Monday, 7 May 2012

The Voice UK vs. Britain's Got Talent

I must say I'm not generally a fan of televised talent shows but the concept of The Voice UK coupled with the eclectic line-up of judges reeled me in and I've been watching since the show debuted. I think it's great that The Voice only celebrates real talent and doesn't set out to mock, unlike rival show Britain's Got Talent, which mixes the sublime with the truly terrible.

So far The Voice has already showcased some amazing performers, of which Ruth Brown, Jazz Ellington and Vince Kidd are my favorites, and I certainly think these three will do very well after the show is finished, no matter who is crowned the first 'Voice UK'. While I still think these kind of television shows are tacky and not really my kind of thing, I do think The Voice UK has emerged as a unique and highly watchable series that stands firmly above its competition, and if you happened to catch both The Voice UK and Britain's Got Talent yesterday then the difference between the two was perfectly encapsulated by Emeli Sande's strong performance on the former contrasting with that of singer Tulisa, previously of UK grime act N-Dubz, on the latter. Tulisa's cringe-worthy effort rivals Britney Spears' ill fated 2007 VMA performance for awkwardness, although of course she will never reach the same level of fame, which does make me wonder why anyone would want to see this. Surprisingly though BGT is winning the ratings war with The Voice UK according to latest figures so what gives?

There are some very gifted folk popping up on BGT but I just can't sit through the rest, and I find the judges excruciatingly smug and annoying. On the other hand The Voice UK has been a great platform for Black Eyed Peas member Will.I.Am who, during the course of the series, has completely won me over with his bizarre catchphrases and his brilliant anecdotes, and he really has proved that he has a great ear and top producer talent. I do think the show has lost some of its initial spark as the live rounds continue and the cast of hopefuls are slowly picked off, but there are still moments that make it worth watching. The judges haven't always made wise decisions (Harriet Whitehead not being picked has so far been the most infuriating) and the show is still obviously manipulative and exploitative but I do think it's a step up from the usual reality-based dross that graces television screens.

As an aside, I tried watching The Voice US but the judges, including Christina Aguilera and the lead singer of Maroon 5, proved too insufferable to bear.

Here are some of my favorite performances from The Voice UK so far:

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