The Voice 2 : Episode 3 (Auditions 3)

Everybody Hates Jessie (except the people that don’t).

I think the important thing to remember about Thatcher is that, whilst she was undoubtedly one of the most important figures in recent British political history, the dogmatic nature of her ideology has naturally left her remembered more as a symbol than as an actual human being. It would do people well on both sides to remember that what the hagiographers and the grave-dancers are responding to is, broadly speaking, only an ideology that has been broadly represented in all politics since its incept…

Oh wait, this is supposed to be a recap of The Voice isn’t it? Sorry, it’s just that everyone else is doing it, no matter how inappropriate the venue so…

Here’s William saying that he wouldn’t do The Voice as a contestant, because he knows he wouldn’t win. That’s the spirit! Then Danny agrees that he probably wouldn’t enter The Voice either, because the level of singing ability is SO HIGH. And if he was a contestant there’d be no judge who’d automatically turn around just because he was playing the guitar. Tom and Jessie close our intro by maundering on about how this show is different, because there are absolutely no people who “shouldn’t be there” UNLIKE ON OTHER SHOWS WE COULD MENTION. Except Holly, probably, but we’ll forgive her because she’s got those bazongas.

We’re straight into Audition #1 now, as the show doesn’t feel the need to explain how it works for the third time in a row, because it’s not a Nintendo game. Here’s Auditionee #1

who tells us that she used to be kind of a big deal a few years ago, but she’s really settled down now to a life of suburban mundanity. Nowadays she’s a mother of two and a trained pastry chef :

based on all the bitchy faces she’s shooting around the kitchen I’m guessing she trained in France. Now she’s decided that she wants to climb back up the greasy pole to fame and world renown again. But she’s SO SICK of people WANKING ON about her history and not recognising the human being she is today. She just wants to PUNCH THOSE PEOPLE IN THE FACE! What is Cleo’s shady overbearing past? Well, since you asked, she used to be…


oh no, wait, she was this Cleopatra. From the band “Cleopatra”, with their single “Cleopatra’s Theme”. Not she was the favourite daughter or anything. It’s a bit like if they just called Destiny’s Child “Beyonce”. Which would have been more honest as well. Anyway, Cleopatra tells us that Cleopatra had two albums and their own tv show (which I watched solely because of an odd early-teen crush on Matthew Cottle, what?, sorry, he seemed nice), that they played Wembley with The Spice Girls and that Madonna was their boss.

[citation needed].


You can tell she’s only here because she couldn’t get on Great British Bake Off. A silence falls, and backstage the rest of the family are waiting :

Yonah, Zainam, Mummypatra, Scrappypatra and the less popular Yabbapatra. No Matthew Cottle though. Ah well. I hope later in the series, Yonah & Zainam audition as a duo and they wind up facing off against her in the Battle Rounds, all full of unresolved teenage bitterness. It’s make Becky Smash vs The Indie Pixies look like a tea party. Anyway, Cleopatra auditions by singing “Love On Top”, and Jessie turns

before she even gets to the words. It’s just one Whitney-wail and BAM! Really this should have been the first sign that Jessie was having…an off day.

This should have been the second. She proceeds to lip-sync and dutty-wine her way through the entire song, pretending that it’s her singing.

I know William. I know. Danny turns, Tom turns, William turns with his shoe, doing pelvic thrusts at Cleo as he does so. Personally, I don’t feel like it’s fair for me to be judging reality tv singing from anybody in the same week that this happened, so I’ll just say it was a bit too nasal for my tastes.

Once she’s done, Tom looks at William askance,

and asks him if he’s planning to stay up there all day. Tom is very bitchy this episode. I approve. He asks Cleo what her name is, she replies, and then Jessie and Danny, both 90s kids (or pretending to be), have a little gasp and a giggle over how it is CLEOPATRA FROM CLEOPATRA OH MY GOD!

Cleo herself looks so pleased to have been recognised. Tom tells her that he really liked the confidence with which she sang, and then Jessie asks Cleo how she’s feeling. Cleo replies that she’s been so nervous being out on her own. She feels like Michael Jackson when Jermaine left the Jackson 5.

Yes, that is notoriously where things fell apart for him. Hopefully she’ll come back for the Battle Rounds with a chimp to keep her company, and stop her getting lonely. Jessie sings at her that there are things Cleo can do with her voice technically that she wishes she could do, and that she KNOWS she could be a good coach for her. Danny meanwhile breaks in to tell her that he knows that she’s been in the industry for a long time, so there’ll be no bullshitting her. He too knows what it’s like to be in a failed band, so he feels her pain.

Hang on Danny, The Script aren’t THAT ba…oh, no, wait, they totally are. Carry on. He tells her that he knows that, despite everything, you can’t keep talent down. Aleks Josh kept on wriggling, and in the end he had to let him go.

William too tells Cleopatra that he identifies with her personally. He knows what it’s like to go out on your own from a band, with nobody believing you could (/should) have solo success. So he’ll fight for her from a place of deep personal bitterness, just like all the best coaches. Jessie J tries one last desperate “I’m a lady, I’ll buy your tampons for you and I am NOT AFRAID TO ASK HOW HEAVY YOUR FLOW IS” punt but Cleo is all about the bitterness.

And picks William.

Jessie has a passive-aggressive strop about how she’s TOTALLY FINE WITH THIS and will just fight harder next time, and then Cleo tells her that she loves her and calls her “baby girl” and everyone backstage

does this and…way to encourage her, guys. Once Cleo’s gone back to the bosom of her family to be hugged, Jessie slumps in her chair and calls all the boys round so she can whine about how none of the female auditionees really seem to BELIEVE in her this year. Not like last year.

Let’s review Jessie’s track-record last series :

Toni Warne – Chose Jessie over two other judges
Becky Smash – Chose Jessie over one other judge
Jessica Hammond – Chose Jessie over all the other judges, but auditioned with a Jessie J song so…you do the maths
The Indie Pixies – LOL
Kirsten Joy & Ruth Ann St. Luce – No other judges turned, because they were both crap
J. Marie Pooper Scooper – Didn’t pick Jessie
Sueleen – Didn’t pick Jessie
Joelle Moses – Didn’t pick Jessie

What a legacy. A legacy operating at about the level of chance.

Incidentally, the show makes sure the next shot is Jessie doing

this, crowing about how she’s in “the lead”. They’re so on her side, you can tell. Incidentally, there’s also a graphic to show you who’s on which team, but the damn thing’s so piddly that you’ve got no chance of telling who they are. Apart from maybe Smith & Jones (<3)

Time now for Auditionee #2.

You can just smell the pork scratchings and stale Hobgoblin Beer can’t you? Barry tells us that he got his musical education in his brother’s band. Here’s his graduation photo.

I’m guessing he got a 2:2. I can’t quite hear what the name of his brother’s band was, but it sounds like “The Dougie James Soul Train”, so let’s go with that. He tells us that he’s lived his life in his brother’s shadow, especially as now his brothers two sons are in

Coronation Street and

Emmerdale, whereas the best his idle layabout son can do is Patient Of The Day in Doctors. In fact Barry credits the One In Coronation Street for spotting he was having a depressive episode during a three year stint in Marbella, and giving him a sofa to sleep on back in the UK. He also credits him with giving his hair its

natural bounce and shine back. BECAUSE HE’S WORTH IT.

Unfortunately we won’t get to see Barry perform for a short while, because next we get introduced to Auditionee #3

to set up some sort of BATTLE OF THE ROCKERS! Midlands Rockers who, it turns out

started out on Stars In Their Eyes : Kids impersonating

Kurt Cobain. Mitchel tells us that the music of Kurt Cobain got him through school, where he was bullied for having long hair and being into rock music. Bullying which I’m sure stopped the second he appeared on Stars In Their Eyes : Kids. He goes on to tell us that his dad is his rock, having driven him to gigs all through his teenage years and bought him his first guitar. His dad then cries all over the camera about how his son is his hero.

You really don’t breed sentimentality like that anywhere else in the UK.

So it’s the NORF vs MIDLANDS PRIDE in the battle of Authentic Rock and

we get so few victories that I’m going to soak this one in. Barry sings “The Boys Are Back In Town” and it’s about as inessential as you can imagine a performance being, even on this karaoke show. It also features a lengthy guitar solo which…ok. THIS IS THE VOICE. Danny tells him that he has a great rock voice, but he’s looking for EXCELLENT. Ah yes, that subtle difference between greatness and excellence. It’s so fine. William for his part congratulates Barry on choosing one of his favourite songs, and then Barry guffaws that he didn’t think William would know it. Well, we all learnt a valuable lesson about stereotypes here today, didn’t we? Jessie and Tom tells Barry that it was all too predictable and safe and obvious, and it didn’t really excite them enough to turn around. They all get Barry to agree that he’s had a great time and that The Voice is great, and then he’s quietly swept off with Jessie mocking “denim on denim” as he goes. TAKE THAT (relatives of people employed by) ITV!

Mitchel on the other hand, is singing Foo Fighters, with a slightly metal tone to his voice, and

you can see that Danny’s into it. As is

William. Either that or he’s whooping Jessie J’s arse in their now Annual Shadow Puppet competition. Of course he doesn’t turn around for him as he knows now, like all the other judges, that when contestants like this happen it’s just for the best to get out the way and let Danny have them.

I mean look at them. They’re made for one another. The air guitar, the Rock Salute. At least…I think it’s a Rock Salute. He could well be recreating Christina Aguilera’s Candyman video. Anyway, once Danny’s turned, Mitchel makes sure to put on a full rock show for his benefit, throwing himself to the floor, and whipping his hair back and forth like he’s Alyssa Edwards. It’s kind of sweet. I actually kind of prefer his voice to the original, just because Dave Grohl’s voice is such an overly growly self-parody at this point, but he probably shouldn’t try to do the big rock screams that he aims for at the end because…it’s not great and it actively dissuades Tom Jones from turning.

Of course his dad is

a mess. He’s this show’s Bert Le Clos. Tom Jones asks Mitchel his name and age and everyone gives Mitchel applause for being 19 years old. Wooo! Tom asks where he got his rock raspiness from at such a young age, and Mitchel says it’s an inherited trait in his family. His first cousin, once removed, formed Judas Pries.

I love how embarrassed he looks by this. And indeed by everything. Jessie tells him that she didn’t turn because she didn’t really feel any light & shade in his performance and it was all very much on one level. Jessie J’s performances of course have the light and shade of a fog lamp being repeatedly shone in your face. Mitchel says that he completely agrees, pulls a face and says “fair dos”. I kind of love Mitchel Emms. I feel like his name should be an anagram of something. Something goof. Danny says that he loves “that style of singing”, where you don’t really care about the notes and stuff and then, as Mitchel leaves, he smugs “hey, you win some, you win some”

and then

cracks himself up. Oh Danny, you CARD. He tells us all at home that we need more rock voices on The Voice for…some reason. It makes a nice hook I guess. Also it inevitably means GUITARS and where guitars come, artistry is sure to follow.


Mitchel’s dad starts wailing like three Tennessee Williams plays going off at once.

Audition #4 now, and

it’s the character Josie from the popular Channel 4 sitcom “Fresh Meat” everyone!

Actually…it’s just some bint from Wales. Speaking of which, even Holly’s over the whole Wales thing at this point, as she sighs “SHALL WE MAKE A PREDICTION?”. I’m guessing she’s referring to how Tom’s team is OVERWHELMINGLY Welsh and hence is Elise’s DESTINY. There’s Country Crooner Mike Ward from…erm…Manchester. And that other faux-country girl from…Doncaster. But still! RAGSY! And that other girl who took 3 days agonising over who to pick before Evil Moira Ross stomped down to the studio floor and forced her to do it at knifepoint. WALES LOVES TOM JONES! Elise tells us that she’s from a small town in Wales with no music scene and erm…she loves her nana and that.

Nana doesn’t appear to have any terminal illnesses and isn’t related to one of Rod, Jane & Freddy though, so this whole section is kind of perfunctory. Like the show’s really CAST AROUND in Elise’s life for a backstory and found “she has family relations” and they’re kind of disappointed. You can tell Evil Moira Ross is searching through her little black book of Cuban Assassins ready for the Battle Rounds. Hope you weren’t TOO ATTACHED TO THAT PET FERRET ELISE, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!

It’s so bad that

we actually revert to judges sob stories as Elise walks up to the stage. I can’t wait for next week, when, as a 25 year old soul singer with no real identifiable hook has to be built up, Tom Jones comes out as gay.

Elise sings Etta James

she’s quite good, everyone turns. It feels like the sort of performance that buried Fame Academy to be honest. It’s very nice, a little rehearsed, and dynamically not very interesting. The sort of performance where, if you’re a judge, you know you SHOULD turn, but really your mind wanders off to wondering

just what the % drop in ratings is going to be between this series and the first one. Almost right Danny. Tom goes early, William and Danny go late

Jessie goes…slightly peculiar.

Tom has a bit of a chat with Elise about Etta James, and then asks Elise how old she is and where she’s from. Elise replies that she is 18 and from South Wales. Despite the fact that Elise has been speaking in a thick Welsh accent for the last 15 seconds, this is the point where Jessie and Danny both have a fakey comedy huff and get all “OH SHE’S PICKING TOM, I MIGHT AS WELL LEAVE NOW!”. Even though Jessie already has a (very) Welsh person on her team.

Danny tells Elise that she has a great recording voice, and that he was sat back in his chair like this

throughout her performance. Everyone giggles at Danny’s O-face and he hoots “I COULDN’T SEE HER YET! I COULDN’T SEE HER YET!”. You’re 32 Danny, and she’s a teenager. Unless you’re suddenly going to morph into Steven Tyler, you’re not going to be able to get away with the “hurr hurr, you make me want to have a wank!” jokes much longer. Jessie next, and she decides to slap her thighs and say that she was yelling at Elise to “COME ON!” throughout, because she could hear so much potential and she knows she could make her deliver more.

William is next, and he tells her that it’d be wrong of her to pick him but he’ll still be around to give her a hug and a confidence boost. What a schmooze. Jessie and Danny take the piss and then tell her that it doesn’t matter what they say, it’s now up to Elise. As if on cue, the entire audience bellow “JUST PICK TOM YOU SILLY TAFF AND GET ON WITH IT!” in unison.

Elise of course, still drags this out for at least another two minutes of deadening airtime, but of course

she picks Tom, because Holly Willoughby doesn’t sarcastically huff about things if she isn’t DAMNED sure about them. As Elise wanders off to cry on her nana and a

less invested auntie or something, Tom Jones tells us that if he let a Welsh girl who was that talented slip through his fingers, he’d never live it down. Welsh boys on the other hand, can go do one. Jessie J meanwhile, sinks deeper into her sulk about how no girl on this show will ever pick her ever again.

Auditionee #5 now, as Holly merrily twitters that Blackpool is “just up from Wales”, but it’s a WHOLE DIFFERENT WORLD.

Fun Fact : Glynneath is closer to London than it is to Blackpool. About 80 km closer. OH, LONDON PEOPLE. Emma Louise meanwhile tells us that she doesn’t know what the judges are looking for, but if it’s 6ft 2 of dynamite from Blackpool, then she’s ready.

Turns out they’re not.

Everything about 6ft 2 glamazon Emma Louise bleeds cheese, from her VT working the clubs in Blackpool (and saying that if you cut her in half you’d find “Blackpool” written down her, which…I’m willing to try if she is) to her performance of “River Deep Mountain High” which is basically one sustained (loud) note occasionally modulated by different words and her doing a dance routine that looks like something Mr Motivator tried to get sedentary housewives to do in the mid 90s.

Once the noise has stopped, and all the judges turn around to commiserate, Emma Louise bellows

“HI GUYS! ARE YOU ALRIGHT? THIS IS AMAZING! IT’S GREAT TO BE HERE!” like she’s about to start a round of bingo. Maybe she did. Maybe they had to edit it out, because seriously, the next section of Emma Louise talking (and talking and talking and talking) goes on for about 10 minutes and even that feels like a small drop in the ocean of whittering schtick. You can tell that she’s been a club hostess for so long now that she can’t NOT do this on stage, but I feel like someone should have stopped her for her own safety, probably somewhere around “OOOOH, YOU WON’T FIND THOSE SHOES IN PRIMARK LOVE!” Certainly before the point where Danny and Jessie get dragged up on stage

so they can all can have a dick-measuring competition. I feel like I’m on a bad package holiday and we’re about to do the karaoke after a day of dolphin-watching in which no actual dolphins appeared. It does at least have the side-benefit of everyone telling Danny that they thought he was MUCH SHORTER than this, and him getting a little affronted. He does seem a little shrimpy on tv.

Also I quite enjoy it when she and William interact because

that’s a culture clash that’s never going to get resolved. After a good five minutes of banter, Jessie compliments Emma Louise on her stagecraft as it’s been the longest audition of the day, but it hasn’t felt like it. Speak for yourself love. Tom says that Emma Louise should be proud that she’s making a living out of singing and…whatever else her show involves, probably recreated scenes from “It Aint Half Hot Mum” and pie-eating. But not on the BBC. Please. Show some decorum.

Then Emma Louise runs backstage and

pulls some more faces. Please be VERY AWARE that The Voice is here to stand up for singers, and they certainly wouldn’t put anyone on the show just because they’ve got a big personality AT ALL.

Auditionee #6 now

and aw, wook at his widdle face. Conor tells us that he is a busker, and a thousand inappropriate Ed Sheeran comparisons are born, because people are just racist like that. He tells us all that he’s been busking for three years now, and he’s always got a positive reaction, except from the odd

unimpressed mural. Ah sassy street art. That Gary Lightbody next to him is pretty special as well, constructed as he is entirely out of butterscotch Angel Delight. Of course nobody with Conor’s baby face could go an entire VT without being infantalised, so we get to check in with his overbearing mother.

Who follows him round the house before his big trip to London making sure he’s got his passport and his jammies packed and he’s remembered to keep his clean clothes and his dirty clothes separate and that he knows that you have to pay for things that you take out the hotel minibar and that they don’t say “usen’t” and that he’s to write home every day and that if he has to have sex with an English girl make sure to use a condom and don’t make that face Conor, you’re 18 now and a young gentleman and don’t think your mother doesn’t know about these things.

Conor affects being mortified by his mother’s behaviour, but frankly I think he should be more embarrassed about having the Twilight series caught on camera in his room. He tells us that his parents are really badgering him to go to University and get a steady foundation for a career, but he thinks that, if this audition for The Voice goes well, he can use it as leverage to persuade them to allow him to skip his education and start his music career straight away.

Imagine putting that amount of power over your life in the hands of Jessie J and the guy who wrote “My Humps”. It’s…inspirational in a way. I guess.

Conor walks out to the stage and Holly already

looks deeply uncomfortable to be standing next to his mother. Maybe she told her to put her boobs away because she’s no better than she ought to be. It seems likely.

Naturally Conor’s audition, a busktastic version of “Starry Eyed” by Ellie Goulding, with lots of The Commitmentsy yelping, growling and impassioned whispering, slowly devolves into a battle between him and Danny’s soul :

I mean, I’m surprised they even bothered showing any of the other judges at all, so superfluous are they to requirements. I quite enjoy the part where Jessie briefly tries to persuade William to turn and he looks at her gone out.

Once Danny’s heart has been won, and Conor’s educational future dashed forever, Danny asks how old he is and where he’s from, and then we pan to several screaming girls in the audience as Conor answers.

Yeah, I think we’ve found this year’s Aleks Josh.

In many ways. Danny asks him what his background is, and Conor replies that he’s at school doing his A Levels. Everyone goes “awwwwwwwww!” like that’s a really surprising and endearing thing for an 18 year old to be doing not…what most of them are doing. He’s not working in a kitten shelter people, COME ON. Conor then says that he busks and occasionally performs gigs and Jessie J is already working on getting some adoption papers drafted. Yeah, good luck getting this one away from the birth mother. Not even Madonna would take that on, and she’s adopted an entire country. Danny tells Conor that he loves his tone, and he’s really looking forward to getting into the studio with him. I’ll bet. Everyone else tells Conor that they would have loved to fight for him, but he was clearly made for Danny, right down to the whole “denim on denim” thing. Danny decides at this point to point out to Jessie that she was seen wearing denim-on-denim at a recent fashion awards ceremony so she should probably stop harping on it, prompting Jessie to get all

“yeah but no but it’s different when I do it so shut up because when I do it’s cool but when you do it its lame and also I’m a girl so shut it cause I know about fashion and all you know about is smelly nob-cheese cause you don’t even WASH Danny O’DonogPEEYEW!”. Or something like that. Conor then tells Jessie that the pictures of her at that recent fashion awards were his inspiration for his outfit tonight so…I can’t wait to see what future outfits she’s inspired in him. BRING ON THE PAISLEY JUMPSUIT AND CROW-FEATHER EARRING!

Once it’s established that yes, Conor is now Team Danny, he tells Danny that all his sisters well fancy him, and asks if he’d like to come backstage and maybe give them a hug. Danny says “sure” and then they both walk back to the holding area together, and the awkward small talk on the way is truly awe-inspiring. Danny goes full “what a great performance, did you see how sick William looked, good on you man, welcome to Team Danny, take it in, it’s great to have you on board” autopilot right up to the second where he gets to

press the teenaged flesh.

You might speculate Conor did this to try to get one of his sister’s up the duff so his mammy would stop bothering him so much. I couldn’t possibly comment.

Auditionee #7

tells us that she almost auditioned for The Voice last year, but she bottled out at the last minute. But she watched the show last year, and felt reassured that it was all about singing, and only that, so she decided that this year she’d sack up and do it. Reggie’s

“bitch plz, I watched this show last year as well you know, and it was all about Bo’s sick mum and Tyler’s Dead Amy Winehouse and Jaz’s Wife’s giant hologram face” face is quite apparent. Don’t insult his intelligence.

Amy tells us that she’s been singing for as long as she can remember, and that a while back she spent three years touring the world with a girlband

until the other two booted her out because they couldn’t bear her whining (/”they split up over personal differences”/she pointed out you could totally see the brunette one’s knickers). Amy tells us that this was so traumatic that singing has become so personally painful for her that she decided that she never wanted to do it ever again. But then Evil Moira Ross rang up with a contract and the other thing she had to lose was her mortal soul so why not?

You know, a lot of times on these sorts of shows you see the judges tell people to give up singing, and it feels unnecessary, because even if the person does sound like Janet Street Porter being played through a tape-dec at triple speed and dance like…well, Will Young, it’s not as though they’re really doing any harm. It’s not as though they’re a crap teacher or high-court judge or brain surgeon or reality tv blogger. So what if they’re a bit delusional, it’s their life? But on the odd occasion you see someone like Amy and it looks like they’re causing themselves psychic pain on a level that you’re fairly sure can’t be worth it.

She sings some David Guetta song, painfully, and even if she WASN’T nervous and was firing on all cylinders, from her vocal tone the best she’s aiming for is one of The FHM Girls singing “I Touch Myself”.

I dunno, the guy she’s brought with her is

not unattractive? I’m looking for positives here. Tom asks her how long she’s been singing, and Amy replies, again, that it’s been for as long as she can remember, but she’s not sung in public for four years. I think “The Voice” might not have been the best place to start Amy. Maybe start with some warm-up gigs. I’m sure Emma Louise would book you. Failing that, just sing to the cat.

Amy next, of course, hocks up her Girlband Shame hairball right on stage and Tom tells her that it’s obvious she struggled through lack of practice/being so nervous throughout she was vibrating like the tumble dryer during Jessie J’s “special time” at the launderette. Danny tells her that she had a nice tone, but no control, and Amy then yelps “I’VE GOT NO CONTROL! I’M SHAKING!” and everyone politely applauds her for…some reason. I guess it’s a KIND of being nice. William follows by trying to give her constructive criticism about not letting the audience get to her but Amy’s on the verge of a full-scale Three Mile Island Meltdown, and it’s left up to Jessie J to run up and hug her

/administer the sedative so Evil Moira Ross can throw her in the back of the van. As Amy slips under the grip of the Mogadon, Jessie J tells her to dream big, because if she didn’t dream big, she never would have got to even this point. Yeah “the new Leanne Mitchell”. Dreams don’t get BIGGER THAN THIS.

Next up, we get a terrifying bullshit montage telling us that even if the contestants don’t make it through to the next round, all the coaches have somehow helped them…just by smiling at them or whatever. Here’s the advice that these three losers got from our panel of life-ruiners :

“Too much like the original”

“Your tone’s lovely, how old are you?”

“Breathin, breathin, breathin”

And their lives were changed forever.

Auditionees #8 now and it’s

DIVA TIME. Fun Fact : DIVA sang all of The Cheeky Girls material, but got edited out of all the videos in favour of SOME MODELS. They’re also fixtures on the North-East club circuit, where they

swig vodka from pint glasses and make filthy sexual innuendo at a

degree-class level. In addition, Maxine works in Greggs. That’s more or less it for DIVA’s backstory, but I guess any superhero squadron has to keep certain details back in order to preserve their mystique.

Out on the stage, and they’re singing “Tell Him” by Barbra Streisand & Celine Dion

and it’s doing funny things to William.

Their voices actually aren’t bad, but they do feel very much like two decent singers who got together as a pair for no particular reason other than that they’re mates who sing in a similar style, because theirs no real dynamics to the performance. Not many harmonies, and no real vocal interplay, just two people singing a song one after the other. Indeed, it takes a good 60% of the performance before any of the judges realise that there are in fact two different people singing :

and even then you feel like Jessie only turns in order to make sure, and then reports back to the rest of them. Rather hilariously, as soon as Jessie turns, all of DIVAs families start yelling “COME ON TOM!”. Not that they don’t want Jessie as the ladies’ mentor you understand. At all.

Sadly for Jessie, who is just on the verge of being guaranteed some other girls to play with other than Katie Benbow and her dressing-up box, Tom kind of

falls on the button at the last minute. In a slightly narcoleptic fashion.

Once Tom has turned and seen what he’s lumbered himself with, William asks DIVA if they are twins, and Shelley says that people often say that, but in reality Maxine is MUCH OLDER than her.

WAMP WOMP! Oh Northern club humour and the faces that are pulled therein. Never mind that if you think that joke through, what Shelley has actually just said is that she personally looks dog-rough for her age. William then goes on to call them “Shelleymax”, and Shelley then grins that that’s “dope”. Personally I would call them “Maxey” and then when we visit their home for a later segment, we can call it the “Maxey Pad”.

DIVA then flirt outrageously with Tom Jones, who tells them that they’re “singers’ singers”. He says that he was once told that he could really “sing-SING”, and you often can’t tell that about someone until you see them live. That’s all very well Tom, but can you “sing-SANG” or even “SANG-SENG!”. Let’s ask Jessie J, arbiter of song sunging. Oh, no, wait, she’s too busy grousing that “sneaky Tom” turned around at the last second, and gazzumped her,

“like this”. Is she confusing him with Michael Gove? It’s easily done. She makes some sort of half-hearted hand-waft at them to try to get them to join her team, saying she loved their harmonies.

DIVA then turn to Danny, and tell him that they’d

destroy him, sexually, in ways he can only imagine. So you’ve had a narrow escape there, pet. There’s some more market stall flirting (“nice jacket!” “you can have it for a fiver!”) before DIVA pick

Tom. Ba’duh.

Time now for Auditionee #9

There’s a lot going on here isn’t there? She’s from Belfast, she’s been singing since she was a child with her church, her mother is

dressed a lot more conservatively than she is. Seriously, she’s one trim away from being Theresa May. Leah tells us that she just couldn’t pursue her musical dream(/buy the flipping hideous clothes that she liked) in Belfast, so she moved to Camden (*face of surprise*) so that she could be where the hip trendy action is. And occasionally her mother comes over in order to come shopping with her in the vintage shops. We are treated to a shot of Mrs McFall wandering around one of Camden’s finest vintage apparell boutiques

sniffing that everything Leah buys smells of mothballs. Yes, that’s that smell. Sweet, herby, oily, skunky mothballs. Leah tells us very firmly that fashion is really important to her as an artist, just before they flash up a shot of

her in Alexis Carrington Colby’s cast-offs with a bucket of Udon noodles tipped on her head. STYLISH. Here’s what Leah has chosen to wear for her audition piece.

Leah takes the stage and

ooft, that’s a bit harsh, no? She’s not that bad. OH WAIT, THAT’S THE TITLE OF THE SONG BY RITA ORA THAT SHE HAS CHOSEN TO SING. So…you know those Jessie J live performances where she’s clearly got so bored of having to sing the same old songs over and over again that she instead decides to just do a load of funny noises instead, like a particularly fat-fingered two year old playing with one of these? That’s Leah McFall. It’s like Dr Pamela Stephenson doing a really bad impersonation of what she thinks Kate Bush sounds like. Jessie, of course, presses her button within a matter of seconds, whilst Tom tries

but he just can’t bring himself to do it. In his day, they used to burn women who sounded like this as witches, not reward them with sweet sweet television airtime. Danny then spends the entirity of the song

yammering in his ear like Scrappy Doo. Poor Tom. He won last year by doing literally as little as humanly possible, and yet still all these children keep on pulling at his beard and trying to make him react. They’ll never learn. Anyway, after all the gabbing, William turns at the very last second possible, fully aware that he is trolling Jessie by doing so.

Not that she’s bothered or anything you understand.

Leah introduces herself, and William says the following :

I liked how you started slow
You showed your highs, you showed your lows
And it flowed.
You had a lot of style, class and soul

Danny guffaws and asks William if he’s writing a song, because every single part of that rhymed. Maybe if you’re Avril Lavigne. Williams grins that it appears that he is a poet, and he was unaware of this fact. Danny then lies to Leah that he only didn’t turn because he saw Jessie and William turn, but he thinks Leah should pick Jessie if she wants to work on the technical strength of her voice, but he believes that only William can handle her quirk. Jessie then protests that she CAN SO do quirk, and to be honest, she’s really honest just to have been part of Leah’s journey. I think Jessie may be trying just a little TOO hard here. You know. At this point. And ONLY this. I mean…I’m about to quote verbatim William now again, hang on :

“The metaphor is this : looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. So for me to hang out with the eagles, the duck that looks like a duck has to work extra extra hard”

And yet… she still picks him.

Just because Jessie J is paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get her, I guess. I mean…even the audience want her to pick Jessie, and I can’t believe that came naturally for them. And she sings EXACTLY LIKE JESSIE J, BUT MORE SO. This show baffles me sometimes.

Jessie J certainly seems baffled, as she sits, mournfully, and tells the camera that she feels deflated, because the female youth of Britain appear to have abandoned her. FEEL HER PAIN!

It’s like something out of Les Mis isn’t it? Just to cheer Jessie up, here are the judges success rates at getting contestants to pick them, after having turned for them, after this episode :

William : 45%
Jessie : 44%
Tom : 40%
Danny : 28%

And in Danny’s case you have to factor in the case of EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF HIS TEAM BAR ONE, he’s been the only one to turn for them. And in that case, only one other judge turned. And that was Tom. Danny has literally not one person that Jessie wanted, and still I bet he gets the poo in a Tupperware tray in his dressing room after the show. Poor Danny. Where’s HIS episode-spanning arc of maudlin rejection? NOWHERE.

Auditionee #10 and

Reggie wonders out loud if this WAITRESS will SERVE UP something that will appeal to Jessie, and only Jessie.


Lovelle explains that she doesn’t believe there’s any road map to stardom. I think even if there were a road-map to stardom, then The Voice would be situated somewhere between Cracktown and Hoboville. Actually I think the road map to stardom might just have “HERE BE DRAGONS!!” written over the bit where The Voice is. Lovelle’s co-worker tells us that she’s always singing for them/at them/into them at the restaurant.

And they all look so pleased about that state of affairs. I know I want my waitress to be singing “Rehab” to me, as I’m sure the real tragedy of Amy Winehouse’s death is that she never achieved her true destiny in the hospitality industry. Lovelle tells us that it’s not just her co-workers who are backing her up, oh no :

it’s her parents as well. It kind of seems like her mum is more into this than her dad who mostly…just stands there. He says he hopes at least one person turns around for Lovelle. I feel there’s a silent “or we’ll never hear the end of it” on the end there somewhere. Lovelle tells us that she is “auditioning for everyone”, then swiftly amends this to “auditioning for everyone who has supported me”. Which I think is a more achievable goal. “My mum and two waiters” is slightly more achievable than trying to represent the whole of Equatorial Guinea, for starters.

She’s auditioning by singing “Diamonds” by Rihanna and yes,

she is going to wear that hat throughout, why do you ask? I mean, it kind of makes her look like one of the Bloopers from Super Mario Brothers, but I guess that counts as a Strong Look for the kids nowadays. Is this because of Dappy? I feel like blaming a lot of things on Dappy to be honest. One more can’t hurt.

Her performance is quite listenable, and let’s be honest, long is the list of people who have attempted the hurdle of the low low bar of a Rihanna song and clattered over it, so well done on that score as well. Sometimes it does pay off to aim low and hit. It does take an age for anyone to turn, a fact which makes one of Lovelle’s friends

hilariously aggrieved. You can tell she’s holding back from swearing as she yells “JESSIE, HIT THE….BUTTON!” as Jessie wafts her hand over the button like she’s LARPing as a fairground claw-grabber machine. Eventually William turns, then Jessie follows, with Tom trundling in right at the end.

Once everyone’s turned, Lovelle asks them what’s going on, and explains that she is from

SAHF-EAST LANDUN. Love her. William explains that he turned around because he thinks Lovelle is one of the best singers of all the people who have auditioned for The Voice.

Lovelle says that she preciates it, fank yoo. Jessie then explains that the reason she didn’t turn around for Lovelle straight away is that she wanted to make Lovelle work for it. Well that sounds healthy. She goes on to tell Lovelle that she is a hardcore mentor, especially for female singers, but it’d be a privilege to have Lovelle on her team. Serving drinks and stuff. Tom closes the begging by explaining to Lovelle that if she picks him, she’s not only forming a team with him, she’s forming a team with all the souls of the other singers he has worked with, who he has devoured and which dwell within him. Something like that.

Somewhere from within Tom’s ribcage comes a muffled cry from Leanne squeaking “don’t do it kid!”. Then from somewhere deep within Tom’s belly, Mooleen sho…oh no, wait that’s just a fart. Carry on.

Lovelle explains to Jessie that after that…input, she’s narrowed it down to William and Jessie, and Jessie asks her to tell her what she thinks each of them can give her. Because she’ll tell her for free that all she’s going to get from William is attitude. Lovelle grins that she’ll give it right back to him.

Jessie likes this one.

Danny decides to break in to say that he thinks Lovelle should go with Jessie, because William already has singers like her on his team. William rebuts that he does have two female singers on his team (actually it’s three. Nice work Voice editors) but he thinks this just means that Lovelle will have to up her game, which he knows she can do. Jessie smirks at Lovelle that she only has one “female” in her team, because she’s only been pressing so far for people she really believes in.

Number of people so far that Jessie J “really believes in” : 15, more than any other judge. Except Danny. Poor Danny.

Anyway, Lovelle picks Jessie, finally ending this episode’s storyline in which Jessie J acts like a 15 year old girl crying about how she’s going to die alone, and promptly

strikes a pose like the world’s worst fighting game with her. I can’t wait for the Fatality.

So, a girl has finally picked Jessie, and she’s happy again, so the episode can end here right? Everyone’s happy? No? Oh, ok.

Here’s Auditionee #11

He’s Jessie J’s stalker. Is this some sort of “careful what you wish for” thing? Like, Jessie J spends the whole episode whining that nobody loves her, then some guy turns up with his mum’s ear in a matchbox and gives it to her as a present? He tells us that he’s been following Jessie J around in his van for 8 years, even before she was famous, but then she got signed to a record label and other people heard about her and that made him SO ANGRY and he tried to make the anger be quiet by punching things but that just made his hands hurt and then his doctors gave him some pills but he knows that they’re secret agents from that bitch Adele who just want him to love her not Jessie J like all the SHEEP DO so he’s here today to show Jessie J he loves her best by singing her songs to her really good and then Jessie J will hear him and know that he’s the only one who really understands what she meant when she wrote them and then he and Jessie J will live together and then they will become one mass and it will ALL BE FINE.

Lem explains to us that if Jessie J turns around for him, he will avoid all eye-contact with her, because he knows if he sees her looking at him he’ll lose all concentration and forget what he’s supposed to be doing. Just like he did that one time he played her record behind the deli counter in Morrisons, and then they didn’t let him come in again.

And then he sings “Do It Like A Dude” and then Jessie J turns and also some other people turn, but Lem does not like those people because they STEAL from Jessie J and they make her sad, and people should only make Jessie J happy, and then Lem chooses to work on Team Jessie and then he and Jessie J do a dance and have a




12 thoughts on “The Voice 2 : Episode 3 (Auditions 3)

  1. Ferny

    lol you don’t think the Midlands are shown in a good light on TV? I’m from Blackpool. Think on.

    (Although the depiction is unfortunately quite accurate!)

      1. Breppo

        Birmingham is Midlands isn’t it? The birthplace of heavy metal. So it can’t be all bad, right?
        Finally there was a song I know very well, The boys are back in town by my favourite band. Pity the performance was so mediocre. Didn’t stop others from being selected though.
        I wish they would stop bringing on the has beens. We know The Voice is tough already… no more need to stress that point by rejecting former “stars”.

      2. monkseal Post author

        But how will we know how good the show is if we aren’t shown empirically that it is better than Kym Mazelle?

  2. Catherine

    This recap was hilarious as always. That is not a profound comment, but I just wanted to leave a comment of any kind to show that I read the recap, as I fear you will stop doing them if there isn’t enough interest. I hate this stupid show but can’t stop watching it, and your recaps are the only thing keeping me going.

    It’s possible I’m thinking too hard about this.

    Anyway, thanks.

    1. monkseal Post author

      It’s alright – readership stats are fine. I guess there’s just not a lot to say about auditions episodes of…anything really.

  3. Breppo

    @Monkseal. I’m all for the scientific method, peer review, double blind testing (…) etc., so you have a point there.

  4. diane

    Ah Monkseal, just how many spread sheets do you have in you dungeon? The beeb should employ you to keep a track of teams as a running commentary, much more useful than Holly and Reggie at this point and we might actually know who is on each team.

    Billiant recap I couldn’t watch it but don’t feel as though I have mossed a thing


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