The Voice – Episode 1 (Auditions)

Or : What Tom Jones Did During The War.

THIS

LIGHTS!

IS THE VOICE! Whatever it is. It kind of looks like “Bright-Dancing” to me [I would’ve said “broken clock radio” – Steve], but we all know it can’t be that, because that would be something you would see on The X Factor, and as we all know, there’s nothing you could see on The X Factor they’d let on this show (except, you know, everything) (apart from him from The Script) (but other than that…). Turns out it’s not bright-dancing, but instead

CHAIRS! I LOVE THEM!

CHAIRS! And statues quite lidderally flicking the Vs to Simon Cowell!

That was a fun puzzle, can we have another one? Outline every line in Tom Jones’ face with neon strips and have us guess whether it’s him or a contour map of Cheddar Gorge! They’ll have the budget given all the money they’ve thrown at this.

Speaking of Tom Jones,

TOM JONES INTERNATIONAL!

here he is, telling us that “it’s all about the strength of the voice”. I presume he’s talking about picking the female presenter, given that there’s few things in this world louder than a Holly Willoughby in full-throat. Here’s

HIM FROM THING

him from The Script, saying “it’s uniquely about talent and NOTHING ELSE, I was hired for by amazing ability to talent-spot and mentor, not because I’m a bit of Irish filth, HONEST”. Here’s William,

UNTRADITIONAL!

saying “it’s not like a traditional karaoke talent show”. Yeah, they’ve got FUNNY CHAIRS and everything. Here’s Jessie J saying

*noises*

“it’s not about the package, package, package, we don’t need your p-p-p-p-PPACK-ARJ WOAH-WOAH-WOAH-WOAH BEEP BEEP *noise like a yak masticating a bicycle*”, or something like that. Tom continues onwards, saying the show is about “CAN.YOU.SING.OR.CAN’T.YOU.SING”. They should have totally called the show that. It’d still be less ungainly a title than “So You Think You Can Dance Then Do You, Come On Then!”

At this potential rebranding, our hosts, guides, and all-round useless spare parts (actually that’s not fair, without them, who would eke out the sob stories or milk the shots of contestants’ adorable families that this show definitely won’t have), Reggie Yates and Holly Willoughby break in to assure us of our Glorious Coaches credentials. Between them, they’ve sold 140 million records, have hundreds of thousands of fans, countless number 1 hits (they’ve had 9, 11 if you count “featuring”s, and over half of those are William’s), these are FOUR OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN MUSIC!!!”

I guess they are if you count “Him Out Of The Script” as a name. Still, they’re no “Englebert Humperdink”.

Anyway, THEY ARE

Jessie J : 6 top 10 singles, a double-platinum selling debut-album, four Mobo awards, and Mystic Meg’s hair
William : Founding member of The Black Eyed Peas, 7 Grammys, collaborator with some of music’s greatest names, and two superfluous punctuation marks
Tom Jones : Sex barn, sex bum, he’s in a sex barn, he can give it to you when you mumble mumble arm
Him From The Script : Bit Of Irish Filth For The Mums

It is up to these four to nurture the next generation of popular artists (to compete in…THE HUNGER GAMES no?), but first they’re going to take to the stage to “show us how it’s done”.

TWANG TWANG TWANG

Oh Him From The Script, that’s not how you play guitar!

To the VOICE STAGE, where our lesson today is apparently “how to sing “I’ve Got A Feeling” ” By The Black Eyed Peas. WOW, I ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW. We start off with Him From The Script at the piano.

F'nar

QUICK! TO THE PHOTOSHOP-IN-A-COCK-MOBILE! I’m not sure how to recap this bit to be honest. There’s a reason I don’t recap Top Of The Pops Christmas Specials, and it’s not JUST that I’m drunk off wine and family-awkwardness. Jessie J does a passable Fergie-Ferg impression whilst dressed as a QR code, William spins around a lot, Tom Jones

I've got a feeling...but not in my left side.

looks lost and confused throughout. Yeah Tom, they just don’t write them like they used to any more. You can tell in his head he’s bellowing “I SAW THE LIGHT ON THE NIGHT THAT I PASSED BY HER WINDOW!”. You know, like he does in the park every Thursday afternoon, before those nice men take him back to the Pop Retirement Home so he can goose Elkie Brooks some more.

Pointless shots of audience members ‘AVIN A LAFF!

WOO!
YEAH!
FUN FUN FUN!
I AM DYING OF FUN!

We got em.

That over with, it’s time to explain the rules. The job of the coaches is to select an elite group of 10 singers from the auditionees. Britain’s Best New Artists will be invited to the studio in order to audition before the judges. EXCEPT WAIT! THERE’S A TWIST! The judges will have their backs turned to them whilst they audition, so they won’t know what they look like! This turns the reality show model ON ITS HEAD. This way we’ll get people who are

Eh, he's not that bad

UGLY!

This is fat now?

FAT!

He's about 40!

AND OLD!

(I feel the show could have picked better illustrative examples for these points, is what I’m saying).

Ahem, anyway

Or how it should do...

During the audition, if a judge likes what they hear, they sit there and pull faces for 90 seconds or so, so they can ramp up the drama and make the contestants relatives really SUFFER backstage. Then they press their button, with their hands, shoe, or face, and their chair spins around like Dramatic Hamster. The chair spinning designates the singer being accepted for the coach’s team. If the person’s a right biffa, or dressed in full Nazi regalia, or turns out to be a cat with a tape-recorder sellotaped to its forehead, or not marketable, the judges will frantically hammer their button trying to turn back, then realise they can just dump them in the next round anyway, no problem. If Jessie J presses her button, she will do a dance for you. If more than one Coach likes you, they will yammer on and on and on and on about how they know where Paraguay is and how they met Sooty once, until you say which one you like best (usually the one whose song you’ve just sung) to get them to shut up. You are then ON THEIR TEAM. Once a team has 10 members on it, someone from props repeatedly smacks the chair with a sledgehammer, so Tom stops just saying yes to everyone. If a coach spots an opportunity to make an ill-advised and hypocritical swipe at X Factor, it will be done. If you can’t persuade someone to turn for you, YOU’RE OUT OF SHOWBUSINESS FOREVER!

That clear? Good.

Here’s Audition #1

JESSKUH!

Really breaking the mould aren’t they? Jessica says that she loves song-writing, because her guitar is always there for her when she gets picked on at school (NO X FACTOR STYLE HEARTSTRING-TUGGING BACKSTORIES HERE!). In her bedroom she

KING OF COMEDY!

feels like a superstar, and pretends the raindrops on the window are people applauding her. I hear Ted Bundy said similar things. She’s going to be singing “Price Tag” by Jessie J. WHO JUST SO HAPPENS TO BE ONE OF THE JUDGES OH MY GOD WHAT A COINCIDENCE. She waffles some about how when you do a cover version, you really need to look at the message of the song and what it meant to the artist and the message they were trying to convey (in this case MONEY IS BAD, AND ALSO HOS!). That’s very much my approach to karaoke it has to be said. Sure it annoys other people when I spend half an hour crammed into a corner borrowing the wikipedia on someone’s iPhone to work out the hidden meanings in “If I Could Turn Back Time” (it’s about what would happen if you could turn back time), but hey, I JUST LOVE THE MUSIC TOO MUCH MAN!

(X-Factor Contestant Who She Is : Janet Devlin)

She brings her little acoustic guitar out onto the stage and the audience start effing SCREAMING once she’s plucked it twice. I wonder how many e-numbers have been pumped into these people. Also someone needs to tell them that the show is called The Voice, not The Strum. We’re not looking for Britain’s Best Stroker, although if we were I’d hope Him From The Script had a bigger role to play… ahem, anyway, here’s Jessie J listening to someone else singing one of her songs.

So zen

That is a very Zen amount of self-satisfaction right there. William is the first to press his button, then Jessie goes (and the rest of the singing goes flat to meet her arrival), then Him From The Script starts doing some embarrassing dad-dancing and neck-bopping and also turns his chair, then

Ooooh, chairs!

William does a bit where he tries to spin Jessie’s chair back around manually, clearly aware that this girl is picking her idol. Either that or he’s just that fascinated by the chairs. They are clearly the best part of the show. [True that. – Steve] Then finally Tom realises that the voice belongs to a young person, and they’re the BEST for boring with his war stories so he thinks

*shrug*

why the hell not and turns around as well.

I don’t really get it, but it’s an acoustic cover of “Price Tag”, so I was never really going to was I?

Jessica closes off her song with another weak bum note, and then clutches her head all “THE RAINDROPS HAVE BECOME PEOPLE! THE SUNSHINE HAS BECOME APPLAUSE! THE STORM-CLOUDS HAVE BECOME BUNNIES AND THEY’RE TELLING ME TO BURN THINGS!”

All the judges being interested in a slice, it’s time for them to sell themselves to the teenage girl. William does this by asking how old she is, then

GIGGITY GIGGITY

pulling Quagmire “giggity-gigity-goo” face at her. Not the BEST start. He tells her he’d like to work with her like he worked with “Macy” (William H?) and Michael Jackson”. He wants to fetch tea for her? He wants to groom her monkey? Him From The Script calls William out for being a name-dropper. YEAH, BUT THE NAME IS MACY GREY, HIM, IT DOESN’T COUNT! William promises that he’s going to help her put out an album that will be big in the UK, the USA, Brazil, Phillippines, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Ireland, Vatican City, Easter Island, Brockway, Ogdenville, North Haverbrook. I’m so glad that I was playing that sporcle quiz whilst this show was on. So handy… Him From The Script interrupts William to call him

He's his LOBSTER

his lobster. How sweet.

Jessie J tries to appear motherly now, and asks Jessica if she’d like to put her guitar down. Not missing a trick, William sprints to the stage and offers to hold her guitar for her and be her roadie.

Such a roadie yes?

It’s kind of obvious that William doesn’t work with people with guitars often, because in my experience they tend to love other people touching their guitars as much as black women love you going “OH MY GOD, YOUR HAIR IS SO FUNKY, CAN I TOUCH IT PLEASE!” Jessie then tells Jessica that she’s going to speak to her like she is her when she was 17. Is she about to tell her not to believe that man when he told her he was a pilot, and also however many inches they tell you it is, always knock one off? I wish she’d just recited “Sunscreen (Everybody’s Free)” at her. DO NOT READ BEAUTY MAGAZINES, THEY WILL ONLY MAKE YOU FEEL UGLY. Instead she just tells her that it’s all about the music, not the MONEY, MONEY MONEY and also kind of calls William a “Yes Man”, worrabitch.

Tom says “I can’t compete with that”, and half-heartedly punts out some “I can pick songs dead good” and looks at Jessica like maybe the advice Jessie should have given her 17 year old self was

Oh Tom.

“don’t get into Tom Jones’ van”. Him From The Script is all “I ALSO PLAY A GUITAR!” and so on, but let’s face it, the girl’s picking Jessie, can we get on with it please?

WOO!

There we go.

Audition #2 now, and Reggie informs us that, whilst some auditionees are newcomers, there are also those amongst them who have already tasted fame. Like this one.

SPECIAL RESIN!

Erm…was he in an Autoglass advert? NO SILLY, IT’S

IVEIVE

SEAN FROM FIVEIVE! He has an awkward interview with Reggie where they talk about having met before, except before Sean was famous and now…he’s not. Although to be fair, they replaced him with a cardboard cut-out for one video, and he was barely less integral to the group.

Sean explains that Fiveive won a Brit Award and also played with Brian May once. Ah yes, the memories. EVERYONE WATCH YOUR BACK, DEY GOT QUEEN ON THIS TRACK. Was there a more millennial moment? FUN FACT : Sean has had more number 1 hits than three of the four coaches. So don’t get too comfortable Him From The Script. Anyway Sean explains to Reggie that one day Sean looked in the mirror and decided he wanted to find out who he was, because he just felt like he was turning into this giant “SEAN FROM FIVEIVE CARTOON CHARACTER!!!” and it was getting out of control. Oh Sean, you were the Mikey Graham, calm down. He really likes that it’s a Blind Audition, because he knows if one of the judges put him through, it’ll be for his voice, not because he was in Fiveive, like that was ever a possibility. [I regret accusing this show of being devoid of humour now; I’d forgotten how much I laughed during this whole sequence. – Steve]

(X-Factor contestant who he is : That time Nikk from Phixx turned up and Cheryl pretended she’d forgotten him ; that time Daniel from One True Voice made it to Boot Camp ; that time a Boy Scott-Lee auditioned)

So let’s see how this is going to work out for him.

Eep
DENIED!

LOL-OOPS. I really wish that if nobody turns round that the lights on the chairs would spell out “Boo You Whore!” or “LOLNO!” or “Back To Greggs For You” or something. Sean’s kind of put out that nobody loves him, and Him From The Script is the first to try to talk him off the ledge. His response to being asked his name. “My name is Sean Conlon and I used to be in a boy-band many years ago”. Yeah, way to move on. Might as well mutter “it’s a shit business” and have done with it. Him From The Script and Jessie J ask which one, and he says “Fiveive” and

AWKWARD

Jessie J is all “OH MY GOD YOU WERE THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO AND LOOK WHAT’S HAPPENED NOW, I’M REALLY FAMOUS AND YOU’RE BEGGING FOR MY APPROVAL AND I JUST DENIED YOU HOW FUNNY WHAT A COINCIDENCE ISN’T IT IRONIC DON’T YOU THINK, LIKE A BLACK GUY ON YOUR WEDDING DAY OR WHATEVER!”. I mean, accidentally, but it’s still kind of funny. William thanks him for singing for them, because let’s face it, he has no clue what a Fiveive is, and why would he, so he’s got nothing to say. Tom gives Sean some technical advice about not letting the band lead him, and instead leading the band. Yeah, it’s The Voice, not The Band! Yeah!

We close on Jessie speaking some palliative guff about how she really loved his voice, and she’d listen to it all day, but she just didn’t pick him because she didn’t believe she could do anything for him. And if you believe that…

Before the next audition, we get a pointless montage of the judges saying what works for them, voice wise. Jessie says that she’s really into tone, breathing, technique, and hearing someone’s personality. Him From The Script says he doesn’t care about the genre, he just wants someone to make the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

Hmm

There’s enough of them. William is looking for uniqueness, and Tom wants raw talent

*shudders*

/YOUR SOUL, YOUR POOR UNFORTUNATE SOUL.

Audition #3 is

He's got the base

this one. The backing track starts playing oompah music, although I guess at least it’s not the theme tune of The Flumps, so they are, technically, still one notch above X Factor. Samuel says he’d describe himself as being “relatively happy, quite jolly, that’s what people usually use for the word fat don’t they? He was jolly!”. I guess if they can’t call you a REAL WOMAN. [Or “fiercely real”. – Steve] To be fair, I do like Samuel’s hair but

He's got the buttery base

it does kind of look like he has hidden a giant pastry in there. He says that he’s glad that there are blind auditions, because he thinks his voice might not match what he looks like. Yeah, his singing voice isn’t very much like Matt Lucas’. Samuel then tell us that he loves Tom Jones, and he’s a real icon of his. At primary school he used to sing “What’s New Pussycat?” until everyone told him to shut up. This is very definitely not something I also did.

After a brief backstage segment with Holly, where she calls him “fabulous” (X Factor contestant he is : Craig Colton) it’s on to the audition.

Where he’s so Craig Colton that he sings Adele. “Set Fire To Lorraine” specifically, and sadly not this. Tom is the only one who turns, and he does so quickly. I guess at least this time there won’t be as much “OH MY GOD, WHICH ONE WILL HE PICK?!” over a foregone conclusion as there was in Audition #1.

Everyone else turns round once he’s done, and Samuel gets all nervous and giggly and star-struck and disbelieving and

He's got the buttery biscuit base

star-struck. I would say that I now find him likable and votable despite the fact that his voice didn’t really do much for me, but that would be AGAINST THE SPIRIT OF THE SHOW, BAD MONKSEAL, RESIST! William asks him what brought him to The Voice, and Samuel says that he liked the idea of it just being about The Voice, because he doesn’t think he’s “got the package like Beyonce or J-Lo”. He just wants to sing! And also to travel around the country with Tom Jones in a van, solving mysteries.

Danny tells Samuel that he’ll be honest, he thought it was a woman singing, but he knows what that’s like, because people have made the same mistake with his singing voice. Jessie’s all

ME TOO!

“me too!”. About thinking Samuel was a girl obviously. None of that other stuff. Probably. Well done Samuel on getting his powerful voice into the hands of the booming legend that is Tom Jones. Speaking of which

Meow

he’ll pretend he thinks you’re a girl if you like boy-o, know what I mean? This one time with Liberace…oh I’ve said too much. But he said I was the VOICE OF MY GENERATION and then we all had tea with Elvis and the Pope.

Next up in our Pointless Montages, it’s time for everyone to talk about how they’re afraid of Tom Jones. They make out like it’s for competitive purposes, given his vast experience, not

Punch-drunk

the obvious. Holly calls him “music’s answer to Muhammed Ali”. So many jokes, such little time.

Audition #4 time now,

NUMBER 4

and she wants to be judged based on her voice, not her appearance. So of course the show goes to great lengths to talk about how she is bald and lost all her hair at the age of 21 and has alopecia and is bald and has no hair. She tells us that she used to do cabaret and concerts for a living, but when she lost all her hair, her confidence went with it, and she was reduced to

HORRORS

WORKING IN A BANK, GIVING HELP AND ADVICE. (X Factor Contestant She Is : Anyone with a back-story that sort of makes you feel a bit sad, but ultimately it’s not a dead relative so she’s probably not making the live shows sorry). But now, she’s ready to uncover herself and really…be her for the first time…ever. This hilarious mawkish and earnest speechifying is accompanied with a shot her literally UNDOING HER SHAWL

I'M READY!

and

TO BE ME!

THROWING IT TO THE GROUND! I take it back, even X Factor would look at this and think “yeah, this is being milked too much”. More’s the shame, because it’s campily shitmazing.

She goes out on stage and

RAWK

rocks that bald head. She’s got a good head-shape for the look, and her eyebrow-work is FIERCE. Maybe it’s my hat-hating self, but she looks better this way. Anyway, cough, sorry THE VOICE, she’s singing “Leave Right Now”, because despite all the work that went into crafting her back-story, nobody remembered to tell her that Will Young isn’t a judge any more. Everybody milks the drama for

Oooh
Aaah
Hmmm

far more than it’s worth, but ultimately Jessie, Tom and Him From The Script all turn for her. This is followed by Jessie gabbling on and on about how Him From The Script and Tom were LOOKING AT HER REALLY FUNNY and DOING TACTICS, until Toni starts gabbling that

So pleased

SHE DOESN’T CARE, SHE’S JUST GLAD SOMEONE PRESSED THEIR BUTTON, IT’S FINE. Jessie stops the judge-banter for 5 seconds and says “Toni, what’s your inspiration Toni?” sounding exactly like Alison Steadman in Abigail’s Party. I’m surprised she doesn’t offer Toni some nibbles and ask why she didn’t sing Demis Roussos. Toni says that her inspiration is that she has alopecia and two kids. Then Jessie J cries.

Boo hoo

Then Reggie does Sympathy Face something awful.

Boo hoo

Then the camera RAMS ITSELF RIGHT UP TONI’S FRIEND’S FACE to capture her single Sinead O’Connor Nothing Compares 2 U tear.

PATRICK SWAYZE

ALL ABOUT THE VOICE, PEOPLE!

Him from The Script tells Toni that she sounds like she has an old soul, except it kind of sounds like “ulcer” which I wouldn’t bet against, except that if she had it would have been another 5 minutes of backstory. He tells her that he would fight for the death for her. Really? Jessie says that she thinks she could learn a few things from Toni, and she’s glad that Toni didn’t go

WEHHHHHH

“WEHHHHHH”. How do you know Jessie? You had your back to her. She could have been doing anything. Tom calls Toni “a real singer” but it turns out that Toni is really intrigued by Jessie’s length of tongue, so she’s officially Team Jessie. Him From The Script then stabs Jessie J to death to prove his point. Except not.

This is all accompanied by Toni recounting how four years ago someone gave her a tape of Jessie J and she couldn’t believe what she heard. Yeah, me too. Beyonce yells that SHE CAN SEE TONI’S HALO and everyone cries a lot more.

OH
MY
GEE

This show is so gay I fully expect to find out it was directed by Douglas Sirk.

BOI

Audition #5 is

STRONG PROUD BLACK WOMAN

this lady (X Factor contestant she is: Beverley Trotman, Voices With Soul, TreyC Cohen) who talks about how she’s been a backing singer for Puff Daddy Diddy Dirty Money Diddy Kong Racing Daddy Diddy and Our Kelly. Also she has a

HUGZ

super-cute child. She explains that she stopped singing to give birth to this child, which I guess makes sense, because it’d probably play havoc with the breathing (A HA HA HA). Reggie asks if he can hold the adorable child,

I CAN SEE YOUR HALO HALO HALO

probably because he’s making an all-out assault on the nation’s ovaries. Maybe he should have stood a little more to the right to really DRIVE the point home. Aundrea recounts an adorable story about how she made her adorable children act as pretend judges in her kitchen and threatened them with no dinner, in a broad African accent, unless they only turned around when they really felt it. I feel like I’m at a Gina Yashere gig. Except I’m not self-harming. [I am. – Steve]

She heads out to the stage, and she’s said that she’s glad that the judges aren’t going to see her whilst she sings because, whilst she likes how she looks, she doesn’t want to be put in a voice as a “big girl” belting out songs. She then bellows her way through “Crazy”, like the biggest big girl of them all, Cee-Lo Green. I mean…nobody’s turning around and saying “I’ll be honest, I thought you was the skinny white boy from the match.com adverts”. Tom is the only one to turn, which is fair enough, because to be honest I think there will probably be better contestants of her area to come.

Once everyone’s done the sympathy-turn at the end, Him From The Script asks “why The Voice?” to which Aundrea sadly doesn’t respond “why the hair?”. Instead she does the whole “I wanted to be judged on my voice, not my look” bit and then

ALL DER SINGLE LADLES!

does the Single Ladies dance. Sadly she doesn’t sing “if you like it then you should have turned your chair for it!”. She is just full of disappointments. William tells her that she has a great voice, but not enough control for him and Jessie J says that she has a great voice, but she needs to chill out on the vibrato (yes, you heard right, Jessie J said this) but then they bond over both having purple dye-jobs and it’s all fine. If only the Israel-Palestine conflict could be similarly sorted. GRAPE RINSE FOR SHIMON PERES PLEASE!

Audition #6 is

PRETTY

here, and this first episode is officially going to have at least one “pretty person is rejected for not being talented enough because this is ALL ABOUT THE VOICE” moment, so pretty-boy here better watch out. He is an “indie guitarist”, gigging blah blah ready to take it to the next level blah blah, just me

AUTHENTIC

and mah guitar blah blah Russell Howard with LASIK let’s get on with it. (X Factor contestant he is: Journey South, Andy Williams, that fit American called Ethan, James Michael)

strum strum strum

He’s singing “Maybe Tomorrow” by The Stereophonics, which isn’t making me MORE kindly disposed to him I have to say now. Tom and William both turn for him, Jessie J and Him From The Script don’t. Sadly so, in the case of the latter, because we’d all watch that tape yes? Well, I would. Him From The Scripts says it was a fantastic performance and claps a lot. So why not press the button? I guess I’m just too used to X Factor/American Idol where not messing yourself whilst looking this pretty is usually enough for a yes.

William tells Adam that he reminds him of the cats he hangs around with back home. Yeah that falestto in places… These cats apparently love and eat music. Until the RSPCA take them off Wiliam and rehouse them I guess. Tom waffles on about how there’s lots of songs he’s going to do when he wins this. Him From The Script says “CREATIVE CONTROL!” about fifty times, which he’s been doing all episode and I’ve been trying to ignore it, but it’s getting harder. Adam hems and haws and plays up the drama of it all so Tom Jones just stops proceedings to

So I says to Elvis, I says

start an anecdote. With the phrase “I was with Elvis Presley in Hawaii…”. How could you say no to that? It encompasses Priscilla, a missing guitar, a fainting fit, the Hitler Diaries, the entire kick-line of the Radio City Rockettes and a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise. There’s no competing. Although William tries, with his anecdote of something Michael Jackson said to him once, complete with Michael Jackson voice (that to be honest, sounds more like Latoya) that even he knows is

Erp

kind of lame. Jessie J chirps in with

WOO!

“I MET JUSTIN BIEBER ONCE, WOO!”. Also she apparently just farted. Anyway, in the end, obviously, Elvis trumps Michael, and Adam is officially Team Tom. And needlessly teases poor William by acting like he’s going to pick him then SWERVING at the last minute. That’s just mean – his anecdote already bombed, don’t rub it in.

Audition’s #7 and #8 are a boyfriend and girlfriend pairing (X Factor contestants they are: Sing’Em A Song Della, Same Difference). Holly announces “there is no love lost between these two”, which means that’s another phrase we can add to the pile of ones that Holly doesn’t understand, along with “many a mickle makes a muckle”, “red sky at night, shepherd’s delight” and “a stitch in time, saves you seeing my boobs all the time”. Individually these two are

MAX!

and

Twinings Tea

Maxielee. Or Twax. I know which one I’m going for. He’s a singer-songwriter, and she’s a performer. He says he’s all about the music, and she talks about how she lacks confidence. Holly asks them if they’re auditioning together or if they’re auditioning apart. Oh Holly, it’s all about THE VOICE not THE VOICES (I think people can audition in pairs on the US version, but I don’t know the rules over here). They affirm that they’re auditioning separately and Holly serious-faces and asks if they’ve considered what they’d do if(/when, because it’s the law) one of them gets through and the other doesn’t. Because if they haven’t, the producers have. In answer, they both talk about how amazing the other one is and how proud they are of them and then they

Mmmm, gum

feed one another gum in slow motion as Karen Carpenter sings merrily in the background. Then she admits that she can’t see herself supporting his dream equally with her own and

EVIL

the camera does this to her face in super slow-motion. Welcome to the Bitch-Edit my dear Twinnings Tea, yet another thing the show is indulging itself in that it probably liked to think it was above.

twang twang twang

Oh good, another guitar. And a hat. Max sings a medley of “Come Together” and “Lose Yourself” that doesn’t really work and which was apparently lifted from somebody else anyway. But he’s hasn’t got the Bitch-Edit so it’s all fine, and

Bop boppity bop

Him From The Script is back on the neck-bopping thing again. On the other hand

So confoosed

WILLIAM IS CONFUSED! Surely if you’re merging two songs together you need to repeatedly shout “DIRTY BIT!” over the top otherwise what’s the point? Whatever confusion it is though, it’s a good confusion as he casually leans on his button, prompting Danny to do the same and then

WIGGLE WIGGLE

get even more pretty fly for a white guy. Jessie holds out for a bit longer until she hits her button with her shoe, like you do. By week 4 she’s going to flop her boobs out on it, and don’t you dare look surprised when she does. Tom? Remains unmoved.

Once everyone’s turned, Tom extracts Max’s name, and then Him From The Script congratulates Max on “making both songs his own”. Yet another thing you’d hear on X Factor. At least he didn’t compare him to a young Gladys Knight. He really loves that Max has a guitar and looks like he just walked in off the street, you know, unlike everyone else in this episode. Jessie tells him that she thinks he’s something very special, like she’s the granddad in the Werther’s Originals advert. She’s glad that he’s willing to mash two songs together in such a creative way, because that’s what being THE VOICE is all about. Is it? Oh God, the one thing I was looking forward to escaping was praising people for taking a hacksaw to classic songs and installing a whole IKEA kitchen unit in the middle-eight made out of half a Snoop Dogg song. I thought this was ALL ABOUT THE VOICE? You’d never catch Dionne Warwick doing this shit.

William closes by calling him an artist and comparing him to Macy Grey. Yeah, the similarities are positively endless… He promises to take Max to the same plizzace he took Macy to. Was it a Nandos? Him From The Script then starts blithering about how he’s Irish and a guitarist and asking if Max has any Irish in his family (and if not would he like some? *wink*) (again, I’d watch the tape), before Jessie J announces

hiya!

“I’M AN ARTIST RIGHT NOW, DOES THAT COUNT AS ANYFIN INTERESTING?”. No Jessie, no it doesn’t. Max announces that he’s going to go with the artist most similar to him

I WONDER WHO IT COULD BE!

HMMMMM
HMMMMMMMM
DING DING DING DING DING

That’s right, Max is now “Team Him From The Script”.

JESSIE J IS SAD!

SO SAD

TWININGS TEA IS SO HAPPY!

SO HAPPY!

Sadly she will have to wait for her Bitch-Edit to reach its full fruition, as it’s now time for Audition #9

IT'S ALL GONE

He was forced into a bow-tie and trousers that are far too tight for him at the age of 19, and since then…all his performing confidence is just GONE. Not really, he’s just dressed like that because he’s on the Internet. Youtubes to be specific, where he has picked up 1,000,000 hits in two years. I don’t use Youtube for that sort of thing personally (I don’t have any channel subscriptions is what I mean. I wouldn’t even consider using it to put my face on to the extent that I’d even think it worth mentioning that I didn’t) but that figure is right in the pocket between me thinking it’s a big deal and being kind of not high enough to mention with such confidence.

Anyway, Ben tells us that he’s from a place where lots of people have real jobs, and it took his parents a long time to realise that he was never going to do that. Really? How long could it take? Because when that hairstyle started appearing is when I’d know.

He takes to the stage, and his piano-keyboard to sing “Rocket Man”, and he officially has the first voice of the episode that I like? I think? I don’t really want to talk about the quality of peoples voices too much, because I know nothing about them, and everyone that makes it onto this show does appear to at least have a basic level of competence, so I’m going to really mention the singing much when I like it a lot, and I like this a lot. Or it could just be that it’s Rocket Man. YOU DECIDE. What I don’t like is that his fingers appears to be possessed by a rapidly deflating balloon.

WHEE!
WOO!
WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE
pfwwwwwwwwwwwwt

The things are flying ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Everyone turns for him, William and Danny quickly, Jessie after much button-hovvering drama, and Tom right at the end once everyone’s stopped caring. Ben then jumps off his seat and start fist-pumping and bowing and…yeah I like the voice is what I’m sticking to here.

William starts for the judges and indulges in some (already) standard judge-banter with Danny which I’m only mentioning because at one point he hisses “liesssssss” like an Eartha Kitt based drag-queen, and those are the very best kind. [William is the best thing about this show by far. – Steve] He tells Ben he can tell he’s singing for something. Something REAL. Something PASSIONATE. He has a VISION. (Of cock) (Or, you know, something else) (All the kids in Africa or something) (Yearning to be free).

Jessie follows by saying she was sat up the whole time going “yeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeah” (what a shame the cameras didn’t linger on this more…) and when she turned around, Ben was everything she was expecting him to look like, and more.

Really?

O…k? She tells him that his lips are made clean, his teeth are regular, and his oral hygiene is fantastic. She then gives him a little sticker and a sugar-free lollipop. Dental Care with Jessie J everyone. She praises his range and tells him he’s a real risk-taker. Mostly in wearing that bow tie in public, it has to be said. Him From The Script says that he thinks Ben is the finished article already, and Jessie snots “then why should he be on your team then?” before William shuts down this nonsense with an inspirational speech.

So inspirational...

“We could dream together, to where the things that we come up with, will be taught in the future to other people, and she’s going to be teaching the style we dream up to somebody else…DIRTY BIT!”

This is when William became my favourite coach.

Tom’s all “PITY ME, I’M OLDDDDD!” or something, to be honest, absolutely nothing Tom says has any connection at all to the person in front of him ever, so it really could be anything. In the end, Ben opts for Team Jessie, because she could help him with his singing and his songwriting and his creativity

THEY'RE DRYIN BABE, THEY'RE DRYIN'!

even though she spends the entire of his deliberations drying her fingernails how rude. Him From The Script whines that Ben has been distracted by some batting lashes from Jessie J (yes…that…seems likely) and then calls her a giant black hole from which nobody escapes. Him From The Script is kind of a bitch.

(Yay!)

Back to Twinings Tea now, as she’s finally ready for her audition, after several establishing shots of her doing her make-up

eeeeeeeeeeevil!

(SO EVIL!) and telling us all not to hate her because she’s beautiful. So yeah, you know how I mentioned a pretty person would be rejected because it’s ALL ABOUT THE VOICE

DENIED

LOL-OOPS. The whole thing is enlivened a little by this conversation between Tom and Him From The Script

I'll say
Eep
A shy bladder?
Or...something more?
Who can say?

which I can just imagine them also having at a urinal trough in a Wetherspoons. HOMOEROTIC!

Once the pain is over and everyone gets to see the goods, Danny CUSSES HIMSELF because he knew it’d be a pretty girl! He tells her that he found her quite pitchy, but he definitely almost pushed his button, and if he’d seen her tits he would have done. Really getting into the spirit of the show there. Jessie tells her that she thinks nerves got to her, and Tom tells her that she needed to own it. I think what she might have needed was a mild case of eczema or a third nipple or something, but maybe I’m being cynical. Backstage Twinings Tea says to Holly that she agrees with the judges that she was pitchy and nervous and didn’t own it enough and Holly’s all

HUFF

“DAMN YOU, BE MORE PRETTY AND EVIL! BRUSH YOUR HAIR LIKE A TOTAL BITCH AGAIN! I HAVE NOTHING WITH WHICH TO WORK HERE!”

Next up Audition 10 :

Yeah

he loves his nan and has a job as a delivery driver who sings along to songs in his cabin(X Factor Contestant he is : all of them). Here is said nan

So nannish

she is proud of Phil, because he is lovely. I am proud of Phil, because he’s repping the Midlands, where he is from, by popping “yeah” onto the end of every other sentence. MIDLANDS PRIDE!

He sings “Drops Of Jupiter” for his audition and his nan

FULL BORE NANNING

goes at it full-tilt right from the very first note, God bless her. Sadly, this is not The Nan. [I would watch the shit out of that, but I would want Alesha Dixon’s nans in it. And Nana Jean from Any Dream Will Do. – Steve] None of the judges are really feeling it, and William openly bobs his head around and gives them all “THIS IS SOO MUCH FUNNNNN!” eyes to try to prod them into taking someone they clearly don’t really want. Which is kind of mean. And awesome. In the end though

DENIED

it’s just not enough. Oh well. William tells the man that he only didn’t press his button because he wanted Danny to press his. Yeah, that makes sense. In a “that makes no sense” sort of way. Him From The Script grouses “oh sure, all the blame over here!”. I’ll give Him From The Script this, between his hatemance will William, his SEXUAL TENSION with Jessie J (yes, it’s not happened yet, but let’s face it, this show WILL GO THERE) and his urinal conversations with Tom, he feels the most connected of all the coaches. Oh yeah, Phil.

Here he is

Back to the van/nan with you. Him From The Script tells him he didn’t press because “unfortunately we toured with Train”. I mean, there’s more there, but that’s the nub of it.

The next, and hopefully last, montage now is about how, with no members on his team yet, Everyone Hates William.

HOW COULD YOU HATE THAT FACE?

Bunch of racists.

Audition #11 to close us out is

So familiar

this lady here. I think maybe Toni put a wig on and thought she’d try again? Except no, because I have experienced this woman before. But we’ll get to that. First of all, she talks about how her mother died four years ago (X Factor Contestant she is:…I think the point has been made at this point, yes?). This apparently gave her the impetus she needed to realise that life is for living and for dedicating to music and all that. J Marie tells us that she’s done weddings, birthday parties and

Oh, THERE she is

Saturday Teatime BBC One Reality TV Shows, but now it’s time to take this to the next level. That’s right!

SO DIFFERENT

A SATURDAY TEATIME BBC ONE REALITY TV SHOW! Turns out a lot of these levels look kind of the same. I will go on record now and say that J Marie has the other voice that I liked from this episode although, on the downside, I have heard her sing this before, in my capacity as a reality tv blogger. If she was going to reprise, she should have reprised this, and if Pasha, Katya, Brenda and Natalie had come with her I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING. As it is

So zen

I’m stuck watching Jessie J listening to someone else singing one of her songs again. So lost in the moment! Everyone turns round, because it’s kind of epic, no?

Quite

Jessie starts, and she and J. Marie call each other insane some, and then J. Marie says that she did The Voice because she’s been singing for 10 years now, and she’s ready to share her gift with the wider world. Jessie then calls her “ridonkuloso” and tells her that she would write songs like that for her all day, so COME AND PLAY ON JESSIE’S TEAM. William tells her that he FELT HER PAIN and also compares her to Bob Marley.

Like a young Bob Marley

Quite. Tom claims he was only the last to turn around because he wanted to hear the whole song and also he saw a pigeon. HE DEFINITELY LOVES HER, HONEST. Danny then tells her that she shouldn’t go on Jessie’s team, because they would “cancel each other out”. Again, all logical sense has drained from the episode of this point. Thank goodness for J.Marie showing some survivor instinct, and choosing to be Team William because he spun for her first, and that means he probably likes her most.

Jessie J declares it TO BE ON and throws something. I think that’s as good a note as any to end on right?

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26 thoughts on “The Voice – Episode 1 (Auditions)

  1. Joel

    I tried watching and got as far as Fatty With The Hairdo and couldn’t cope any more. Having an audience for an ALL ABOUT THE VOICE show makes no sense. Unless they all had to face backwards too.

    Please tell me that that Jessie J derp face under the Douglas Sirk comment is going to be the new Stephanie Huh? Face/Holly Valance Camp Wrist.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I have to admit, the thought “at what point is Joel going to give up on this?” did cross my mind a few times. I have hopes that Jessie J will surpass that derp face. Girl is GIVING IT in the facial department.

      Reply
  2. Ferny

    ❤ Will.i.am, he definitely made the show for me, since the whole 'not being shallow' gimmick didn't happen/work at all.

    I was getting quite annoyed at all the pretty people walking on being all 'I've been waiting so long for a show like this to come along since they won't be judging my beautiful face' etc. And the sob stories were actually more milked than on X factor. X FACTOR.

    Although the Voice did beat what I was trying to avoid i.e. BGT (even though I sadly caught the bit of BGT with the most contrived, set-up, irritating """"SuBo moment"""""". Simon's acting has plunged to greater depths, but I think that I was most peeved/ashamed that my own parents were completely taken in by it)

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      SuBo pissed me off enough the first time, I can’t imagine wanting to sit through a second round.

      Reply
  3. Jenny Simpson

    I shocked by how much I enjoyed the whole show, even (or possibly especially) how manipulative it was.

    It made William really likeable, something I thought was impossible!

    Also, Twinnystupidname and Max in the Hat (Gruey) – not a real couple, I didn’t buy that for a second…

    Reply
  4. shrew

    I laughed so much reading this. Thankyou.

    I thought I was the only one who recognised the TV-gold comedy potential.

    Go team Buttery!

    Reply
  5. min

    Well, it’s managed something the X-factor/American Idol never have – it’s made William fabulous.
    All those mentor sessions just wiped away. Bit of a shock half way in to realised I was only still watching for him. World wobbled on axis.

    Was Team Buttery deliberately being Brian Potter jr or is it for real?

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I hope he turns up every week as a different Phoenix Night character. Although Tom Jones has already beaten him to that rapidly deflating bouncy castle in the shape of a penis.

      Reply
  6. Soph

    I honestly thought Max and the Alien were twins. I don’t know why, I must have misheard her RIDICULOUS MADE-UP NAME as their relationship. Then, I got slowly more perturbed by the twincest edit…until I realised they were NOT twins.
    Then I was kinda disappointed.
    I am so glad you’re recapping this. Giggled all the way through.

    Reply
  7. Poppy

    Me too! (Pleased you chose to recap this one, and not the others you were thinking of doing, that is.) Loved the recap, and enjoyed the programme, rather to my surprise. It’s just ridiculous (ridonkulus?) enough to be amusing, and there are enough good voices to keep the interest levels up. I was blown away by J Marie and can see myself voting for her, and I almost never vote in these types of things. Looking forward to your next recap…

    Reply
  8. Sarah

    I want the chairs to say ‘Back to Greggs For You’ SO MUCH. Absolute genius. So glad you’re recapping this.

    Reply
  9. Left Feet

    I liked the Show please keep recapping because even this one has a bit of the insane in it. But I liked all the mentors/coaches whatever particulary Will I am (thank god it was not App de App did I get that right?) and I liked all the good natured banter and the fact that the coachs were picked by the singers. No joke contestents to be mocked raised it above the X Factor and the competition on BGT. All the coaches will leave the show with their cred intact which never seems to happen on Cowell shows Gary Barlow comes to mind. Think that in the next series they may try to get a bigger name then Danny from the Script because that is the shows weakness, the other three are much bigger names then he is.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      Almost : apl.de.ap . Makes the one called “Taboo” look almost sane”.

      I think Danny’s there because they wanted a rock/guitar music person and they took the first one they could get. It’s a bit of a dry market currently and it’s probably the genre most likely to avoid the show for cred reasons. But on the other hand it’s the sort of genre that a lot of the audience will want to see (as shown by all the folk with guitars being put through this week for the premiere).

      Reply
  10. teacherlady

    Basteriskwitched? Did you make that up? That’s nearly as silly as Will.i.am. Oh, but that’s “real”.

    The REAL Willi.i.am was that Shakespeare guy though. Obviously. I would like to have met him and heard him say, “The name’s William. Willi.i.am.”

    And who does Will remind me of? Is it a character out of The Hobbit or something else?

    And now we’ve got Tom Jones and Engelbert out of retirement who’ll be next? DON’T let it be Lulu. Again. Can we have Mari Wilson, please?

    I’m glad you’re blogging this because YOU are the Voice (of Authority/of Pop Culture/of Things Current) so it’s very right and proper you should be zeitgeisting it.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      Lulu never retired. She’s always been a star. What are you talking about? *gears up to sing the first line of Shout again*

      Reply
  11. moreglitterplease

    OH MY GOD ITS xRUBYREDDIVAx! SHE HAS MY VOTE! I wonder if emogirl82 will be auditioning soon.

    Jessie J is turning out better than I thought, but that might be because she shares my first name and when someone has the same name as me I instantly want them to do well (see also: I’m a hasbeen, watch me lose my dignity 2011 and my rage when Jess went out). William however is definately turning out the be the best part about this show. Apart from the chairs. I want one.

    And once again, Monkseal, you have managed to make a Mean Girls reference. You have my eternal respect.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I was going to look up which Jess was on I Used To Be A Celebrity, Please Look At Me but I’m actually not going to, because I prize my ignorance of that programme far too much to shatter it.

      Reply
      1. moreglitterplease

        I wish I had your self-restraint, Monkseal. There’s just something about attention-seeking ex-celebs (/people I’ve never heard of) eating disgusting Australian animals and bugs that just really appeals to me.
        And at the end I have a new knowledge of the 80s pop and soap scene that could help me in pointless, so hey *le shrug*

      2. monkseal Post author

        There’s no real personal dynamics to it from what I remember, which is why I’m not interested. Repeatedly forcing an ex-member of All Saints to eat insect life is just boreish bullying, and that’s all the show really seems to have offer, other than ANTANDEC finding one another really fucking funny.

      3. moreglitterplease

        BUT ITS THE BANTER, MONKSEAL, THE BA- oh, fuck it. It’s an awful show and all it does is distract me from strictly, which, really, is what life is all about. SO WHY DO I KEEP WATCHING IT?

        I think I need therapy. Please help.

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