The Voice

Monday, April 23rd, 2012 11:56 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
So having watched all the episodes of this so far, I feel moved to make a couple of observations:
  • The men are held to much lower standards than the women in terms of the range they are expected to have - range in terms of notes, and range in terms of style. Nobody seems to think this is odd. The most obvious example of this is the guy who sang a mediocre version of Rocket Man and got all four judges turning round, while the girl who sang Nessun Dorma and CANED IT got NONE of them, even though she was technically ten times better.

  • Danny is annoying and has no mind of his own. I hadn't heard of him before this competition, and am not moved to find out any more about him or his band based on this.

  • Jessie J, on the other hand, DOES have a mind of her own, and while she can make the odd bitchy comment when she thinks the cameras aren't listening, she has a lot of nous. For example totally did the right thing chucking Ben off last night - and the fact that will and Danny were slagging her off for it is an illustration of my first point.

  • Sir Tom. He's Sir Tom. ♥

  • If there's any justice Ruth will win. I would actually like to see Toni win, but Ruth is streets ahead of anybody left in the competition in terms of vocal ability.

We now return you to radio silence.

Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I was surprised Ruth went through in the blind auditions and las
Ben Kelley is far more quirky and more interesting to listen to than Ruth-Ann.

I was surprised Tom chose Sam Buttery over Aundrea(?). I was also surprised that Matt & Sueleen went through.

There is more to a voice than just the range it can cover. However impressive some of the high-notes are, its about the tone as well. Its also about the subjectiveness of what kind of voices you like to listen to and who can be an artist as well.

Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2012 11:53 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Was the girl who sang Nissan Dorma the one who was 17 and completely self taught? That wasn't a pleasing sound and I also wasn't impressed with the judges for not telling her that she should make sure she doesn't damage her voice by improvising.

I think Jessie J has been a bit surprised that the boys are being so full of themselves and just as hard on her, but she's held her own really well and is only occasionally wading into the idiotic willy waving contest with a choice put down. She's really impressed me and I respect her a lot having seen this.
I think that what a singer really needs to have is something distinctive that makes you stop and listen and know it's them. Like when you hear your favourite singer on the radio, you know it's them from the voice, not the song.

This is why someone like John Barrowman isn't a very successful singer - his singing voice is fine, but it's completely lacking in any kind of distinguishing features. You would know it was him if he spoke on the radio, but not if he sang. It is just the sound of generic person singing well, unlike say Tom Jones.

(I didn't see this week's show yet, but saw all the auditions so all thoughts based on previous shows.)


Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2012 12:00 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
I find the initial novelty's wearing off a little. I really like the premise of it - that what they're interested in is the voice and nothing else. That seems to have gone by the wayside - Danny's comment last night as to why the duo featuring Gandalf the White went through was that "they're more interesting to look at." Another problem is that the judges' comments can be a little anodyne. It's a good thing that the BGT-style bitchiness and humiliation isn't there, but constructive technical criticism could still be interesting instead of "You were awesome, this is the hardest decision of my life."

Sunday's episode felt like it had been rather quickly edited down - some performances were cut very short and there were a fair number of times that we only heard comments from one or two of the judges or didn't hear at all from the losing contestants. Another 15 minutes might have allowed it to breathe a little more.

The Nessun Dorma singer shows one of the problems of the format. She's 17 and for a girl of seventeen has a remarkable voice. Without knowing her age though, it's not obvious that she's 17 and so it's easier to pass over her. What the solution to that is, I don't know. Maybe introduce a wild card system where each judge at the end of the blind auditions can call one person back for a second chance?

And apropos of nothing, I'm finding that I really like Will. During the blind auditions, he was the one who was making a point of speaking to people who'd chosen other judges over him and congratulating them, That just struck me as being a thoughtful thing to do.

Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Thing is, it's the firat series of this, so the chances are that when it returns, which it definitely will looking at its audience figures, it'll have been tweaked a bit.

I don't know whether there's been a second series in any other countries yet, but I'd imagne that if so, the format'll have been tinkered with from place to place.

One other thing that I'm intrigued by - Danny was a last minute replacement for Will Young. I wonder why.

An amateur game show scribbler scribbles

Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
daweaver:   (pdq)
From: [personal profile] daweaver
Magister is correct; the original plan was for both Saturday and Sunday's episodes to contain 10 performances. In order to minimise the overlap with Britain's Got Talent, Saturday's show was chopped down from 100 minutes to 90, one performance moved to Sunday, and the splices were more obvious than they might have been.

This is the first UK series, but about the twentieth around the world. Owners Talpa keep very tight reins on The Voice of Holland structure: nowhere has had any second chances. Ever. Indeed, all the series follow the same format - off-screen weeding out, on-screen auditions, duelling singers, find the champion amongst each squad, superfinal. All series have similar presentation elements: the hand making a V sign holding a microphone, describing the groups as "Team Whoever", the chair design, even the typefaces.

The BBC contract is for two series. Will Young was excluded because he, like Mr. Jones, Miss J, and, records for Universal Records, which will sign the winner. Mr. O'Donoghue lessens the charge that this is a massive product placement in the way Fame Academy was.

Facts above are facts; opinions are my own. I think the similarity of male voices comes from this being a contest in the pop genre, rather than opera or musical theatre. This weekend was painful, too many contestants confused "show off your vocal abilities" with "perform with as much volume as you can, never mind the tune."

Only a handful of performances this weekend grabbed me as being outstanding, and a couple of those were negative views. I liked Bo Bruce, almost able to get through the unhelpful arrangement and reach the emotional quandary at the heart of "With or without you". I was really impressed by Frances Wood, she found something even Alanis didn't get in "Ironic", and there's a big talent lurking there. Both are into the Top 20.

Re: An amateur game show scribbler scribbles

Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Oh well, that explains a lot. Shame really.

Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
drunkwriter: Me in South Park form. (Default)
From: [personal profile] drunkwriter
Possibly there are fewer male entrants. I don't watch any of the pub-karaoke-superstar genre, but all that I have glimpsed suggests the women tend to be of a much higher standard. I think they scrape the barrel a bit to get enough male contestants.

Date: Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
malmo58: (Default)
From: [personal profile] malmo58
I would have loved it if the contestants had stayed unseen, by judges and viewers alike, throughout the competition, showing themselves only on eviction. The final would end, after the announcement of the result, by the runner-up showing him/herself and then, finally, the winner - AFTER singing his/her victory song.

As it is, The Voice is X Factor with a slightly different audition.

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