‘When the winds of change blow, some build walls, others build windmills” or so the saying goes. Personally I tend to get indoors when the winds of change blow because a twenty pence piece in the eye hurts like space-hopper hemorrhoids trapped in a revolving door, but this does not mean that I’m Thatcher-like in my inflexibility. I’m very open to change.
I tell you this because my opinion of ‘The Voice’ is proof of that claim.
When it started I was against it, in spite of the rest of the written world thinking it was the answer to all our reality prayers, and I’ve pretty much stayed that way since while everyone else has been slowly coming to the painful realization that it’s about as genuine as the ‘Odidas’ trainers I bought in China. (well, I’d already got myself a brand new iPud and still had change of a tenner.)
This weekend was, to some, the death knell of the show and my lateness in writing to you all this week has afforded me the chance to see what everyone else has been writing- it’s not good.
‘The Voice’ has become ‘The Joke’. It’s making ‘Corrie Street of Dreams’ look slicker than snot and every blogger and journo with a fear of losing their readership has decided to hack into the show’s neck with whatever blunt blade they can grab before their deadlines.
We had some major technical cock-ups with Jessie Jay telling everyone it was ‘LIVE TV’ like we’d all just gathered round to watch the moon landings on the only ‘talking picture box’ in the street. And we had ‘RAF’ Becky – work it out for yourselves please, this is a family blog but if you were the type to be offended by swearing you’d already be out cold by now from the shock of her little ‘mistake’. She looked, sang, and acted like the emotionally fragile teenage nightmare she is who’s been told to get out of bed before dark and stop hanging around outside the Spar with ‘those boys’.
We had the live TV spectacle of four international ‘superstars’ holding an impromptu poetry workshop like a scene from Dibley village hall.
“What rhymes with ‘Cow’- Tom?”
“What rhymes with ‘cow’?”
“Miss! Miss! I know miss! How, Now, Brow…. Err,”
“No, come on Danny, Let Tom do it- he has to learn!”
Meanwhile, Will was just sitting in the corner grinning like the kid from the Mad Magazine cover and speaking in his own made-up language, which I’m beginning to suspect is Worzeleze and, once I’ve got it decoded by GCHQ, I’m going to set John Pertwee on him.
Jessie turned up for ten minutes in front of the cameras at a bowling alley and Vince and Becky acted in a way that would get them back in their ankle tags if they weren’t on the telly and Team Danny went all macho on the go-kart track and elbowed poor BOcahontas to the sidelines in case she got hurt by all the boy racing.
It was all topped off with one of the worst pieces of stage direction I’ve seen since Pans People stood under umbrellas and pretended to stir invisible cuppas on TOTP for their interpretation of ‘Storm in a tea cup’.
Team Danny were made to pose as works of art. That’s right, POSE AS WORKS OF ART before they sang their bits of the group song. Had you been able to see my face during this Benny Hill production you’d have appreciated my willingness to join in as I was doing a passable impression of ‘The Scream”.
So, all in all, you’d think I’d be ripping this shambles apart like everyone else.
But I’ve had a re-watch and, you know what, I was actually impressed at times.
The way Jessie handled the technical failure was supremely professional, I thought. Where others would have either just carried on in silence or stormed off, she was a rock and smiled throughout.
Max was great. I thought his stage presence was natural and confident and his performance was a master class of assured ability, although he could have dropped the loop pedal and the rapping for me.
Cassius, while glued to the revolving stage like a figure in a Viennese clock, sang beautifully.
Bo claimed she needed to be a warrior… and a rock and ended up being an extra from Mad Max 3, but she too sang with real depth and emotionally captured the moment. Her movement is organic and quite balletic and I love her voice.
Finally Toni. Her facial expressions and that constant pointing out in front like a shepherd in a nativity play are annoying but this weekend she filled every word with meaning and it was a touching and fantastically real performance.
Don’t get me wrong. I still don’t get Vince, I thought David was trying to avoid paying royalties to Maroon 5 by avoiding every single note in their original melody, and Aleks looked like he’d been pushed on stage on by his mum.
I tweeted throughout and, as a closing comment, I said that none of them would have made the final 16 of The x-Factor but that was wrong. There is some talent here and we’ve still got Ruth and Jaz to enjoy so I, for one, shall continue to watch.
Follow me and my live tweeting @MrIanWatson if you dare.