CAKE CAKE CAKE, LICK THE ICING CAKE
The point where Sarah screamed her way through “Love Sensation”, sounding like she was trying to recreate that scene from Harry Met Sally but so only dogs could hear it, was the point when I decided that as far as full recaps go, me and The Voice are done. I was originally going to hold off until the end of the series to say this anywhere other than twitter, but since the Battle Rounds at least, watching this show has become a chore, and recapping 150 minutes of it in exhaustive detail felt like an even bigger chore, and I can’t imagine the output being anything other than me yelling “WHY? WHY ARE YOU MAKING THESE CHOICES SHOW? WHY?” and who wants to read that? I already come across as a Lidl Charlie Brooker enough as it is. So as of now, I’m mixing the recaps up. If you were actually invested, I am truly sorry.
Two things were deemed important about Matt Henry – that he was the only Steal left in the competition, and also that he opened the show. This second one being particularly important, it being mentioned every 5 seconds of airtime, like they wanted to reassure the audience that, no, really, we were the lucky few who surfed the wave of the BBC’s ass-backwards scheduling of this show. That was the first act on, you’ve not missed anything, the show didn’t randomly start at 6:37pm. Honest. (Of course the show was ACTUALLY opened by Danny O’Donoghue running around slapping the hands of random audience members, because that’s how you show someone’s a STAR.) Matt opened the show with an African (/Disney’s The Lion King) infused take on “Wonder” by Emily Sunday, complete with tribal drums and a video wall of the African Savannahs. Frankly I’m surprised they didn’t go the whole hog and have him full-on dressed up as Simba. The sharp-eyed/not drunk amongst you will remember this as the song Jessie told Lovelle not to sing last week, because she wasn’t good enough to match up to the original. Maybe by letting Matt do it this week she was demonstrating how wise she was to keep Lovelle away from it, because this was a whole lot of strutting and not a lot of singing.
Scenes from the judging panel : Tom telling Matt that this was the first time he’d heard Matt do a ballad ever, when he sang Do I Do in the Battle Rounds (bless Tom, he really doesn’t give a shit does he?) ; William pointing out Matt’s mother in the audience, who the camera panned to, whilst Holly just stood there mute for a good 5 seconds as the camera just stared at her (WHAT A PROFESSIONAL!)
Results : Through to the next round on public vote. Not really a surprise given what followed.
The primary selling point for Ash this week was his complete lack of confidence, absence of self-belief, and how he almost quit the competition because he was afraid of people judging him on his appearance. Obviously this is the sort of person we should be letting loose in the record industry as a reality tv winner, where people will scream “FATTY FATTY FLOP FLOP!” at him if any of his singles fail to hit the top 5. That will end well for sure. Anyway, this week Jessie J somehow managed to refrain from flopping around on the floor like a Magikarp, as Ash wailed his way through “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran. It’s really odd to see someone singing an Ed Sheeran song with visual emotion, as let’s face it, regardless of what you think of Ed Sheeran’s voice, he has the blankest face in the music industry. If he was a woman, the question wouldn’t be whether Botox but just how much. Anyway, Ash did his usual wailing, lip-curling gesticulating, “lets do a wail with a finger in our ears and our eyes scrunched up” performance, and I don’t think the song really supported it, so much.
Scenes from the judging panel : Jessie describing the performance as the best that there’s ever been in the entire history of The Voice, when it wasn’t even the best performance of this EPISODE, this shitty shitty episode ; Danny mocking Ash’s facial expressions…to the studio audience, so nobody watching at home could see them ; Tom Jones performing the Louis Walsh role of reminding us all where a contestant comes from (WALES!)
Results : The recipient of Jessie’s Fast Pass, because yeah, that’s still here. Heaven forbid that we actually be allowed to VOTE on these buggers.
The naked objectification of Sarah in this episode was quite something. When Jessie’s team were introduced it was basically “Ash – The Technique, Matt – The Heart, Sarah – The Tits!”. Pretty much everything incidental said about Sarah focused around how pretty she is and how every girl in the world wants to look like her and every guy in the world wants to shag her which…they’d have to have heard of her first. There was admittedly also a brief segment about Sarah’s mum. About how Sarah’s mum makes all of Sarah’s costumes to show off her SEXXXY FIGURE and how her mum drives her to her beauty pageants and so on. In the end Sarah was punted out to sing “Love Sensation” aka that song that they made better by making it “Ride On Time”. I’m surprised that Lorraine Crosby didn’t storm the stage again in protest on Loleeta Holloway’s behalf, in the name of all beautiful plus-sized women who were done over by VIDEO MODELS. Anyway, needless to say, Sarah was no Loleeta Holloway. She wasn’t even a Heather Small remix. The song rapidly devolved into squirping and chirping and shrieking and stomping around. Thank God Reggie was there afterwards, up on his V-Balcony, to remind us about the important aspect of Sarah Cassidy’s voice – that it was wrapped in spandex and tottering around on 5 inch heels.
Scenes from the judging panel : Danny getting all huffy when Holly was all “nudge nudge Danny bet you liked that wink wink” like she’s trying to say he’s SOME KIND OF PERVERT ; Jessie prigging out all over the audience, ordering them not to yell out names in support, because the show’s not ABOUT THAT because we support ALL OUR ARTISTS here on The Voice, and then the audience utterly ignoring her
Results : Eliminated by public vote. Some things, not even the infamous Scottish Vote can save.
I don’t think it was truly obvious until this week just how much Tom had the horn for Alys. Every other sentence he seemed to be talking about how deeply deeply sexy and erotic he found her voice and at times he seemed 2 seconds away from an impromptu strippified version of Sex Bomb. Maybe that’s why they sent her out on stage in a spectacularly ugly kimono, right out of a community theatre version of The Mikado, just to cool his ardour. I’m not sure it worked. He seemed pretty overcome with…emotions after her performance anyway. This week for Alys was all about trying to claw back some ground from the Bitch Edit they gave her in her battle with Lareena, by showing her adorably playing with her twins in the park, and having her talk about how overwhelmed she was with love for them during her frankly a little dopey, sleepy, and flat rendition of “Is This Love?” by Bob Marley, with the Welsh turned up to 11. I’m not really sure that Welsh reggae is a genre that needed inventing, but I guess it is only through its innovation and creativity that this show is going to grow and thrive.
Scenes from the judging panel : Tom lowing “boootiful” with cow eyes ; Jessie saying that she could see the song as one of ten in a concert very soon, indicating by proxy that it didn’t work on its own at all ; William telling Alys that she looked like she was singing on top of a cloud (of marijuana) ; Danny worrying about how Alys may get SMASHED AWAY by high energy performances from Tom’s other artists. Tom’s other artists including MIKE WARD.
Results : Eliminated by public vote. There’s no time for Redemption Arcs here.
I guess the HIGH-ENERGY performance Danny was really referring to was the one that came courtesy of Joseph Apostol. Or…it was supposed to, as the idea was that Tom let Joseph free from his mic-stand anchored balladeering to freewheel around the stage to “Higher And Higher” by Jackie Wilson. Jackie Wilson who Joseph originally thought was a woman. I’m not sure if that’s worse than confusing him for a darts player. Unfortunately for Joseph, the performance only showed that he’s not really quite ready to try to “work the stage” yet, as she he shuffled around with all the stage presence of somebody doing the hoovering, and sang like somebody trying to be heard over it. Even his backing singers were vamping it harder than he was, probably trying to set up their VT reel for when they inevitably get roped into auditioning for the next series by Evil Moira Ross (“DO IT! WE CAN’T FIND ANYBODY ELSE! IF YOU DON’T, YOU GET THE HOSE AGAIN!”). This week we also got to spend some more time with Joseph’s family, as Joseph’s mum made spring rolls for Tom Jones, whilst Joseph’s sister looked kind of embarrassed. We then saw Tom Jones put these spring rolls away. For later. Honest. He totally ate them. Sadly we also saw a segment where Reggie Yates laughed and pulled faces at Joseph’s accent and native language, and then made him deliver a birthday cake to Tom Jones. I’m not saying it was racially uncomfortable as much as it was RACIALLY HILARIOUS!
Scenes from the judging panel : This marking the point in the show where William got bored and just started tweeting through everything ; William telling Joseph that Apple Dee App from The Voice Philippines (WHICH STARTS TOMORROW, FILIPINO MONKSEAL FANS!) was his biggest fan ; Jessie shading Tom’s style when she turned up in a t-shirt saying “dope” presumably as a bet ; Danny calling Joseph “an oddity” because he’s a (judging from his family’s names, at least 3rd generation) Filipino on a UK show singing soul music (gross gross gross)
Results : Advanced via Fast Pass which I guess is fair enough given that the choice of song was out of his control and did him no favours.
Can we just acknowledge how terrifying the Team Tom avatar was?
Chills. Anywho, having got all the milage they could out of Mike’s roughneck roots, the show QUICKLY gave him a middle-class makeover the second we hit the live shows, getting him to grow his hair out and sticking him in a button-down shirt. I can’t deny that it worked, as he’s definitely now OFFICIALLY Tea Time Sexxy. Happily, his gimmick remains the same, as Tom is still determined that Mike will be the official FIRST EVER UK COUNTRY STAR EVER. Of course this is just part of the reality tv world’s continuing disrespect to the Midlands, as we all know that Frank Ifield is TRULY the first UK country star. He taught us all how to yodel! Come on! This week Mike sang “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars, in the country style, with a performance conceit of him singing to a backdrop of old home movies of…well it kind of looked a bit like Jimmy Saville looning around in a dress back there, but I’m sure it was a very pretty girl who just didn’t suit speia tones. His performance was a little nervy and a little honked through, with little emotional engagement, but his imitation American accent has a nice tone to it, which I guess is more than you can say for, like, Busted or McFly or whoever. I still don’t really think UK country needs a mainstream artist, and I’m not entirely convinced if we do that it’s Mike, but this was nice enough.
Scenes from the judging panel : Jessie having moments of haircut solidarity with Mike ; Tom answering every closed question with a closed answer… then leaving a little pause and then expanding just to wind Holly up ; Danny calling Mike “stagnant”
Results : Saved by public vote. Hopefully next week he does “That’s My Goal” in a country style.
Why yes, the show is continuing in its path of not making a big deal of Andrea’s disability by making a big deal of how much they’re not making a big deal of it. Why do you ask? We also learnt more this week about Andrea’s life outside the show, in that she’s a civil servant doing a law degree whilst sitting on the board of the RNIB. But you know, she’s all about her music as well. I think maybe Andrea has so many irons in her fire that she may well burn the house down. It certainly makes a change from Danny’s last chosen girl-woobie. Andrea’s song this week was “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers or, as it was rendered by the audience “………….?”, despite William’s best efforts to get some audience participation going. It’s a shame that Andrea didn’t face the public vote really, because I can only imagine the landslide it would have been, given this show’s audience demographic, and Andrea’s tendency to actually sing songs as they’ve been written, using the same melody and stuff (albeit slightly as if she’s sat on a tumble dryer). Which, lets face it, is a novel approach in a world of Leahs and Ashs and Jessie Js. The theme for Andrea’s performance was a wholesome barnyard hoe-down, which did rather lend the whole performance even more an air of “overly earnest Christian Union mixer” than it already had. Reggie later tried to pass the whole thing off as “up-tempo”. Not even by this show’s standards Reggie.
Scenes from the judging panel : Jessie trying to stir the pot and make out that Andrea and Danny are shagging ; Jessie getting the words to the song wrong as she did so ; Holly SHOVING Andrea into the arms of a member of production staff to get her off the stage.
Results : Advanced to the next round via Fast Pass.
I guess Mitchel is one of those contestants where you just don’t realise what you’ve got til they’ve gone. In many ways, I feel like he was this year’s equivalent of Becky Smash, and I kind of want to get them to meet up and have babies. Or sing “Dead Ringer For Love” at the final as Meatloaf & Cher. Where Becky Smash’s teenage hormones led her to scream swear words on national tv and fling her shit around her bedroom, Mitchel’s lead him to pontificate about his love of alt-rock, dedicate a song to his long-distance girlfriend, and cry all over the place when he got eliminated. And then get a lift home from his dad. Mitchel’s stated aim this week was to prove that rock isn’t ALL just guys with long hair and leather jackets sweating all over the place. He then proved this true by having long hair and sweating all over the place in a POLYESTER jacket. Take THAT stereotypes. His song-choice was “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, and of course the show continued in its scientific ignorance by throwing up the symbol for “Biohazard” on the screen behind him. Honestly, first Alesha destroyed English grammar and NOW THIS. It’s a wonder our nation’s youth can even function, thanks to BBC reality shows. The performance was a real show-stopper, not that we got to see most of it in favour of Danny mugging away in his chair swinging his arms about and pulling duck-face all over the shop. I don’t know if spending SO much time working the audience is what worked against Mitchel in the end, because it was quite hard to focus on him just singing to camera, but hell, I enjoyed it. YES, I SAID HELL HOLLY WILLOUGHBY, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Scenes from the judging panel : Holly apologising for Mitchel saying “Jesus Christ”, presumably on behalf of Satanic Moira Ross, who feels a little burning every time the name of our Lord is mentioned within one of her temples ; William getting everyone to imagine he said “shit” instead of “stuff” ; Jessie bragging about all the different genres showcased by The Voice, like having a token rocker/country copyist is SO UNIQUE TO THEM ; Danny talking about how people could buy tickets to the Mitchel Emms show RIGHT NOW (you know, like they could buy tickets to the Voice Live Tour RIGHT NOW at this point last year)
Results : Eliminated by public vote. Bunch of bastard.
And so we rumble on in the story of one man, who just needs a record deal. You don’t understand what it’s like out there without one man. It HURTS. You have to do BAR WORK and live in a FLAT. This does of course rather beg the question, that if you’re so concerned about being signed and dropped by a record label, why you’d come on The Voice given that I’m fairly sure that that’s the show’s one and only prize. It just seems like masochism, and I *URGE* the British public not to put Karl Michael through it again. Karl’s performance this week was of “A Thousand Years” which he stomped around doing angstily in a breathy throaty high-pitched voice. Just like his version of Apologise. Just like his version of “Red”. Just like his version of “No More I Love You”s. Not really a LOT of variation going on here. The performance didn’t really do a lot for me, but apparently it satisfied Karl Michael, which made Holly and all the judges applaud, because apparently Karl Michael has no sense of self-worth and is really critical of himself. Talk about things that don’t come across on tv…
Scenes from the judging panel : More of Danny judging via body hair ; Karl showing just how self-critical he is by immediately blaming the “in-ears” as soon he got the slightest criticism
Results : Advanced by public vote *one-eyed squint*
(*insert Sugababes joke here*)
This week’s results on Team Will prove one thing. That TOWIE has now cast the county of Essex in such a negative light that BBC 1 teatime reality show viewers are willing to vote even for “strong confident” black women through over its residents. You could already see the holes created by Denise van Outen’s patchy showing on Strictly, but this just proves it. Amy Childs and Arg have ruined things for an ENTIRE COUNTY. Leanne on the other hand was her usual charming self, showing off her newly stolen high note powers (filched from The Opera Hags lest we forget) for a performance of “Where Have You Been?” by Rihanna, that suffered mostly for being “Where Have You Been?” by Rihanna. Even amongst her patchy oeuvre it’s one of the weaker efforts. It was pretty much Sarah’s performance done right, and to be honest my favourite performance of the evening, all told, especially as she was working up-tempo, notoriously hard to do on one of these shows. I don’t think it helped her chances that this performance marked the point of the show where William got SO bored that he actually started openly tweeting on camera during the performances themselves. During his OWN ACTS. I think somebody needs his mobile privileges taken off him until he learns how to be polite about it.
Scenes from the judging panel : Everyone slagging off Rihanna, passively ; Jessie snarking that Leanne probably should have worn something she could dance in
First of all, let’s deal with the hair. That hair. That magnificent towering afro perched on her head throughout, complete with Purple Rain era strands of hair at the front. I don’t know if it’s more or less iconic than the do she was sporting for the Knockouts, but if nothing else, Cleopatra always gives good hair. Just like Alys, Cleopatra was on a Redemption Arc this week. Just like Alys, this was done by parading her cute children around in front of the camera. I’m not saying the fact that Cleopatra is still here is evidence that her children are cuter than Alys’ children but let’s face it, the thought is out there. This week, William had Cleopatra sing “Imagine” because apparently this is one of those weeks where William just looked at one of those dull “Top 10 Songs Of All Time” polls and went “LET’S DO THAT ONE!”, just like when he had Tyler James doing Bohemian Rhapsody (*shudders at the memory*). Her tone at the beginning was really really unpleasant, but eventually she settled into the song, and gave a good, albeit really squeaky, performance. I did love how the smoke machine was the most blatant I’ve ever seen in reality tv history. It was just a giant grey industrial pipe laid out on stage, spewing out fumes until almost the entire stage was covered. Half the time I couldn’t even SEE Cleopatra anywhere in there. Anywho, Cleopatra got through, and her endearing and utterly shocked reaction to it almost made it worth it for me, even though she’s my least favourite of Team Will this year by some distance. I don’t know if she’s got much chance of making it through next week but let’s face it, the Leah McFail Bandwagon could collapse at any time.
Scenes from the judging panel : William calling Cleopatra hoofing it round the stage trying to run away from the giant clouds of smoke “graceful” ; Jessie being really excited to get home and out of the studio ; Danny saying he was worried about Cleo doing Imagine because he “really loves The Beatles”
So Leah’s performance this week was, if nothing else, provocative of an extreme amount of hyperbole, and I would never be one to miss out on a chance to go to extremes about a reality tv performance that most likely will be forgotten within a month. So I can say without fear of second-guessing myself that Leah McFall adding a bunch of Leah McFall noises to a 90s slow jam version of “I Will Survive” dressed as a Thunderbirds air hostess is hands down the most divisive performance I can remember on one of these shows. The second it started my twitter feed was split fairly evenly between people yelling that A STAR WAS BORN and that this WAS THE WORST PERFORMANCE IN REALITY TV HISTORY and GIVE HER THE TITLE NOW and IT’S JUST A BUNCH OF AWFUL HORRID NOISES and frankly I loved that something, anything on this lame show provoked that level of response. I’ve definitely never seen a performance this controversial given the Pimp Slot, which tends to be given to the safest most trad safe of all epic performances. It rocketed Leah to Bookies Favourite position, and also into the top 5 on iTunes. If nothing else, the BBC Performing Bryony Fund will be grateful that it happened. Just remember that if you hated it. Imagine Bryony’s smiling face as all those purchases buy her a new tambourine. Could you deny her that tambourine viewers? (I also very much enjoyed Leah’s dad this week. Why have we not seen more of him up til now?)
Scenes from the judging panel : Tom saying he hadn’t heard an audience that excited since Ruth Brown (Leanne who?) ; Jessie saying that that performance is what separates this show from The X Factor (I presume that’s what she meant by “other shows”, I guess she could have meant Emmerdale or something) ; William revealing that Leah had got the Fast Pass by tweeting it, royally annoying Holly.
Results : Advanced via Fast Pass
The Ghosts At The Feast
And so all of last years finalists billowed in at the end, to show this year’s contestants their futures. like the end of A Christmas Carol. And whilst it was nice to see Vince and Jessie reconnect, and Tyler…still being alive, really the main event here was watching the awkwardness between Tom & Leanne and Danny & Bo respectively. Seeing Tom shuffle awkwardly in his seat at his winner, who he dropped immediately after she won, as pretty damned cringey, but by far the most difficult reunion was that of Bo and Danny, as she sang her love song to him and he looked like he wanted the Earth to swallow up under his feet. Admittedly I was watching this in the context of his performance of his show for the Queen earlier in the day, which he did with a woman who was such a Bo clone that half the audience thought it WAS Bo. Let’s just say he has a type. I’m sure we wish them all well in their future endeavours.