a little speech and walked off if they had failed to gain the support of any judges. If they had support then they gave a long speech, listening to the judges pleas about why they should join their team and then chose the judge they would like to work with. Awesome concept and simple rules.

But there is a but. The Beeb promised none of those annoying whacky and stupidly emotional VT’s BUT alas that was what we got. In my view, the talent standard made up for the 2 minutes of wailing beforehand but it would have been nice to know a little more about the person than ‘what they have been through’. Yes the sad stories are what inspire you to go on but coming from a world of much sadness and pain behind me, I do not like the idea that what breaks you makes you. How can we be subjective if this is the case? This makes us no different to the X Factor; instead of basing on looks we go on troubled life. For me the idea if the program was to base on THE VOICE not the story.

Also, it sometimes felt like the judges were too busy worrying about whether the others were going to push rather than thinking for themselves but I am sure this is not the case. It may have been in last night but we did only see around 10 singers so I’ll keep that hypothesis throughout the weeks.

All in all I enjoyed it. On a talent basis it was flawless. But can the UK really take to it? For the sake of Saturday night viewing, I really hope so because I think there is a gap in the market for this.

Jessie J, Danny O'Donoghue, Will.I.Am and Sir Tom Jones
Judging panel - The Voice UK 2012


Posted on March 25, 2012, in The Voice UK and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Very witty and true


  2. Kathy Williams

    As usual Tasha, your review is excellent. Factual with both humour and insight, it would put many seasoned TV critics to shame.


  1. Pingback: Let us all rejoice in the sound of silence! « tashaontv

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