After the praise I lavished on The Voice last week for its respectful approach, the papers have been delightedly reporting that millions of viewers have abandoned it and the judges are being told to be nastier, meaning we should probably conclude that I know nothing.
So, I’ll shamelessly follow the trend by suggesting that last weekend’s episodes of The Voice was in fact pretty ropey. Largely because the contestants in Jesse and Danny’s teams are not nearly as good as the previous lot.
As a result my memory of the show ended up as a bit of a ‘been there, seen this’ sort of blur, though one thing that does stick in my mind was Jessie J’s horrendous yellow shirt, which looked a bit like she’d been sick on a particularly vile tablecloth.
Another fashion casualty was Max Miller, who somehow managed to overcome wearing a hat in a very annoying way to turn in a decent performance of Tom Petty’s Free Falling. A member of Team Danny, he was also presumably reassured by Danny’s constants mutterings that he wasn’t running a dictatorship.
Incidentally, I think a Danny run dictatorship would be exactly like Nazi Germany, only with really short leather jackets rather than super cool long ones.
Now while I like the fact that, unlike the Nazis, the judges on the Voice generally acknowledge that everyone left in the competition is pretty decent, that lack of criticism does mean there’s a lack of drama, which does blend the whole show into one big soup of niceness.
Even when something quite unfortunate happens, e.g. Vince Kidd doing trying to make Always On My Mind more ‘street’, the judges are nice about it.
Kidd’s a talented kid (see what I did there?) who should be commended for trying something new but it just didn’t work.
However the strongest part of the show remains the excellent song choices. The more seemingly outré the song choice the better the performers seemed to do.
Becky Hill, who has been cast as the grumpy rebellious teenager of the series, turned in a great version of ‘Good Luck’ by Basement Jaxx, which is a pretty deep cut. I mean, I knew and loved it because I’m like super into music you guys, like super into it, in a way you probably wouldn’t understand, I, like, listen to Radio Two and everything, yeah?… But I for one didn’t expect to see it on a Saturday night talent show.
Even more surprising though was the final performance by super posh Bo Bruce. She did a rather credible version of Running up that Hill by Kate Bush. Not a patch on the original of course, because that’s one of the greatest songs ever recorded (I LOVE YOU KATE) but like the old saying about a dog walking on its hind legs, it wasn’t how well it was done but rather that it didn’t want me make to put her paws in a food processor.
No mean feat and enough to make her look by far the strongest competitor on the evening.
The two constants sent home this week, Ruth-Ann St Luce and Hannah Berney, were the ones who performed the weakest songs (bog standard Cheryl Cole and Justin Timberlake numbers) meaning we can no doubt expect the judges to take more chances with their choices next week.
Expect a lot of Japanese post-grungecore covers and A capella versions of Metallica songs.