Before you ask, yes I have watched both 'battle rounds' of The Voice this weekend. Anyone who was on Twitter, and if you weren't then it's probably time to pull the red chord and get the nurse to tell you what it is, will know that I was tweeting my bitchy little bum off through both shows.
Even though I watched all forty acts battle it out, I was painfully aware of the utter nonsense of this 'battle' format by the end of the third bout.
Let's get it said shall we? Whoever designed this part of the show needs sending to ITV, or Channel five at a push, to design and extreme version of 'Celebrity Naked Big Brother in the Jungle with Robots and Fire' and never be allowed near a singing competition again- ANY singing competition!
Even the X-Factor wouldn't have allowed this pointless, counter-intuitive, and self destructive idea off someone's drool-laminated iPad and into the production offices.
The reasons why this is about as far removed from finding , "The Voice" (a title I'm having to check is still in place with every passing minute) as the This Morning prize question is from Mastermind are almost too many to list but let's just look at it in simple terms.
We're looking for 'The Voice', right? OK, so, regardless of any mistakes made getting to this point let's at least move forward with that premise in mind.
We've got four different 'coaches' from different genres and generations of music- ok, well then it makes sense that each should have a team that represents their music.
Jessie J can represent independent modern funky girls. Danny, the indie singer-songwriter boys. Will.D.Beast can coach hip-hop and R'n'B types, and Tom can handle the big divas and the crooners. If we really HAVE to have some kind of battle then it should at least be team against team, Like 'Top Trumps', right?
No? Well it was just a thought. It took me about as long as it took to type and it's still miles better than what we ended up with.
Ok, how about this. We have 40 acts - can't call them voices because there are two pairs in there- don't ask! How about we pick the best 20 to go through?
I know it sounds simple but that's logic for you. It may be almost insultingly obvious, like giving a team talk that goes, "How about we try and win this game?" Or Maximus from 'Gladiator' ditching his, "you're already dead" battle cry in favour of , "Kill those guys and try not to get killed yourselves, Ok? Now off you go!" But I really feel someone at the BBC needs sitting down with an adult and talking to.
You'd think that taking the best singers on to the next stage would be the starting point of any elimination round- kind of the whole point in fact.
Not on The Voice! Oh no sir! I bet Kerry Ellis, Nathan James and all the other professionals with their dignity still safely intact must have watched this weekend's shows with enormous relief. Like seeing a news report that the train they missed that morning has been held up by Mexican bandits and the passengers have been forced to suck smoothies through the bandits' underpants at gunpoint.
There were times I couldn't look and others I couldn't listen either.
Some will argue that it makes good TV. They'd be right. I was gripped but for the wrong reasons. Embarrassing Bodies is un-missable TV but they don't call it , "The Arse" and claim it's a search for the Britain's best colon do they?
It was meant to be filled with a kind of 'rumble in the jungle' tension. A 'sing in the ring' if you will. It was more like 'shout through a bout' in some cases and the whole thing became more like Thunderdome. I half expected Tina Turner to be Tom Jones' assistant and start calling him 'raggedy man' while the crowd chant for blood and throw weapons in to mix it up a bit.
Instead we got Cery's 'one-yard-stare' Matthews for Tom, and Dante Santiago for Will who said that the first two girls, Joelle and Jenny were two of the 'illest' singers in the competition. Before they could misunderstand him and go for a lie down in spite of feeling fine, he went on to shoot himself straight in the foot by then saying he wanted them to be, "simple, natural... like Michael Jackson" at which point you could hear people spitting tea over themselves on every street in the country.
Being incredibly cool myself and, in fact, being so far down with the kids I need a CRB check whenever I leave the house, I knew exactly what Dante meant and he was right. These two girls were two of the best singers in the whole thing and yet here we were, choosing to get rid of one of them because.... Because? Anyone?
"You two are so similar, I only have room for one of your kind in my team." Danny told Bill and Max before they went on.
It's not Noah's Ark Danny! You don't have to collect one of every species mate!
Bill, like Jenny before him, was sent home in the sure knowledge that someone far less talented than him would go through. I agree that Max was the better out of the two but that should never have been the choice in the first place. Like Danny said, "The UK are thinking I'm an idiot for putting these two together" but it's worse than that. He had no choice.
This format forced him to put them together because he could hardly have put the five weakest against the five strongest to be sacrificed in the ring could he?
This format is responsible for Bill going home and Sam Buttery (real name- honest) going through. Sam, the love child of Timmy Mallet and Dom Jolly, is clearly a lovely guy. I'd have him round for tea any day, but 'The Voice' he aint.
There were far too many examples of good singers going home. Lindsey Butler went home and so did Vince Freeman while Ruth-Ann 'it's-in-there-somewhere' St. Luce and Matt 'the Wookie' and Suleen went through to the live finals where their 'stories' will almost certainly be wrung dry in shameless vote-garnering just like every other shallow, American-style reality show.
It's just ridiculous!
When I heard about 'The Voice' I was expecting something from the BBC of the calibre of Strictly Come Dancing. Filled with genuine judgment of actual ability and packed with integrity where, when the public get a little carried away with voting for a Sergeant, or a Widdecombe, they're told by Len Goodman- now come on folks, enough of this silliness, this is a serious competition!
Watching 'The Voice' this weekend was more like watching Robot Wars than Strictly. Does anyone have Len's number by any chance? It's not too late.
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