It was expected to challenge the dominance of X Factor and sold itself as being a talent show for real voices. Not a show obsessed with the appearance of its contestants or a show which laughed at its singers. No it stood upon a much grander hill. At its peak the show pulled in over 12 million viewers then slipped down to just over 6 million. So what do we really think of the first series?
For a start The Voice stopped being The Voice the first time the judges saw the faces of their acts. Who can forget the short-lived trend of people taking pictures of themselves - with the show in the background - while sitting on chairs with their backs turned, imitating the judges? Brilliant I say. However that sort of stopped when the judges met the contestants, at which point, personalities then came into play.
The show let their stylists loose with one hand tied behind their backs because everyone knew that the Saturday and Sunday shows were filmed on the same night. We were led to believe the judges and presenters went home, slept, woke up, had breakfast, chilled out, and then put on the same Saturday TV clothes for Sunday night's show. The outcry slowly built up. Eventually the Beeb sought to rectify this wrong and we saw the others, and especially Holly - show us what their wardrobe had to offer. Even Reggie's suits looked dapper but the mutation didn't stop there. Perhaps in an attempt to stave off the initial fall in ratings, big screens started to appear behind the singers, and dancers emerged during performances. Hang on, haven't I seen that before... X Factor? The funny thing is, about a week after I made the observation Simon Cowell publicly said the same thing. It's OK Simon I'll let you have that one for free.
Rumours flew around that the judges were told to be tougher with their critiques. Words such as "I'm just being honest," were bandied about like water on a hot summer's day, alleged tantrums, prima donna behaviour and all sorts were spoken of which threatened the integrity of the show. So it was time to call in the big boys, sorry I mean girls, take a bow Lana Del Rey, Cheryl Cole, and Kylie Minogue.
It seems that The Voice was desperate to do things differently, even creating a voting fight off which got rid of probably one of the most cast iron finalists in Ruth Brown since Leona Lewis, but fair play to the singers who made it through to the final. Tyler, Bo, Leanne, and Vince, would all sound perfectly fine over the radio, on a CD, or on any MP3 download.
We never got to see the selection process which would have been nice. So it led us to believe that the ones who made it to our TV screens were the best of the bunch that queued at the door. Maybe Danny Cohen and John de Mol thought that its inclusion would make The Voice too similar to that other show. We also craved more excitement because at times it seemed a bit monotonous. We never got to see - up close - the Judges' relationships with each member of their team and we were never able to properly gauge the amount of the time each judge spent coaching their singers. It needed to be more transparent.
The plus points are though that The Voice will make the X Factor up its game at the very least, and it will also try to improve on its first time offering for the second series. But only time well tell who will win the overall battle of the singing talent shows.
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