miss_s_b: (Music: HiM)
The Singers

By and large the technically-good singers did better than the technically-poor singers. There were exceptions to this, though. There was a restriction of style which spoke to it being definitely pop-oriented - I'm thinking both of the 17-year-old Asian lass who sang Nessun Dorma so well my jaw dropped, and the lad who did Livin' On a Prayer, neither of whom a single coach turned around for. There were also a number of male singers who I definitely couldn't see the attraction of. The guy who sang Rocket Man in the blind auditions, who all four coaches turned around for wasn't even "not very good" he was actively awful, and I think you all know my views on Tyler.

It seemed to me that there was definitely a much lower standard for the male singers in terms of the range and abilities they were expected to have than the female - Jaz was the only one who came close to having the range of the girls. But then, that mirrors society at large, doesn't it? A woman must be twice as good as a man to be thought of half as good...

On the performances last night, Leanne deserved to win. Bo was struggling against having had Danny for a coach, and she suffered for it. But Bo was the only one in the final who I would have picked from the last 8... I found it interesting that the moment the British voting public are given sole control, the two best singers (who were coincidentally black) got knocked out; but then again, if this competition is about who is going to sell more records then uncomfortable things like that need to be taken into account.

I would like to see what happens for both the winner and several of the losers (Bo, Vince, Ruth, Jaz, Matt and Sueleen, Becky, Toni, Frances, and Jenny the Barmaid are all springing to mind) - because we know from many years of FamePopXAcademyFactorIdol that the winners of these things very rarely go on to continued success, and even more rarely the losers.

The Coaches

My starting position was a deep affection for Tom Jones, respect and admiration for will.i.am, a vague notion that JessieJ was someone my daughter liked, and "who?" for Danny.

Danny turned very quickly from someone I hadn't heard of to someone I didn't like very much, to someone I actively despise. In the blind auditions he was copying will. He showed no judgement of his own. His song choices were bad - not because they were bad songs, but because they were the wrong songs for his artists, or for the competition, or both. His petulance when will and Jessie pointed that out to him was childish in the extreme. But what made me despise him? That was when he told will he should pick Tyler over Jaz, because although Jaz was a better singer Tyler was "more marketable" - which to me translated as thinner and whiter.

JessieJ I have become an active fan of. I like her voice, and I like her honesty, and I like how she stands up for herself and makes herself distinctive. I liked that she told the artists exactly what she thought, without sugarcoating it, and yet without being in any way nasty. And I loved how her and Tom were clearly getting on like a house on fire and gossiping and giggling together. I shall be obtaining one of her albums soon.

will.i.am... my opinions of his music haven't changed, but I've grown to have real affection for him as a person. He strikes me as someone who is naturally painfully shy, but has forced himself to overcome this by becoming a pop star. The difference between will in the chair and will on stage performing was palpable. And I was very impressed with the emotional maturity he displayed when dealing with Danny's tantrums, and when giving out constructive criticism to the singers. And I loved him tweeting live from the show all the time, even when suspended in mid air.

And Tom... I think Tom took this show on because he wanted to actively nurture new talent, and I think he was the only one who stuck to the brief and judged solely on The Voice, and I think that's why his singer won. Based on how much each artist changed and improved over the weeks, I think he was the best coach, too. And I loved that he has said, on the show, that he will fight for Ruth and Matt and Sueleen once the show is over (and I recall will saying this to Frances and Jessie saying it to Becky too).

The Format

The blind audition bit is the bit that is interesting, suspenseful, and new. The battle rounds were kind of cool. Then it turned into just another talent show. And this is shown in the audience figures. We know there is going to be another series, and something needs to be tweaked to keep it interesting once it gets to the talent show rounds. My suggestion was to keep the coaches in a blacked out booth till the semi finals, then they really are judging solely on The Voice, but James points out that would remove the iconic image of the show, the swivelling chair... So yeah, I don't know what they can or will do to tweak it, but clearly something needs to be done.

Having the results show on a Sunday... I can see the logistical reasons for it, but those are outweighed by the sheer boredom factor of having to wade through a performance by Cheryl Cole and a load of waffle and recaps before getting to the actual result; and in the age of twitter, the risk of the result getting out before the show airs is a big one too. So have the results show later on the same night, and make it a lot shorter. FWIW, this is my opinion on the Strictly results show too. It's filmed the same night, they should show it the same night.

I would like to see a follow-up episode (or maybe a couple of episodes), say six months after the winner is declared, showing what has happened to the winner and the popular losers.

The format has clearly evolved over the course of this first series, though. This is clearest in the way the presenters are presented. Initially Holly and Reggie were both equal in terms of time and stage and screentime. By the final episode, Reggie didn't come out of the twitter room at all and got barely any screentime. IMHO this was justified. Holly was smoother and clearer as a presenter. So I think further tweaks and evolutions are only to be expected.

The Future

My tips to the production team for what they should do with the next series are as follows:
  1. Get rid of Danny. This is the number one thing they could do to make the show better. He is by far the worst coach, and actively hampered his artists. They could use this as an opportunity to even the gender balance. Cerys Matthews? Kate Bush? Paloma Faith? There are lots of ladies who could make this interesting.

  2. Do something to keep it interesting once the live shows start. What this is, I don't know, and I suspect that if I did know then I'd be a lot richer than I am

  3. Move the results show to half an hour after the phone lines close (which is when they film it anyway) and make it a LOT shorter

  4. I hope they keep JessieJ, but given how she has spoken in the media, she may not want to do a second series. If she does go, they need to pay even more attention to the diversity of the coaches, given that she is female AND non-white AND non-het.

  5. Keep track of the artists once the show finishes
I suspect you lot all have your opinions too. What do you think they could do to improve the show?

The Voice

Monday, April 23rd, 2012 11:56 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
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.
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miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Judge Death)
This will only make sense to you if you are familiar with both Bod (old kids' TV show in the UK) and Judge Dredd (old comic character from the UK). As this is MY readership, I expect most of you will get it ;)

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miss_s_b: (Who: ZOMG!)
Just watched one of the best television shows I have seen in ages. We recorded it off BBC4. It was called Cricklewood Greats and you've got another 6 days to catch it on iPlayer. I urge you to do so. And if anybody from the beeb is reading this: it was announced as a pilot PLEASE pick it up for a series. Please please pretty please with a cherry on top. And chocolate sprinkles.

I shall end with a salute to the geeky genius of Peter Capaldi. You sir, rock.
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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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