The Voice is coming! Should we be excited? The BBC certainly think so. Their new £22million show launches in the spring with a huge fanfare and hot cast.
As a huge fan of X Factor, its dramas, tears and tantrums (and a bit of singing of course), another singing competition is going to have to be sensational to be able to have the same impact. X Factor provides months of office gossip, entertaining and bringing together the nation. It certainly keeps me busy for most of the year.
The Voice brings about a mixture of excitement and apprehension. As a reality TV reviewer, I like to ensure my comments are as unbiased as possible. But, as a firm X factor supporter, part of me feels I would be slightly unfaithful if I enjoyed this new upstart over the old warhorse.
However, the harsh reality (excuse the pun) is, X Factor won't be around forever. Reviews still need to be given, new talent needs to be found and the future of ordinary people being given the opportunity to be discovered needs to continue. So, The Voice UK, for a few months, I am all yours.
The shows concept is fresh and new enough to already get people talking. Just want the promoters want. The Voice is being sold as being 100% all about the talent, so definitely no room for the next Wagner or Jedward.
The hot cast, or the coaches as they will be known, is also of a high standard. A mixture of youth, experience and out and out "been there and done it". (I'm talking to you Mr Jones). If Jessie J, Will.i.am, Tom Jones and Danny O'Donoghue gave me some advice, I would listen. Shame I can't sing.
So how will it all work? The initial audition rounds are blind, the judges only hear the acts sing and judgement is based on The Voice alone. This is what will make this show. We, the audience will see the whole package, immediately having one over on the judges! Power is great. But once the judges have made their choice they get to see the person behind The Voice. Are we then not back to the same format? The look of the contestant will still have a major bearing on how far they go in the competition. Perhaps the face behind The Voice should be kept hidden until the end! Now that would be a show.
We the public don't get control of the show until the live shows start. By this stage the coaches will now have four acts each to mentor. People's favourites would have already been chosen and the bookies will have a good idea of who the star performers are.
WIth X Factor, I know that from mid-August, anything can and usually does, happen, the shocks coming thick and fast. Writing and talking about it keeps you on your toes. You just never know what's around the corner. For me, The Voice is a new fresh challenge, but will it carry the same media coverage and excitement that X Factor generates? Time will tell.
On the other side of the coin however, if The Voice achieves the great success that is expected, X Factor will have to raise it's game in August and that means reality TV heaven for me. I'm sure Simon is already on to it and plotting his next move in the battle.
Let the games begin...
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