“And now, the end is near… in fact its gone…. So this is the wrong song.”
Leanne won. The stars lined back up and the rain poured again in the happy knowledge that the world is a real place after all and not the nightmarish creation of whoever lives just beyond the u-bend catching ideas for the likes of Jersey Shore, TOWIE and all that other crap.
Vince, who sang the final as the reincarnation of Jimmy Saville, was the first to go. I waved him goodbye fondly. He took his elimination in good grace, as they all did, and I was content that a decent lad with a degree of talent and a warm, friendly personality would probably get a decent living out of entertainment but, importantly, would not be crowned, ‘The Voice’.
And I do mean importantly.
For this entire series I have banged on about this show’s premise like Henry VIII in a barn full of stable girls.
Even in last night’s final contestants were being described, in an attempt to garner more votes, by their own coaches as ‘kind’, ‘suffering’, ‘professional’, ‘lovely’, and pretty much everything else but ‘The Voice.’
Tom Jones, in his heyday, was often called, ‘The Voice’ and it wasn’t because of his poor background or his stalwart efforts to dramatically reduce the South Wales virginity rates. It was because of his voice, a voice that even now at the age of several million and eight, is deep and strong and booming when it needs to be.
Now, I’m not suggesting the depth, strength of boombasticity of a voice is all that’s needed to take the crown but it has to be about the voice, just the voice and nothing but the voice in a talent show built entirely around… what was it again? Oh yes! The voice.
I know, I know, I’m banging on again and yes, “Ian, WE GET IT! You think it should be about the voice, right?”
I do and, just as I was about to throw my old Remington E38 Typemaster MKIII in a bucket and retire my single typing digit to bogey patrol forever, up to the mic stepped Leanne.
I could almost hear Tom’s brain sigh and say, “Ahhh, there’s lovely for you,” as she let loose the lungs I’d been waiting for and gave me the best reason to pay my license fee since Blue Planet.
Leanne is/has the voice. Is she the best singer in the world? Not by a long shot.
Is she Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Karen Carpenter, Shirley Bassey, Bernadette Peters (Who I saw on SMASH last night and still, absolutely definitely would), Whitney Houston, Roberta Flack or even Leona Lewis or Mariah Carey? Of course not.
Does she have the best voice of all the people who auditioned for this program? I’ll give you a clue, it’s two words and it begins with ‘K’ and ends with ‘erry Ellis’.
But none of that is important. Leanne does have an incredible voice and an ability to emote and project feeling that makes it all the sweeter and that is all I really care about.
Bo, who I adore, will make a good recording artist with the right writers and management. She also needs to rethink her make-up because she over cooked the whole ‘sallow complexion-big eyes’ thing last night and looked a little bit like “Ahmed the dead terrorist”. I half expected her to stare at Reggie Yates and shout- “I kill you!”
Tyler will have a degree of popularity amongst the screaming public until Will.I.am eventually tires of him, which should be right about… now, depending on when Just William has his mid- morning nap. Hang on, I’ll just check Twitter… Yep, He’s just breathed in and is expecting to breath back out again soon. Thanks for keeping us all posted Will!
And Vince, as I said before, will probably get a few guest slots on T4 and ‘8 out of 10 Cats’ before someone signs him up for a reality show called, ‘Just Kidding’ where he tries to get people to believe he really is Jessie’s BFF even though she hasn’t answered his calls for 6 months.
So what about our beautiful Leanne?
Well, she will have an album and we will get to see her singing some of it on as many BBC shows as possible. Once that has faded and there’s another talent show number one in the pipeline, she’ll probably be offered various West End roles and it will be down to her sustainability, talent (beyond singing, should she have any) and work ethic as to whether she has anything to build a career on.
It’s sad, I know, but true.
Talent show winners rarely make anything like an improvement on the moment they’re covered in ticker-tape with their mentor at one side of them and Dermot/Holly/Antondec asking them if they can believe it on the other.
It’s not a question of talent, it’s a question of popularity and marketing and, ultimately, business demands.
There are people who make decisions about what we all want and it’s not us. If they decide, as they invariably do, that we want something else then they make it happen.
I once walked past Leon Jackson coming out of Oxford Circus tube station. It was a Tuesday afternoon less then six months after he’d won the X-Factor and nobody so much as looked his way. He would have grabbed more attention if he’d been carrying a placard for a GOLF SALE.
On Friday, that’s the day before yesterday, I was on a train from Preston in the same carriage as David Julien- remember him? Thought not. The hat-wearing, curly haired Mancunian was a contender for ‘The Voice’ two days ago and he didn’t even make the clips from previous episodes in last night’s final broadcast. It’s like he never existed. I truly hope he uses what exposure he got to build a long and successful career but somehow, I think, that shelf stacking job he so famously quit will be supporting his pop career once again before long.
I know I’m coming across like some bitter old queen with a nicotine stained cigarette holder clamped between my teeth and the only good review I ever got laminated in my wallet, but this obsession with instant fame has been allowed to swell and the harsh realities of performing for a living in an industry that will treat you like an insect until it hears your name being screamed by enough children, are still never made clear.
The old cliché about hard work and rejection and networking and all that ‘jazz’ is truer today than it has ever been. There are people out there who many have never heard of with more talent than every X-Factor finalist since Cowell’s first pee-pee and it’s those people, those professionals who get out of bed every morning and sweat their way through auditions and basement bar gigs who deserve a little of Jedward’s airtime.
You don’t see Manchester United holding open auditions do you? Alex Fergusson wouldn’t even let you say the word ‘ball’ in his presence if you hadn’t been developed through an academy and trained to be a pro from an early age. Why can’t our popular performance standards be the same?
As a writer, I’ve been rejected more times than a Chinese pacemaker but I know I’ve got enough talent to get there, eventually. When I hear Edwina Currie giving advice on how to get a publishing deal and make it as an author- like she ever even tried, it makes blood drip from my ears in outrage and I assume it’s the same for performers, singers and actors when they see the likes of Kelly Osborne getting a top gig in Chicago just because her mumbling, shaking wreck of a father was the number one freak show on US television.
Nobody wins in these shows apart from the producers and the occasional ray of true talent that gets unearthed every once in a while and, I have to say, now that The Voice is over, in truth they disgust me.
Anyway! I shall be watching, tweeting and blogging all about the next big talent show when we search for a Jesus for ALW! I can’t wait! Can you?
If you can’t then may I suggest, in an utterly shameless plug, that you download and listen to the soundtrack for a new musical from one of the finest composing talents in the world today, my good friend CRAIG ADAMS (recently interviewed right here on STAGE STATUS).
Songs from his album ‘LIFT’ are already being used for auditions here and on Broadway, his genius is beyond question and the album is sung by some of the best REAL talent in the industry. You can improve your life considerably and make yourself 38% more attractive (guaranteed*) just by getting a copy from iTunes, Amazon and currently here: http://www.dresscircle.co.uk/displaydetail.aspx?pid=9984
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself some quality and I’ll see you all on Twitter. Follow me @MrIanWatson if you dare.
Finally, I’d like to sign off by thanking all of you who have read my blogs and commented, either on here or via Twitter. There are some genuinely good people on here with a shared love of the arts and performance and it’s a privilege to be amongst you.
*guarantees are no indication of an actual guarantee.