When I initially heard about The Voice, I must admit I did groan and think ‘Just what we need, another reality show!’. With it proving to be a hit in America, it was inevitable it would end up on our screens. But with the X Factor having been in our lives for the last eight years, along with Britain’s Got Talent for a good handful, (both of which have been continually losing viewers over recent years) I was dubious about the idea of a new talent show.
However, The Voice is not your typical simple reality set up (good singer shocks judges, bad singer is ridiculed by judges etc). No, this show has far more to it…
The big twist is that the auditions are ‘blind’. The contestants take to the stage and sing, without the panel of judges knowing what they look like. If the panelists like what they hear they press their button and turn around to face the auditionee. If more than one judge presses their button, at the end of the performance each of them has to use their skills of persuasion to convince the contestant to join their team and benefit from their mentoring.
Another difference is that all four judges are themselves, artists. The legendary Sir Tom Jones brings his charisma and many years of experience to the table. He and Black Eyed Peas founder Will.I.Am often compare stories of which celebrity friends they have spent time with (the most notable being Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley). Lead singer of the script Danny O’Donague exudes plenty of Irish charm and although he is possibly the least well known of the judges, he is as vocal as any of them. The final judge and only female on the panel is singing sensation, Jessie J. After an incredibly successful first year on the music scene (including six top ten hits in the UK from her debut album), she is proving to be just as strong a judge as she is a singer.
Popular presenters Reggie Yates and Holly Willoughby host the show and watch the performances with the contestants families and friends, then chat with them all post audition.
The Voice is a much classier type of reality show than we usually experience. There is no making fun of deluded wannabes who turn up to audition, as talented contestants have been selected to take part in the competition. The judges have their little quarrels when vying for a contestant to join their team, however they’re all light hearted and add to the comedic aspect of the show. Despite Jessie J’s young age and short time in the industry, she radiates confidence while still remaining humble. She steals the show and quickly gains your trust and respect.
Before seeing The Voice, I had written it off as yet another reality show we had seen, just with different judges. I was wrong. The contestants are genuinely from all walks of life, but are hugely talented. Without the visual prejudice, the judges are able to base their decisions solely on their voices (someone did a very good job naming the show!).
A hugely enjoyable programme with more laughs than you would expect and a panel of celebrities you can’t help but become endeared to. An ultimate guilty pleasure.