Let us all rejoice in the sound of silence!

The Voice (UK) Series 1 comes to an end.

Back in March when the BBC launched The Voice UK, you will recall I was absolutely fanatical about the program. It was conceptually different and lacked significant flaws to make me hate it. But as the blind auditions came to an end after a matter of weeks, it soon transpired that the talent did as well.

Despite the contestants taken through being [mostly] very talented with their voices, something changed when they reached the ‘battle arena’ mid-April – something being that they appear to have forgotten how to sing. Either that, or the budget didn’t stretch far enough to cover auto-tuning. And so ‘The Voice’ turned into ‘The Scream’ (and as horrifying as…) as two-by-two inter-team battle extraordinaire’s took place whilst HMV sold out of earphones all over the UK from Cornwall to Aberdeen. Maybe I am being harsh and, after all, I am doing this with the value of hindsight in somewhat hazy memories but most of the battles were horribly off tune, mismatched opponents, bad song choices, a lot of bickering between judges and also one or two battles where nobody actually remembered the contestants even auditioning. We got the half good, the bad and the truly terrible.

Then, with half the team members axed (not literally), the live shows began split between Will vs. Tom and Danny vs. Jessie and with every passing second the focus on the ‘voice’ dwindled and it all became about who wore what, who sung what and dodgy backing arrangements. Will and Danny especially seemed to be forever arguing over this and that (when Will wasn’t tweeting that is), Jessie normally dressed as a clown and refereed Wanny.I.Am and Sir Tom just looked continually perplexed as to how he ended up in that big red chair of his. There was even an argument over a tambourine…

Holly, meanwhile, regularly  dressed as if she were going to a club for the evening – although she did look gorgeous each week – and Reggie was about as pointless as a pork pie at a Jewish wedding as he just got plonked in the [Branson endorsed?] ‘V-Room’ trying to look happy talking to contestants who didn’t want to be interviewed and in front of the egoistic tweet board which, unsurprisingly, only had very fangirl-ish tweets. Reggie was just a pointless addition to the show and the only reason anybody paid any attention to Holly was because she consistently had her breasts on show complimented with a lovely portion of legs –but sadly no wings; that’s only for Britain’s Got Talent.

I’m writing this a few hours before the final and looking back at clips from the past week. The singing is pitchy and screamy, the judges comment time is designated to arguing and the VT’s before each contestant are just irrelevant. Like that one with Jaz finding out the sex of his unborn child? Cute but a bit off-topic. A bit X Factor. Things got so bad that I even wasted my tickets for May 12th because the thought of queuing all day disgusted me. I think, however, that when it came to the public voting the GBP seem to have had a sensible head on! Apart from Jesus/Gandolf and Mary (Matt and Sueleen) not going in Week 1, contestants popped off in the correct order in my opinion and no shocking bad decisions were made by judges (except for the aforementioned and arguably Jessie even taking Ruth-Ann through!)

I guess it was just one of those programmes that seemed a brilliant idea in theory but in practice just didn’t work. I really enjoyed the blind auditions but I think that was because they were a new concept; the format we had never seen before so it was exciting to us. The battles were passable and then it slowly slid downhill from there.

Do I want a second series? No. Can I see it coming back? Yes (I think it has already been commissioned anyway!)


Posted on June 2, 2012, in The Voice UK and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I suspect you are right in the Voice being recommissioned regardless of the dramatic shift in opinion that has occurred since the start of the show. Like you, I was really excited by this promising new idea and yet I feel it needs some serious surgery on the second run. The idea of “just the voice” evaporated as soon as the blind auditions were over and that needs to be in some way the centrepiece of the show yet what we saw was a gradual drift to a show akin to a weak X-Factor-lite clone.

    I think your analysis of the weaknesses of the current format are spot on. I really think the BBC do not do this type of thing well (c.f. Fame Academy) and should consider just what type of show they want “The Voice” to be if its second outing isn’t to be its last.

    A great blog on what went wrong!


    • I guess we were all a little bit naïve to think that there was going to be a show in our post-modern era that was fully concentrated on ‘voice’ as opposed to looks because consumerism is a massive part of our society – sadly sometimes – and especially prevalent through media.


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