Now synonymous with the new year is the BBC’s attempt to flog the dead horse that is The Voice, upgrading it only by chopping and changing their judges as if that is supposed to make the format better. This year squeaky Cockney Paloma Faith and (let’s face it) the first real alternative popstar Britain produced, Boy George, replaced Rita Ora and Tom Jones.
The judges did their pre show montage in which you hear them claim that they are looking for something in the realm of “Amy Winhouse”, something where you can feel the feeling in their voice or something towards that affect. That’s all well and good but can they stick to that mantra whilst looking for a mass market selling product? We shall see….
The show opened with the judges giving us a performance that had no relevance or function other to show the edgy camera work of the ‘new age’ camera men. I wasn’t quite sure if I was watching a new Tarantino film or perhaps it was some kind of Matrix spin off, anyway the motion captured entertainment was on the way.
As is always at the beginning of a new series of The Voice, the judges seem very trigger happy, only for them to get stupidly picky at the end of this selection stage. The first performer was a leopard print cat suit wearing Beth Morris, who had appeared to have dressed in the dark because she wore odd shoes. Oh, she was meant to do that, I see…. so individual. She did her best Tina Turner impression and had her choice of judge, Paloma Faith.
Next there was a fishmonger guy named Tom Rickels got picked with an average rendition of Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do. Then there was the girl from Birmingham who chose judge Ricky because she thought he was ‘sexy’. Girl please, you won’t make it through to the next round.
Then there were a few blatant ‘no’s’ handed out that the show skimmed through. We had a devine moment from a vicar and thankfully no one turned around for him. But just like the judges I hope we aren’t going to hell for it.
Dwaine Hayden took to the stage and started off cold but grew into his falsetto and walked out with Paloma faith as his mentor before his cute 4-year-old took over the set in a tactical bid to win the hearts of mums watching worldwide, or in the UK anyway. Real life Benjamin Button, Ryan Willingham, surprised with his operatic performance but he wasn’t chosen.
Irish teen Aine Carrol automatially looked the part and she happened to sound it too, even if there were tuning issues throughout. Boy George bagged his first in Cody Frost with Lay Your arms On Me, who sang with an emotional edge, even though it looked like she was going to go with Paloma if not for some last minute low blows from George. Will turned for Lyrickal, who in his defence performed great and added something different, however you know deep down Will was disappointed in the aesthetic aspect of Lyrickal – though I’m glad he’s on the show.
Veteran entertainer (man who used to dress up in an ostrich costume at the Royal Variety Show, way back when anything was funny) Burney Clifton stole the show. He sang his heart out and delivered more passion than all those who had appeared before. Ironically no one turned around. This after their earlier spiel of wanting to feel the voice. This after two of them were teary eyed after his performance.
But therein lies the truth. The judges are listening for youth and all talk of wanting to feel ‘the voice’ is just righteous nonsense. Basically if they feel it but the person sounds old and is singing an old song the likelihood is that they will not turn. However if someone sounds young they’ll probably give it a go and turn.
What did you think of the first episode of The Voice?