Saturday, 25 January 2014

A Week of Divided Opinions on The Voice (Mine vs The Rest of the UK)

Sometimes I wonder what qualifies me to write this blog, because I seem to have massively different tastes to both the coaches and the social media-using public. Tonight I pretty much hated all the ones that were picked, and loved all the ones that weren't picked, so as you can imagine I'm not in the best of moods.

Let's start with Iesha. Already being tipped to win, she was one of the few auditionees in this series of The Voice to get a full house of four chair turns. To me, she sounded shrill and whiny. I can only imagine this will be ramped up to maximum shrillness during the battle rounds, so I'll be investing in a good set of ear plugs before that point.

Then we had the wonderful Paul Black, the swinging tattoo artist (hang on, that sounds wrong. I meant he sang swing). I have a soft spot for tattooed people who defy stereotypes (I'm covered in tattoos myself and hate when people assume I'm into death metal) so his audition - a swing version of Van Halen's 'Jump' was a massively enjoyable surprise. But no turns, sadly.

The Voice made history this week with it's first ever joke act. Of course he didn't get picked, but Si Genaro was as mad as a box of frogs with his folk/reggae/harmonica-playing breakbeat. It's interesting how even the calibre of the joke acts is better on The Voice compared to The X Factor. I don't want to devalue Souli Roots 'Recession Song' for a second, but 'Chicken Train' needs to be a hit right now.

The auditionees who made it this week were very run of the mill in my humble opinion. Probably my favourite was Vicky Jones - Danny from McFly's sister with her top notch, almost Cher-esque rock voice. With votes from the McFly fanbase behind her, this girl could go far. I still haven't spotted a potential winner yet, but then what do I know?

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Human Saxophone

The Voice continues to shape up very nicely indeed this week. Something has clicked among the judges that was lacking in Jessie & Danny, and that's light hearted banter that really does make me laugh out loud. Ricky and Kylie are actually rather amusing!

Talent wise, the biggest shock of the night for me was the criminal non-turn for Miles Anthony, the young lad with the disabled niece. The fact that he can make beats, produce his own arrangements AND sing like that is mind boggling. I would like to make a bold prediction here and now that in the future he will be bigger than The Voice winner. This boy is talented, and I'm gutted nobody turned.

I absolutely loved vintage girl Sophie May Williams too. A beautiful sense of style and a really unique, deep jazz voice. When Will started talking about buying old jazz records and sampling them, I was incredibly excited at the idea of him and Sophie working together: that voice + funked up jazz beats = "Right up my street dot com", to paraphrase Alexandra Burke.

The last chap, Jermain Jackson I was a bit dubious about. Seems like a lovely young man, don't get me wrong, but he had this weird technique of making his voice sound like various instruments that just sounded downright odd. He reminded me of the guy on Britain's Got Talent a couple of years ago who marketed himself as "the human saxophone" and just sounded like a crying baby.

In the tradition of allowing has-beens to audition, I'm praying for the moment when my childhood idol Betty Boo turns up, so I can find out if she is still in fact doin' the do. Which obscure ex-pop stars would you like to see on The Voice? Let me know below!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

All Hail The Return Of The True King of TV Talent Shows

For anyone who's been reading my humble blog up until now, I'm going to say something that might surprise you:

I hugely prefer The Voice to the X Factor. Sshh, don't tell Simon Cowell.

I love the suspense of the will they/won't they spinning chairs. I love the much higher standard of talent because the acts are headhunted. I love the fact that the acts aren't afraid to take risks and be creative. I can imagine some of these amazing artists who go on The Voice being told by Louis Walsh "I just can't see ye selling records" and I cringe. I don't care that the show hasn't produced a successful artist yet - that's the fault of the BBC, their lack of music connections and management know-how. It doesn't mean that the artists aren't good enough.

I really enjoyed tonight. As far as the new judges go - Ricky seems so passionate and enthusiastic, and certainly has more going on upstairs than Danny O'Donohue (sorry Danny, I do love you but you know I speak the truth). Ditto Kylie, and she is so much less annoying than Jessie J, which in my book now makes The Voice nigh-on the perfect TV talent show.

The first act of tonight I loved. Kylie described him as "otherworldly" - this is exactly the kind of creative artist who would go waaaay over Louis Walsh's head. The last guy was good too, the one from The Streets. The trouble is, I find myself constantly comparing everyone to my favourite Voice audition ever: