So, here we are again, to answer the most important question in modern Britain: IS THE VOICE BETTER THAN BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT?
Last time we established that, despite the best efforts of an over-buffed Alesha Dixon, and a barely conscious Amanda Holden, J-J-J-Jessie J's s-s-s-stellar turns on The Voice had edged it into the lead. Clearly the viewers agreed, as BGT got an utter trouncing in the ratings wars. However, assuming the rest of the world is like us, and watched the latter on Sky+ so as to fast-forward through the adverts, things may in fact be a lot closer than they appear.
So, all is to play for as we continue to examine THE BATTLE OF THE JUDGES, this time focusing on the homoerotic inter-judge flirting.
A great deal of attention has been given to the continuous "negging" between Simon Cowell and his newest funjudge, David Walliams. From their matching smiles, and constant looks over to check each others' reactions, to taking every opportunity to go to each other's chairs and waggle their bits in each others' faces, they are displaying textbook signals of sexual interest.
All just silliness for the cameras, obvs. OR IS IT? Could this be the most delicious double-bluff in history? While we're all chuckling away at Walliams' outrageously suggestive shenanigans, two men may, in fact, be enjoying the sweetest love affair of their lives. Did you see the standing ovation Simon gave David for his turn with the Showbears? EXACTLY. And, if wild, utterly unsubstantiated rumour is to be believed, somewhere many miles away, Paul McKenna cries himself to sleep. Either way, it is utterly engrossing, and we're loving every camp second of it.
Clearly, The Voice wasn't going to take this lying down (as it were). Danny Whatshisface and Will.I.Am began their own pigtail-pulling over who turned around first. It's just like Si and Dave: the leaning over to see what the other is doing is there, the cheeky smiles, the teasing - it's all going on, with the added bonus of a slightly disappointing ride as they finally push each other's buttons (just like the rest of us).
But while most of the nation would rather see a Dan.I.am over a Sivid (doesn't work if you're not Brangelina, does it?), The Voice's manlove never truly blossoms. When their backs are to the act, it's their own little world, their secret "behind the bike sheds" spot (let's pretend there isn't an ancient Welsh crooner and a young Mystic Meg between them). Once they've turned around, that moment is lost, and it's back to "I wrote for this person" and "I respect you as an artist." YAWN. This show persists in being about the people actually singing, and as thereby LOSES this battle.
So that's a square one-all between The Voice and BGT so far. But can this continue? As The Voice hits into 'Battle Weekend' (hopefully with actual artillery), things look set to heat up significantly. BGT better be ready to bring it...