Unfortunately, only two of them are going home.
“Last” “night”, we went LIVE with Teams William and Tom, and afterwards
everyone was formed into a non-judging circle in order to truthfully be able to share their opinions on how the others did. From the looks on everyone’s faces, it did not end well. “Tonight”, one artist from each team must leave the contest, and that decision rests with
the coaches, who don’t appear to have reached consensus on whether they’re supposed to look fearsome (Jessie), indifferent (Tom), a bit sleepy (Danny) or like the dapperest gentleman in the whole damn village, thanks for asking (need I even say?). This…is The Voice! Cue fisting titles!
Nifty. It quickly becomes clear from the fact that
no one’s bothered getting changed that they’re not even pretending the result show is live. I’m tempted to salute this effort towards honesty in broadcasting, but to be honest it’s probably because this show is so in love with its own tedious sense of authenticity that it doesn’t like pretending to be live when it’s not, because that’s the same as miming, and miming is for *spit spit* pop stars, not artists.
Reggie and Holly remind us that our votes have saved three acts on each team, but that leaves two still in danger (steady on, this isn’t The Maths), and Tom and William will have to decide which of those ultimately gets the boot. They must decide! They must decide! Even though I made them up, they must deci-iiiide! Next week, of course, the pressure shifts to
as they face the very real pressure of their teams competing for the public vote. Another pretence the show has abandoned: the idea that Jessie and Danny were under any sort of pressure this week, aside from managing to go 90 minutes without a loo break. Still, to remind us of the joys yet to come, we get an exciting group sing (again, very much unlike what happens on The X Factor) from Team Jessie and Team Danny.
Team Danny are up first, singing ‘You Get What You Give’, and in important potentially-increased-fanciability news
Max is hatless, repeat, HATLESS. In possibly-over-this-already news Aleks
already looks more bored than Holly, which can’t be good, especially since he’s kind of relying on charm and presence to offset the part where his singing is really kind of weaksauce. And in I’m-not-saying-this-team-is-generic-but news,
I genuinely thought this was Becky until I realised that she’s on Team Jessie. Then I tried to figure out who this actually was. Then I went to Wikipedia. GOOD LUCK NEXT WEEK, HANNAH! Really, I so wanted it to be Becky as well, considering they gave her the line “every night we smash a Mercedes-Benz”. Think of the raw authenticity Becky could have brought to that! “GRARH! EVERY NIGHT BECKY SMASH MERCEDES-BENZ BECAUSE PARENTS SAY BECKY HAVE BE HOME BY 11!” Ah, what could have been. Following that, David is
also present, and Bo is
still whimper-singing, and largely being shown up because this lot wouldn’t just make themselves suck in order to make her look good. Do they not know that’s the Team Danny way? Anyway, once they’ve done a verse and a chorus, it’s time for
Team Jessie to segue into ‘Don’t Stop The Music’. In the course of the performance, Vince declares Jessie to be the
honorary Shout Tennis champion of the week, while Cassius
wonders if he remembered to unplug his hair straighteners.
Ah, there’s Becky. Shame I’ve already forgotten who that other one was. Joanna? Alabama? Something like that, anyway. Jessie demonstrates that she’s owning her decisions for better or for worse by
allowing Ruth-Ann to have a solo. To be fair, it’s the best Ruth-Ann has ever sounded on this show, but to be equally fair, she could have come out on stage and made this noise, and that statement would have been no less true. And finally, those rumours of a
Crystal Maze reboot just won’t go away. Essentially this is just an extended bout of Shout Tennis with no victor, just ten scrappers all trying to see who can deviate from the melody the most. As encouragements to tune in next week go, it’s not the strongest – although obviously it’s still a fair way ahead of everything we heard in this week’s performance show, because how could it not be? Eventually it all ends and
guess who thinks he won?
Holly asks Tom how he’s going to decide which artist to send home when the time comes and Tom has
“no idea”, which makes him about the only person watching not currently composing their “boot them in this order please” list. William, meanwhile, is
getting misty-eyed already. I always pegged him as a crier, didn’t you? Holly can tell that William is having a great many thoughts right now, so decides to turn to someone decidedly unburdened by such problems
to find out how he’s going to cope when he’s in this position next week. Danny babbles on about being glad it’s not him this week, and how his notebook’s blank because he’s got nothing to worry about, and I swear he makes even less sense on a pre-record than he does on live TV. Maybe he’s just up past his bedtime. Holly tries the whole “thank God it’s them instead of you” routine on Jessie, who’s having none of it and returns to her almost-dry well of
“this is such a great opportunity for all of these people, and if you go home, it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning”. Yes, truly you can’t move in the music industry for first-week eliminees from reality shows who went on to forge a successful career. In fact, I hear Nu Vibe are dropping a single next week. (I think it’s this general everyone’s-going-to-be-a-massive-success attitude that lays the groundwork for the absolute carnage that ensues later when the show actually has to eliminate people, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
We get a quick recap of last night complete with added
Jessie J: Too Hot For (Live) TV footage, where we learn that
Sam thinks it went well (spoiler: it didn’t), that Adam is so unutterably tedious that the show didn’t manage to get any usable post-performance appraisal footage with him, that Tom thinks Jessie is a “hard taskmaster”, that Mooleen “proved they could sing that song” (I know someone who would beg to differ on that one), and that Ruth has never had everyone up on their feet before. It’s not exactly Len’s Glans, is it?
After that, Reggie’s in the state of the art V-Room where
I dare them to show a tweet relating to the show that’s on right now. Just one. It can be about anything. Maybe someone commenting on the Teams Jessie and Danny performance? Or the behind-the-scenes footage? Anything, I’ll wait.
*one Paloma Faith year passes*
Yeah, didn’t think so. This bit is basically an excuse to go “look, some famous people were watching, here’s what they said, oh and one of them was Cheryl Cole, so EAT IT, SIMON.” As Chris pointed out so eloquently on Twitter, having a Tweet wall that only rebroadcasts positive feedback is not so much new media interaction as it is incredible narcissism, so let’s waste no more time on it.
Back in the studio, Holly and Tom talk about how this is going to be hard, again, some more and OH GOD JUST GET ON WITH IT. There’s a bit of ego-massaging with a VT about how much everyone loves being on Team Tom just so that he can feel extra guilty when he crushes their dreams in a minute. (Noteworthy moment: Adam is the sort of brown-noser who makes a point of referring to him as “Sir Tom Jones.)
The three members of Team Tom with the most viewer votes and definitely remaining in the competition are, in no particular order:
The crowd actually starts whooping and clapping before Holly says Ruth’s name; one theory is that they could read it on the autocue. I don’t know, because I always assumed this was like awards ceremonies where the autocue just says “READ OUT NAME HERE”. I mean, Holly had cue cards and everything. Anyway, I don’t know why it happened, but it was a good thing because it sped the proceedings up a bit.
So Sam and Mooleen are Tom’s bottom two/three
and they’re off already. It’s not time for Tom to decide yet because we need them to sweat for a bit first (even though this is a kind, respectful show that totally doesn’t do things like that), and Holly cannot get rid of them fast enough. (<3)
There follows a bit more filler about how the coaches are totally all BFFs, and then Holly and William talk about how this bit is tough (you should try watching it, dears), and then we have a "we love William" VT that strangely does not feature me doing a little dance for him, but instead features his team members calling him a "musical wizard" and learning how to
The three members of Team William who've received the most viewer votes are, in no particular order:
And if you'll permit me to go momentarily back in time, I just want to immortalise William's face when Frances was declared safe.
I think that's more of a "hmm, trying to work out who I'm going to save" face rather than the "WHAT? How is SHE safe?" face that some people took it for, but still, it's fun to take things out of context. So William's bottom two is
Joelle and Sophie. Sometimes, even being 17 just isn't enough. Still, at least they give me one of my favourite results show tropes, as Sophie reaches for Joelle's hand and is
Now, the BBC’s spent all that money on the wretched V-Room and needs to justify it somehow, so let’s go back there to see how everyone’s coping with the bad news so far.
Oh. Reggie asks Sam if he expected to be in this situation this quickly, and Sam goes for the safe “I didn’t have any expectations” answer, but I think this is as good a place as any to point out how this might be one of the show’s failings. I’m not defending The X Factor‘s general callousness towards the majority of its contestants by any means, but at least the world of that show is one in which rejection is an ever-present danger, so most people are steeled for it in some way. Here, the general hugs-and-kisses attitude to everything, where even the people who don’t get picked at the blind auditions get the “you’re brilliant! You’re just not right for this show!” treatment, it all feels a bit fluffy, and leaves me thinking that the contestants might be in for a shock when they leave the cocoon of The Voice and go out into the music industry and the world outside in general where people are far more critical, because this show just isn’t preparing them for that. (You might argue that it’s not the show’s job to do that, and you may well have a point, but I think that failing to even acknowledge it the way the show has done so far does its contestants a disservice nonetheless.)
Anyway, the reason for that rant is the fact that Sam is clearly close to tears, and even Sueleen, who’s clearly been on the circuit a lot longer and no doubt faced a few knockbacks already, looks crestfallen. She and Matt are reasonably equanimous here, talking about how they feel like they’ve been true to themselves and that they’ve been lucky to get this far in the first place. Then Sophie and Joelle arrive, and
never has Sophie’s 17iness been more apparent. She’s clearly doing her best to hold it all together because she doesn’t particularly want to cry on national television, but she too is clearly gutted, and it’s all rather uncomfortable to watch. In fact, if we look at the wider picture at this point
this is really just very awkward indeed. Again, I don’t particularly want to praise The X Factor here but one thing that’s very useful about that format that I really hadn’t realised before is that the contestants can’t allow themselves to get too bogged down in these feelings because on that show they’d have about a minute to collect themselves before having to go back out and perform again. There’s no sing-off here, and this lot have no opportunity to fight their corner and prove why they should stay, so I don’t really blame them for getting rather weepy. Everything’s out of their hands now.
Anyway, because this show is nothing if not extraordinarily tactless at times, let’s leave these people to have a little cry and come to terms with the likely end of their careers while we all watch someone famous and successful.
LANA DEL RAY, EVERYBODY!
Actually, she’s a bit of a curious choice for this show, considering her live performances have not exactly had glowing reviews and she tends to look incredibly lost and scared the whole time. It’s hard to capture exactly how awkward she is in a still image because so much of it is in the way she moves, but seriously
I haven’t seen anyone look that terrified on a reality show since Iwan Thomas realised that being the host of the fake show that was used a smokescreen for series two of Tool Academy was likely to earn him the ire of a few contestants, many of whom were fairly lairy even on a good day, and the minute Rick Edwards turned up to take over he was out of there so fast that he left an Iwan Thomas-shaped puff of smoke behind him.
Anyway, everyone claps for Lana in a
much brighter room, leaving me wonderingi exactly how much time there was between her turning up to do this performance and EVERYTHING ELSE EVER. It’s time for Tom to decide who he’s going to save, and with a refreshing lack of shilly-shallying, he says that judging on last night’s performance he’s going to save
MOOLEEN! Swift and brutal. Matt admits he was expecting Sam to stay, and Holly dispatches them to go and rejoin Team Tom, while Holly tells Sam that he’s “a presence” and she feels it’s too soon to be losing him, while Sam
vows it’s not the end, even though it probably is, because this is reality TV and that’s what you’re supposed to say when you leave. I’ve still got my fingers crossed that we’ll have an “I’m not here to make friends” before the series is over as well. Sam starts to sob and say that he feels like his heart’s been ripped out, but he’s still happy a little bit to have even been here. I’m starting to feel like this show is a cult. Tom is clearly
completely at-ease with all this man-emotion. Holly officially changes Sam’s name by deed poll to Sam Fabulous Buttery and Tom splutters on for ages about what a hard decision it was, but it was ultimately based on Sam not being as good as Mooleen, which I’m sure will be a great comfort to him in years to come. Then Holly gives him a
FACE GLOMP and informs him that it can be
hug tiem nao. Seriously, despite Tom’s apparent discomfort for all manifestations of emotion, Holly clearly tells Sam to go and give him “a quick squeeze”. I love her.
There’s just one decision left to make,
and William decides to take a bit more time over it than Tom, giving us a lesson on how he doesn’t normally like talent shows, but this one is special because everyone here sings really good. Sophie has learned so much in a short space of time, but somebody has got to go home. William tries to sugarcoat it by promising that he and Dante and Apl (what, no Fergie?) are going to be there for her whatever she needs
but Sophie’s already read between the lines, and yes, William’s keeping Joelle. Sophie breaks down, but gets it together long enough to tell William that she couldn’t have had a better coach (literally, she couldn’t, no one else turned around), and then hilariously Holly tells Sophie that William needs a hug. I’m sorry, who’s the grown-up here?
There there, all better.
So that’s it. Next week, Jessie and Danny lose an act each. How do they feel about that?
Well, I’m sure they’re crying inside, at least. Goodnight everybody!