If X Factor is losing its sparkle imagine how dim The Voice UK’s light is. At least X Factor can boast some success stories and number one selling singles and albums, The Voice has never been successful outside of a few positive TV ratings number.
The Voice is actively getting worse, as if the producers are working hard on it. Usually I would lay blame at the doorstep of the judges, but actually, the recent judging lineup is okay – I’m guessing someone told Will.i.am to tone down the annoying factor.
For me, the producers have no grasp on what they are trying to achieve. The auditions seem badly thought out, or at least we are being shown auditions in a random fashion and minimal excitement. For how staged X Factor is, they at least understand how to build a narrative and make it feel like the show has cohesion. The Voice is more like, action, camera, go, no plan, just show everything, even if it’s completely pointless.
Exhibit A. The singing scientist who was the first shown on the episode this week. He sang country in a really deep voice, nobody turned around for him and we had a brief discussion about how surprising it was that a scientist could sing and sing so deep. What’s the point? Where’s the excitement or the humour?
Sob stories on The Voice definitely don’t work. A middle aged woman named Charley preceded her performance by telling us that she never knew her real father was and so suddenly I felt like I was in an uncomfortable missing persons plea which had no relation to anything. She was good, she was fun, and Boy George snapped her up.
There was a guy who used to be an actor in Waterloo Road who turned up singing instead of acting and was ultimately worse but still got picked by Ricky Wilson and then became more and more annoying the more we got to know him. An Irish blonde bombshell sang “Ain’t Nobody” okay. Will.i.am prematurely turned around and kept referencing how brave she was for singing Chaka Khan although she was clearly singing Ellie Goulding’s annoying version.
The documentary style build ups are very distracting. Rather than keeping you seated they prompt you to run to the loo or to the the kitchen, replacing ITV’s adverts, except BBC want you to pay attention, but if anything you lose interest. In these early rounds it’s important to grab the viewers with humour and excitement. It’s what X Factor do so well. Showing needless auditions will just constitute a waste of time and a feeling of ambivalence.
And so the focus for the whole show was on the amount of participants who wore waistcoats and how Ricky kept turning around for them because Ricky wears waistcoats and has a sixth sense for waistcoats and so the waistcoat banter was the humour, excitement and entertainment. To be fair Paloma Faith did make it funny – and I am growing to like her – but it was actually the highlight and premise behind the whole show.
On a whole there was a lot of mediocre talent on this week and the public should expect it to be improving. Perhaps producers are saving the best for further down the line so it intensifies our interest into the next rounds. The problem is at the moment the product feels flat and those viewers might just zone out. There was one prickly moment between Ricky and Will.i.am but it dispersed, when actually it could have heated up more. That’s more like it. The judges should have to wrestle each other to get an auditionee in their group, that would make it more exciting.
Can anything save The Voice this season…. from itself?