Saturday, 8 March 2014

The Voice Battle Rounds Part 2

It's another mammoth 2 hour + show on The Voice tonight, and despite needing a wee for the last half hour, it's a thoroughly entertaining show once again. The judges (mostly Will I am) really make me laugh out loud - I swear he's got so much funnier this year, and I put it down to the positive Kylie aura.

Surprise battle of tonight for me: Iesher vs Femi. I didn't like Iesher's audition, not being a fan of warbly, shouty female voices, and conversely I am a sucker for smooth, Marvin Gaye-alike male vocals. However, these two gelled! When Femi went falsetto I actually sat bolt upright from my comfy lying down position on the sofa and just sat open mouthed for the rest of the song. I'm so, so glad this guy got stolen by Kylie! I have to say, Femi Santiago is my favourite of the competition for technical ability, although it's Sally Barker who gets me emotionally and has the most unique tone.

Very sad to see Jamie Lovatt exit the competition tonight, although I'm confident he'll do fine with his band Romance, who apparently already have an album ready to go. Also sad to see Cherri go as I loved her smooth jazzy style and actually thought Sophie was weaker.

The only other singer I really cared about tonight was the really, really likeable James Byron. He seems so fragile and shy and sweet, but when he sings this amazing voice comes out. One to watch I hope.

Of course, everything could change dramatically next week as we arrive at the Knockout rounds, where the teams of 7 are knocked down to 3. Yikes! I'm praying my favourites don't all exit in one fell swoop, although I'm confident Sally and Femi are special enough to make the cut.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Earplugs at the Ready, It's The Voice Battle Rounds Part 1!

In previous series of The Voice, the battle rounds haven't really worked for me as a format. All too often it can turn into a screech-athon, with unnecessary vocal gymnastics until you can't even tell who's singing what because it's just a blast of voice.

But this series I think battles have worked more often than they haven't. Probably my favourite battle of the night was Leo vs Steven's 'Thunder In My Heart'. Brimming with tongue in cheek humour, each act had their own funky style and were just distinct enough from each other to keep it interesting. I'm not going to evaluate every single performance because it was a long old show tonight, and some of the voices began to sound rather samey (at a few points I felt like I was at a cheap Christina Aguilera tribute contest).

Of course, the biggest flaw with battle rounds is that you're judging between two acts based on one song which is obviously going to suit one singer better than the other. As was the case between Jimmy Weston and Lee Glasson, as I'm sorry to say Jimmy stole that song and Lee had a lucky escape - I really hope it was Jimmy's attitude that got him ditched though. Check out these tweets from him: "So happy with my performance. Still struggling with the result" and later "What's Kylie been smoking?" Lee Glasson's response was very telling: "Can see from @jimmyweston100 Twitter that he remains a humble gentleman". Love a bit of tension on the battle rounds haha! I hope Lee gets to show what he can do next week when he has a song he can make his own.

Woah, where did Sally Barker come from? I remember her audition, I remember the sad back story and the pleasant, heartfelt voice, but when this lady is allowed to take a song she's never heard before (Olly Murs Dear Darlin') and put her own stamp on it, you realise what a stunningly beautiful tone she has. Something between Eva Cassidy and Jennifer Rush, with a bit of someone else I can't quite put my finger on. I'm hugely looking forward to hearing more from this lovely lady.

Other random thoughts from a 2 hour plus show tonight: What the hell was the point in Leah McFall being there to "advise" contestants? They didn't show her saying a single word to them! And who wants advice on how to come second? Does anyone else think that Ricky's team is really weak compared to everyone else's? And have you noticed that Will's feet don't touch the floor when he sits in his spinny chair, and they flail about like two little cocktail sticks?