There’s just a few spots left. But otherwise, Danny’s complexion is clearing up nicely.
I love it when this show basically does my recapping for me.
I would worry that if this carries on my position would essentially become redundant, but then I remember that Holly and Reggie have been surplus to requirements all series, and they’re still on the payroll. Hooray for tenure! Danny tells us that when you’re down to the last two or the last one for your team, “they really have to move you.” TO A BIGGER HOUSE! Captain Tom Obvious says that you don’t want to fill up your team too soon, but you also don’t want to wait too long. Jessie doesn’t want 12 contestants that don’t challenge her, because that’s boring. Says the woman who could not get shot of The Indie Pixies fast enough last year. Although I suppose she did still have Becky Smash and Ruth-Ann St. Luce to contend with, and there’s probably only so much adversity one woman (sorry, “female”) can reasonably expect to overcome. William reminds us that people’s dreams are on the line. But what about Kym Mazelle’s dreams, William? What about Kavana’s? WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?
Montages remind us that there are seven spots available tonight: one on Team Danny, one on Team Tom, two on Team Jessie, and three on Team William. Holly’s voiceover thinks that this means “the pressure is on for [William]”, and well, let’s just see how that works out, shall we? So, while the editors sneak Moira Ross’s Visa card PIN into a single frame to get revenge on her for making them work without light or food for the last three months,
the rest of us can enjoy the lovely smiling face of Audition #1, Adenikè.
(That’s Adenike-uh, not Adenike-ay, for those of you who aren’t sure what that accent on the final e means. Oh yes, this is both a reality TV recap and a pronunciation advice service. Never let it be said that Monkseal doesn’t go the extra mile.) She tells us that her family is very musical, and that they are quite literally a house band. (Bonus points for correct use of the word “literally”, I like Adenikè already.) We’ve a lot of people to get through tonight, so there’s no extensive introduction for Adenikè; we just go straight to her apprehensively approaching the stage while telling us that music is her life,
while all the judges witter on about how if the competition wasn’t FIERCE before, then it’s certainly FIERCE now. I think we need to have words about the management of expectations, considering that tonight’s show will feature not one but two former pop stars who are just here so we can laugh at their overly-inflated estimation of their own abilities. It’s not really fierce competition when two of your opponents have about as much chance of advancing to the next round as the Avoxes from The Hunger Games.
Anyway, back to Adenikè.
Well, she’s singing one of my favourite songs, so she’s off to a good start. I really like the tone of her voice – it’s soft and has sort of a retro-soul feel to it. She’s perhaps trying a little bit too hard to sound like Anita Baker, but all the same, it’s still very pleasant to listen to. There’s some early interest from the coaches
but I think Adenikè’s failure has already been assured. I think the only coach she has a hope of winning over is Tom, because the other three are probably all looking for something different from her at this point, and her voice is a bit too quiet and fragile to suit Tom’s turning threshold. Really the whole performance is a bit too understated to really hit the mark of what this show is after, and there are a few cracks on the lower notes. As the performance goes on, Adenikè starts throwing in some ad libs in the hope of coaxing one of the coache to turn around, but ultimately
it’s a no-go. Adenikè wells up, but it’s fine, because Jessie J makes sure that, during the auto-turn, she’s got her very best
Supportive Female Role Model face on. Tom tells Adenikè that he couldn’t find fault with her voice, that it was a hard decision for him not to turn, and that he has no advice to give her. Thanks Tom! William tells her that she started off well, and hit a great early riff, but then struck a bad note and it haunted the rest of her performance. He also overshares that this is the song his mum would play when she was doing it with his sister’s father. I for one hope we find out what was playing when William himself was conceived at some point. Looking at the timeline, I’m really hoping it’s either ‘Dark Lady’ by Cher or ‘Billy Don’t Be A Hero’ by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods. Jessie tells Adenikè that she knows all the bum notes were because of nerves, and that it’s tough for the judges now because they only have a few spaces left, and they have to think really hard about whether to turn for someone, so she doesn’t want her to feel disheartened.
As Adenikè leaves, Tom and Jessie lament not pressing their buttons. As the coaches remind us how very difficult their job is right now (#wealthymusicianproblems), we’re introduced to Audition #2, John Pritchard.
Now that you’ve seen that hideous shirt he’s wearing, you presumably do not need me to tell you that he earns his living as a fashion stylist, and is therefore one of those “image is so important in my line of work, but I dream of people looking beyond the surface and appreciating me for my beautiful voice” candidates of which this show is disproportionately fond. Also, frankly,
he’s wearing black shoes and white socks, so I think whatever style advice he might have to offer is going to be limited at best, so it’s probably wise for him to investigate alternative career paths.
I don’t know whether it’s just that I have questionable taste in music, but I’m very happy with the song choices so far tonight. John has some fairly annoying affected mannerisms, but he’s got both the gruffness and the quavering higher register to suit this song, and William’s doing enough grandstanding that you know he’s impressed early on. Sure enough, as soon as John hits the chorus
William’s on board. Jessie wishes William “good luck”, and I can’t quite tell if that’s “hope you get him” or “lol, hope you have fun working with THAT” (it does coincide with a particularly iffy note), but either way: SHADE. I half-expect Danny to turn for John as well, and apparently so does Danny.
Meanwhile, backstage, one of John’s hipster friends secretes a cool new underground liquid that you’ve probably never heard of.
John gets all squawky at the end, so nobody else turns. William asks what brought him to the show, and John says that he thought it could be a “last shot” for him. It kind of sounds like it was a first shot as well, to be honest. There’s a bit of business involving William fluffing the word “hypnosis” (he says it as “hypnotis”, which is worth it for the pay-off: “As you’ll ‘notis’, they didn’t turn around. I was hypno, so they didn’t notis the talent.”) Jessie says she didn’t turn around because John’s diction and technique need work, and William’s all “Elvis never needed DICTION, so there!” I think the Elvis comparisons may be a little premature; I liked John’s audition well enough, but I’m not hugely convinced he’s going to have much longevity in this competition. We’ll see. For now, he’s Team William, and Evil Moira Ross makes sure we get some
very subtle advertising in there. John departs, and William calls him “nothing but pure personality, skill, capability…” All about The Voice, in other words. After that, the Jessie J/William courtship ritual steps up a notch as she starts
picking bugs out of his hair and eating them, just like she saw on that nature programme that one time.
Audition #3 gets yet another brief introduction about how music is their life, getting the coaches to turn will be the validation of a lifetime’s work, yo ho ho and a barrel of tropes.
From the outset, everybody identifies that we’ve got a potential recruit for Team Jessie here.
At least, I think that’s what Danny means. Judging by Jessie’s face in that picture, we might be having to dispatch the mops to her chair for the second week running. Jessie vamps and sways and sings along waves her hands over the button Mystic Meg-style, as she likes to do, but doesn’t actually press her button. After a while, the showboating becomes egregious, even by Jessie J’s standards:
Still, I’m sure Letitia’s willing to forgive, since she does eventually get inducted into Team Jessie.
Letitia tells them that she’s been singing since she was eight, “so nearly nine years – I’m now 17 turning 18.” She does all this with the delivery of a stand-up comedian who’s been working the club circuit for 20 years and is still waiting for that big TV break, which cracks me up. Jessie namedrops that she’s friends with Jazmine Sullivan, and she’s never heard anyone else sing that song so well. She adds that Letitia is exactly why she came on the show: “to find young people that deserve this.” I feel like deserving Jessie J is somehow both a reward and a punishment, all in one.
So, remember those failed popstars I mentioned earlier? Here’s the first one:
Yep, that’s Danny from Hear’Say, in the final stages of his evolution into Dominic Littlewood. SHIELD YOUR BUTTOCKS, LADIES! Danny tells us that he started his career on the “first ever TV talent show”, and yeah, I think the producers of Opportunity Knocks and New Faces, just to name two off the top of my head, would like to have a word with you there, kiddo.
Speaking of reality TV, hasn’t Danny been a reserve contestant for Dancing On Ice for about the last five years? I’m sure I heard something to that effect. Anyway, he’s tired of playing celebrity second fiddle (coming soon to Channel 5!) to the likes of Chico, Richard Madeley’s daughter and a bunch of dull EastEnders “hunks”, and is deciding to make another strike for fame. Reggie asks Danny what he’s been doing since Hear’Say ended, and Danny says that he’s been grafting – doing gigs up and down the country
What he hasn’t been doing, thank you for asking REGINALD, is dancing. On ice. Sure, they’ll have SUZANNE on, but apparently DANNY is where they draw the line. Well, ITV, I’m going somewhere where my talents will be more appreciated, namely Bee Bee See One!
We’ll see how that works out in a moment, but first of all, let’s preview our candidate for Audition #5, our second failed popstar of the eve.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you, that really is Jay Aston from Bucks Fizz. Let me tell you a little bit about Jay Aston:
Obligatory skirt-removal shot?
Yeah, there it is.
Jay tells us that her fame carnival all came to an end after a terrible coach crash.
and now she’s trying to get back all those years at the top that she lost due to a horrifying RTA.
Anyway, back to Danny, who says that what’s appealing to him is that the coaches cannot see him (at which point Elton John is all “see, I was right! He IS far too ugly to be a popstar!”) so people won’t be judging him on being Danny from Hear’Say, just like it worked out so well for Sean from 5ive last year when nobody judged him for being Sean from 5ive.
I mean, I’m not normally one to pile on when someone’s already down, but frankly anyone who thinks that singing the Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ to the tune of the theme from Rev. is a good idea deserves whatever is coming to them. Do not waste your tears on Danny Foster, readers. Danny, to his credit, takes the judges’ indifference on the chin and exits with what little dignity he has left more or less intact. After he’s gone, our Danny exclaims “HE WAS IN A BAND!” to nobody in particular.
Not pictured: a coconut on a stick with Aleks Josh’s face carved into it. Cocoaleks is Danny’s only true confidante in this world.
So it’s up to Jay Aston to rank up a victory for faded popstars everywhere. She feels like “I’m 100 times better than I used to be then, but nobody hears me.”
No, seriously, she really is doing Muse. With some sort of country twang. I’d be very uncomfortable if I weren’t so busy being very confused.
Not least because she appears to be transforming into Patricia Heaton when she hits the high notes.
There are no takers for Jay, and there’s a heartfelt “oh, no!” from her entourage which is equally endearing and hilarious. To add insult to injury, nobody recognises Jay’s face or her name, and when she drops the Bucks Fizz bomb, the best way I can describe the reaction is “polite acknowledgement”. Jessie tells her off for the obviously unsuitable song choice and Jay admits that she’s “not a rock artist” (I think that’s the least of her problems), and Jessie says that the song went
like that for her, which I think is a fairly generous assessment of that song’s trajectory. Unless she’s just getting around saying “it was flat”, which would be slightly more accurate. Danny reiterates the “song choice” advice, saying that it sounded like “chalk and cheese”. Or “chalk and board and nails”, perhaps. Tom tells her that she needs to control her vibrato (and Charlotte Church runs in to explain what “vibrato” is, pinching her larynx and saying “wobbly” a lot), but if it’s any consolation, Bucks Fizz is his favourite drink. OH TOM.
Audition #6 now, and there’s a whole bit of fussing over the auditionee not sounding at all like how he looks, with the show deliberately obscuring him from view for a little while until they can contain the horror no longer, and reveal that in fact
HE’S A WHITE, GINGER GUY FROM ESSEX! OH, THE HUMANITY!
To be fair, when you’re singing in a heavily Bob Marley-imitating voice, complete with “mi said”s and all that, there is probably a good reason people don’t expect you to be a white hipster. Unless they spend a lot of time hanging around white hipsters, in which case that’s probably exactly what they expect. Anyway, all this “I’m white, but I sound black!” stuff makes me vaguely uncomfortable, so let’s just move on.
Moni becomes the first (spoiler: and only) contestant of the night to get all four coaches to turn around, so that’s something in his favour. Hilariously, Jessie seems to have missed the part where William turned around, and only discovers it
after the fact. William jokes that “Moni Tivoni” sounds like an Italian jacket, and Moni explains that his dad is from Israel, and that Moni was his grandfather’s name. “And then Tivoni?” William asks. “That’s my father’s surname,” Moni replies.
The children are right to laugh at you, William. Moni reveals that he’s from Essex, and Jessie hopes this means she’s got an in there. William tells Moni that they’re only turning for “spectacularnesses” at this point, and that he doesn’t really understand how Moni sounds like that, coming from Essex via Israel, but maybe he “took a swim in the soul ocean”. Moni says that people call him “the ginger Jewish Jamaican”. I assumed that was a type of very confusing cake. William points out that the obvious portmanteau here is “Jewmaican”. Jessie likes to have risk-takers in her team, and hopes that he’ll be one of them. Danny’s pitch is that “we have more in common than anyone else here.” He doesn’t go into specifics, of course, because there aren’t any and he’s talking out of his arse. Tom goes for the “I don’t have anybody like you on my team” approach, as if Danny, William and Jessie’s team are filled to bursting with reggae-loving ginger Essex boys of Israeli descent. Backstage, someone in Moni’s entourage
declares confidently that he’ll be picking William, and sure enough, while he’s flattered that everyone turned for him,
he’s joining Team William. So now with all the important business out of the way, I would just like to discuss the fact that I find Moni Tivoni kind of hot, and I don’t really know what to do about that. Except a poll, of course.
Backstage, Holly congratulates Moni on delivering her favourite low note of the competition so far.
Personally, my lowest note of the competition was everybody turning for Alex Buchanan. That was a dark day for all concerned. So, with Moni on Team William, that means
each coach now has just one spot left on their respective teams. Truly, this is mathematically pleasing.
Reggie reveals that Audition #7 “knows all about spinning chairs”.
I hoped this meant she might be a circus performer or something but no, she’s a dentist. Am I the only one who thinks you should be highly wary of a dentist with a spinning chair? If I’m going to have lots of sharp, pointy, drilly equipment in my mouth, I’m going to want that damn chair to be fixed to the floor pretty securely, thank you very much. Not that my dentist ever has need to do any drilling, of course. I brush twice a day and I floss like a demon. I’m the Chip Skylark of the blogging world.
I can imagine that was a fun day for all concerned. “Hi, we’re from The Voice. We realise that for most people, a dental exam is about as much fun as a night in a gay sauna with Ann Widdecombe, but would you mind if we filmed you getting a checkup?” Anyway, Abi insists that she’s always been a musician first and a dentist second (cue all of Abi’s patients rushing to get a second opinion) and that “there’s not many artists out there that are doing what I’m trying to do.” A scale and polish for £29.99? No, apparently she’s blending “the eastern with the western, in a tasteful mix”. That sounds worrying already. I hope it means she’s going to sing half the song with a Norfolk accent and the other half with a Welsh one.
Apparently what she actually meant was “I’m doing to do a fairly rote cover of Leona Lewis’s cover of ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’, with a couple of vaguely Eastern-sounding chants thrown in occasionally.” It’s an interesting idea, but a) if you didn’t know that’s what she was going for, I’m inclined to say you’d think it was a run that had gone horribly wrong and b) I’m sensing diminishing returns with each performance if this is as far as the east-meets-west schtick is going to go. Still, it’s enough to impress Danny
who yields his last remaining spot to Abi. Jessie tells Abi to smile more when she sings, and William declares pop-Indian fusion to be the next big sensation (DIRTY BIT!). They break the news to Abi that she’s the final artist to join Team Danny.
“It’s my last wish,” says Danny. Calm down, dude, you’re not dying. Danny reveals that he’s tried and failed to do Indian singing in the studio. He does know that he’s supposed to be coaching Abi and not the other way around, right? Anyway, the good news for all of us is that now Danny has no more spots left, and can’t do any more “I might turn around, ooh I might turn around, ooh I might turn around” nonsense. Shall we have a quick look at Team Danny?
Mmm, that unbeatable combo of Irish people and those who had no other choice. “Can I go home now?” asks Danny. PLEASE, GOD, YES.
Wow, between Jay and Joseph, my home county is really representing tonight. This is the most exposure Kent’s had since that idiotic MP from Thanet claimed that if we legalised equal marriage, we’d have to rewrite the complete works of Shakespeare and remove all the gendered pronouns. (The rest of Kent looks down on Thanet, and now you know why.) Joseph moved to the UK from the Philippines when he was 10, as his mum got a job here as a nurse. Being without his family and friends was hard, but (of course) singing helped with his confidence.
Just when you thought having Danny out of the game might be a good thing, he spends Joseph’s audition hectoring the others to turn.
Bless him, he really was proud of having written down the word “go” without any help from a grown-up. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure he gets a sticker. Danny doesn’t seem to appreciate that the others would probably rather be able to hear and evaluate Joseph’s performance without any external disturbance, but he continues bothering them all the same. Luckily, Joseph is loud enough to drown him out, and
is rewarded with invitations to join Teams Tom and Jessie. Joseph tells William he’s from Gillingham in Kent, and William replies “Yeah, Kent’s dope”. He’s such a liar. William is delighted to learn that Joseph is Filipino like his best pal Apl, and offers up “mabuti!”, which Google informs me means “good!” (Evil Moira Ross crosses out “educate” from her brief for the show. Just “entertain” and “inform” to go!”) William continues with a lot of references to the Philippines that I don’t fully understand (22 seasons of The Amazing Race and two seasons of Survivor set in the Caramoan islands under my belt, and I’m still so culturally illiterate when it comes to the Philippines. I deserve my shame.) William says he didn’t turn around because he thinks Joseph is in very firm hands with Jessie.
Jessie tells Joseph that he really knows how to tell a story when he sings, but she’s up against “S-T-J”. Don’t worry, Jessie, a trip to the clinic should sort that out. Sir Tom says that he only has one slot left and he’s been waiting and waiting and waiting (and also turning for Moni, but we’ll overlook that), but he felt the passion in Joseph’s singing and now he wants him. He adds “I know there’s a lot of great Filipino singers because I’ve been to the Philippines and I’ve heard them sing.” That’s one of those sentences that seems facile and reductive but, at the same time, is really hard to argue against.
It’s time for Joseph to choose, and his mother makes it known that she is emphatically
Team Tom. Jessie’s clearly going to regret ever writing a song called ‘Mama Knows Best’ because
Team Tom it is. Joseph’s friends and family approve of this decision.
So that’s Tom out of the competition. All the remaining Welsh people in the audition queue gulp audibly.
Team Tom there. Award yourself a biscuit if you can remember more than half of them.
Audition #9 is a little tune I like to call The Ballad of Brett Davison.
This time last year, he was in a pop group.
Judging by their styling in that picture, I’m going to assume they were called The Monotones. They toured with JLS and The Saturdays. It was all going well, but then Brett got ill and was in hospital for a really long time, and The Monotones decided to carry on without him. Boo, The Monotones! Brett says that one week he was on tour and playing the O2 Arena, and the next he was
back working as a builder. There would appear to be a slight discrepancy here between “in hospital for a really long time” and “I went from playing The O2 to working as a builder in a week”. I think Brett would do well to get his story straight. Brett feels his destiny is not to be a builder forever, so he’s here to audition.
Unfortunately, he’s chosen to sing ‘Fast Car’ by Tracy Chapman in a very reedy, breathy way. It’s a favourite of Jessie’s, so she’s going to need some serious convincing. It’s the sort of performance that comes at that point a third of the way into a concert, when the rest of the group is off getting changed and it falls to one of them to entertain the crowd with their very best earnest cover version, most of whom are considering going to the toilet. Sadly for Brett, his effort is more on the “loo break” end of the spectrum.
He seems like a nice guy and everything, but I doubt that performance would’ve got him through even in the early stages, much less now when there are only two spots left. William tells Brett that he heard every breath he took, and he doesn’t want to be able to hear that. Jessie tells him that it sounded lovely, but she just didn’t believe it. Brett appreciates the feedback, and it’s back to the holding room for weepy hugs all round, and Brett will live out the rest of his life as a cautionary tale to anyone who’s thinking of taking sick leave.
Audition #10 is Bronwen Lewis,
who’s worried the judges might not be able to tell what she’s trying to put across. Since what she’s trying to put across is ‘Fields Of Gold’ sung entirely in Welsh, and Tom Jones has already filled his team up, she’s right to be concerned.
The coaches make a lot of buzz about how lovely it all sounds, which is inevitably what people say when they have no idea what the actual words are, and it’s not that I don’t like the sounds she’s making particularly, but man alive, this whole thing is sluggish. It’s like she’s performing in a slow race and expecting some sort of prize for taking the longest to get to the end of the bloody verse. William and Jessie’s failure to turn begins to cause outrage and consternation with Tom and Danny:
This would never have happened on S4C, I’m telling you that for nothing. Bronwen tells the judges that she’s an art student (of course she is) and she’s from Seven Sisters in South Wales. Tom’s all, “yes, I know it and I’ve had all seven sisters.” Tom explains to Bronwen that his team is full up, so he couldn’t turn, and Bronwen responds “oh, right”. I don’t know if that’s just her standard response, but it does sound a little bit like she didn’t know she was competing for one of only two spots, which seems unfair. If the contestants are going into a situation where they have a disadvantage like that, I’d think it was only sporting to brief them accordingly.
Danny gets all “don’t blame me, I’M REALLY MAD AT JESSIE AND WILLIAM FOR NOT TURNING AROUND!”
Jessie and William would like the record to reflect that they acknowledge Danny’s anger, but they do not give a shit. William falls back on his stock argument of “I’ve already got a singer like that and I promised to fight for her, which would involve not picking another very similar contestant”. Bronwen leaves, the chairs turn back around, Danny and Tom are still stewing, and you could cut the passive-aggressive atmosphere with a knife. Although don’t bother, I’ve already done it, just like I do everything around here. (Tom even says “a Welsh one I missed” which would be hilarious if it weren’t kind of sinister.) Jessie and William, on the other hand?
Audition #11 is this cheerful chap on the left:
His name is Adam Barron, and music defines his life. Oh, he’s one of THOSE. Right. Although he’s one of the better versions of That Guy, because he explains that this audition is going to be the determining factor in whether music remains a hobby for him, or becomes a career. I like the hobby/career dichotomy far better than the life/death one we usually get. His fiancée gets completely overwhelmed before he’s even sung a note; just seeing him walk out onto the stage leads her to scream “OHHHH WOOK AT HIS WIDDLE FACE!” or something like that. I think she lives on a higher plane of emotion than most of us. She’s Kristen Bell, he is her sloth. (Holly, on the other hand, is stoic as ever.)
That’s the Porgy and Bess ‘Summertime’, just to clarify, not DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Jessie decides to start freestyling along with Adam, and Adam’s mum, who is calmer than his fiancée but arguably a far more formidable opponent, shouts
“Come on Jessie, don’t just sing along!” I like Adam’s mum. I like her a lot. Meanwhile, The Fiancée is
just about hanging in there, and just as Evil Moira Ross contacts her lawyer to establish exactly where she stands if a spectator suffers a heart attack as a direct result of an audition,
Jessie saves the day by turning around. Fiancée status?
SHE JUST CAN’T EVEN RIGHT NOW WITH THIS.
Adam greets Jessie, William and Tom – but not Danny. (I think I’m going to like Adam.) Jessie tells him that she turned because she can hear so much potential, and his higher range is ridiculous. Jessie exaggerates how long she held out on pressing her button, but it doesn’t matter because Adam’s through. William tells Adam that he didn’t turn around because his gut tells him something really special is coming up in the next few singers – no offence or anything. Danny admits that he is really jealous he didn’t hold out long enough to get Adam and Jessie is
as gracious as ever in victory. Danny asks if Adam can humour him and say that he would’ve picked him if he’d had the option. Oh Danny, nobody who’s got any options ever picks you. One last shot of the Fiancée and her boundless enthusiasm?
Oh, I think so.
So that’s Team Jessie full, then.
Even if you’d never seen this show before and you didn’t have that text to guide you, you’d just know this was Team Jessie, wouldn’t you? She is, now and forever, Queen of the Raggy Dolls.
Just one spot left, meaning everyone is at William’s mercy.
What an alarming thought. (Especially since there are still 20 minutes to go. Stay in your seats! The bell doesn’t dismiss you! I dismiss you!)
Could it be Sophie Mendoza, who moves too much for me to get a non-blurry screengrab?
No. (Incidentally, going back to the incident with Bronwen earlier, Sophie’s family are appealing directly from backstage for William to press the button, suggesting that they have indeed been told he’s the only coach with any space left.)
Sorry Sophie, but the William is not for turning. At least, not for you. You need more control, he thinks. Next!
Sorry Georgia, you have a big voice, but your Lilith Fair interpretation of Basement Jaxx was not enough to sway William’s loyalties away from that Emily girl he picked two weeks ago. Danny suggests that William put them in the battle rounds and make them duke it out. Preferably in mud, while wearing bikinis. JUST A SUGGESTION! William has now decided he’s not looking for an excellent voice, he’s looking for a diamond in the rough.
Not this one, though. And if you’re expecting William to be contrite about keeping everyone waiting?
Yeah, he really isn’t. I think Chris described this part of the show best when he said it was essentially “a hostage situation”, and you can really sense the despair of Jessie, Tom and Danny (not to mention the audience) when they wonder if William is going to actually pick anyone, or if he’s just going to keep them there forever. You know William isn’t fooling around, because
He doesn’t even turn around for the duo! Isn’t that against the rules?!
Sorry sir, but this is no country for old men. Next!
Nope, don’t need an opera singer. Already got two. Next!
“But William, it’s getting dark outside!”
“I don’t care.”
“But William, the last train is—”
“I said GOOD DAY, sir.”
“No you didn’t.”
There are just two auditionees left, so basically William has to pick one of them whether he likes it or not. Up first is Audition #12 (we won’t count all those people we barely saw), Rob Reynolds.
Either that or he’s one of the hired goons Danny’s enlisted to take William out so they can all go home. (Check out Rob’s Wikipedia entry, by the way. Multiple issues, indeed.)
Danny’s overinvested already, because…well, look at him. Danny’s growing incredulity throughout the audition is hilarious: he genuinely can’t understand why William, who’s made a point of saying he’s holding on for someone truly special and unique, is not considering those criteria to be met by “boring old white guy with a guitar”. This is heresy to Danny. THE MAN HAS A GUITAR! HE IS MUSIC! The audition ends, and William does not press his button. “You’re an idiot!” yells Danny. Hee hee hee.
Rob tells the coaches that he got signed in ’94, released a few albums, has plugged away blah blah blah, and Danny’s all “I WOULD’VE PICKED YOU IF I COULD! I AM SO MAD AT WILLIAM RIGHT NOW! I AM GOING TO HOLD MY BREATH UNTIL I DIE AND IT WILL BE ALL WILLIAM’S FAULT!” William makes the very valid point that Rob is clearly a Team Danny person, and just because Danny can’t hit his button, it doesn’t mean that William is obligated to hit his. This is not William’s Home For Waifs And Strays. “I genuinely hope that you’re right,” snits Danny, “because that’s a big loss!” Yeah, we’ll never find another middle-aged man with a guitar even if we search for a thousand years. Rob leaves, and it’s all Danny can do not to
slip him the tongue.
So this is all rather anticlimactic now because we know William is going to choose the next one. The only real question is, will it be worth it?
SHE’S BACK! No, just kidding. It’s really this guy:
He’s a door-to-door chugger with self-cloning abilities. I know, I’m scared too. His name is CJ Edwards, and we get a montage of him having doors slammed in his face to make us feel sorry for him. HE’S A CHUGGER, THOUGH. Maybe it’s just because I live in London where literally all of the chuggers are rude predatory wankers who like to make value judgements about your lifestyle and bellow them from a distance (some samples from my life: “You over there, with the iPod! You can clearly afford to give me some money!”, “Come over here and talk to me, the pub can wait for five minutes!”), but he’s getting no sympathy from me. Still, I’m all for CJ getting through if it means one less chugger on the streets.
CJ loves his father:
CJ’s mother is dead, but she taught him to be expressive, and thus she would be very proud that he’s here today. CJ wants to make his father proud too, because “he’s the only parent I’ve got left.” Sheesh. CJ says that he wants to make “them” turn around, which means either that interview was filmed before the other teams were filled up, or we’ve gone back to the contestants not being briefed regarding the judges’ availability. I have no idea any more.
CJ starts singing, and after about five seconds of vocals, William pushes his button. It all happens so quickly that his dad doesn’t even realise what’s happened, and Reggie has to point it out.
Heck, it happens so quick we haven’t even had the name of the song flashed up yet.
Jessie’s enjoying it so much that she clambers out of her chair and sits behind it like an infant in assembly.
Shortly after that Danny joins in, and it becomes like some sort of raucous sleepover party.
She’ll have some explaining to do when her parents come to pick her up, you mark my words. To be honest, I don’t really think much of CJ’s voice or this performance but it’s nice that they’re enjoying themselves now that their spell in HMP William is over.
Jessie tells CJ she likes his reaction the most out of everyone who’s performed, because it’s so genuine. William tells CJ that he reminds him of “that guy who won the marathon”.
Not in appearance, he hastily clarifies, but in energy. Yeah, sorry William, but either way I think you’re on your own there. William tells CJ he can achieve a lot if he comes with a humble heart, open ears and wide eyes. Is he just reciting the script to Friday Night Lights at this point? Tom tells CJ that he’s just entirely vindicated William for making them all wait until the bitter end.
Team William is complete!
Holly informs us that “the blind auditions are over, which can only mean one thing.” The ratings will start going down again? Well, maybe, but also: BATTLE ROUNDS!
And this time there’s a twist!
I dunno, Jessie, summat about a steal. We’ll deal with it next week.