Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

The Voice hits a real flat note

Jessie J said she felt intimidated by a singer's voice

There appears to be one fatal flaw in the format of The Voice, the BBC talent show that promises to judge contestants not on their looks or back-story but entirely on their voice.

And the flaw is that the show judges contestants not on their looks or back-story but entirely on their voice.

Take the contestant with the opera voice who appeared on Saturday night singing Nessun Dorma.

Not one of the judges - the legend that is Tom Jones, Jessie J, the ultra posy Will.i.am or Danny whatisname - turned around to signal that they wanted this particular singer on their team.

(The show's big gimmick is that when a judge decides he or she 'wants' the contestant, they hit a buzzer and their chair theatrically spins round so that they can see for the first time who it is they've just voted for.)

In this instance, Jessie J was honest enough to confess to the girl that she didn't buzz because, listening to her, she'd felt a bit intimidated.

But it transpired that the singer was only 17 years old, totally untrained and from a working-class background.

She'd discovered her remarkable voice while entertaining her family by taking the mickey out of opera diva Katherine Jenkins singing on the telly.

Think of what showman Simon Cowell would have made of all that.

From The Voice however, it was a one-way ticket back to anonymity.

Which leaves us with the central question about the show.

If they're so adamant it's not about how the contestants look why are the Beeb even doing it on TV?

Wouldn't The Voice work better on radio?

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