Poor Mike. He went from being hyped up as a potential winner to being *that* contestant. The one whose betting odds collapse over the course of the final as the rug is pulled from under them. At one point his odds to win were worse than someone from Team Jessie. TEAM. JESSIE. And of course, we’re all looking for reasons why. I can’t help but think that a large part of it was the top they made him wear for Suspicious Minds, as well as the “Soho Brothel” staging that he got for it. Mike Ward is the nation’s favourite humble country singing working class Manc lad. Nobody wants to see him cavorting with platinum blonde “escorts” from an episode of Casualty about explosive STDs. And having done so well scrubbing him up and making him teatime sexy, Evil Moira Ross’ wardrobe elves threw Mike to the wolves by picking a top so obviously designed to make him look as podgy as possible that Trinny & Susanna probably had an aneurysm. Wherever they are now. Check Babestation. I mean…the swallows of country freedom were actually flying AROUND his belly. And then they tucked it in. And made him wear skinny jeans. I know it’s difficult to speculate on the wardrobe habits of a show that so often makes its contestants look like crap completely by accident but…come on.
As if the indignity of the styling wasn’t enough, Mike got by far the worst mentors holiday segment. Leah went to Cannes and met John Legend, and even though I can’t bloody stand The Script, performing with them at least has to be counted as more of a coup than “Tom Jones took me to a shop, and didn’t even bloody buy me anything”. And of course, their finals duet seemed to have about 5 minutes of thought put into it. I mean…I’m not necessarily accusing Tom Jones of being the worst mentor necessarily, or saying that I don’t understand why he’s there (name value) but I will bet you anything that he’s referring to Mike as “Mark” by Tuesday and will confuse him for a stagehand when he comes back for next year’s Losers Parade.
Scenes From The Judging Panel : Holly explaining very slowly to Mike that Tom claims to be close personal friends with literally every single famous person who ever lived, and that he probably shouldn’t take it seriously when he claims that he was chief bridesmaid at Elvis’ wedding ; Holly wink-winking that Mike has REALLY GROWN during the competition, as Mike stood there in jeans two sizes too small for him ; William telling Mike that he made him “want to hop on a horse” ; Jessie trying to impersonate a Manc accent and sounding like Deputy Dawg ; William saying that he went flat a couple of times in his reprise performance and thus UNLEASHING HELL ; Jessie J agreeing it was flat but then saying it was the best vocal performance he’d done so far ;
Results : Probably 3rd, but you can’t rule out the Nice Young Man vote/OMG A JUDGE WAS MEAN vote totally so it could well have been 2nd
Never mind the supposed “sympathy vote” or the “safest contestant vote” or the “pushed down our throats vote”, I’m really surprised that none of the cynical twitter commentariat have picked up on just how AGGRESSIVELY Andrea was being marketed towards the religious. Maybe it’s just because the Christian population of the UK has been so consistently excluded from any mainstream media role other than the nutty end cluck-clucking at gay marriage or…well…”Rev” existing that people forget that we’re still ostensibly a Christian nation. Especially the older end who watch BBC 1 on Saturday nights with their families and might like a nice young religious Irish girl singing nicely (/slightly vibratey). I mean…they got her vicar on to say that she was an angel, her song choices over the last two episodes were “Angel” and “My Immortal” (ie Jesus) and “What If God Was One Of Us?” (which…it’s got God in the title and it’s not as though people listen to lyrics ever) and then on stage they made her look like an ACTUAL ANGEL WITH GIANT FLAPPING VIDEO WINGS. I’m surprised they didn’t stick a harness under that chunky belt and have her flying around granting people’s wishes. I mean come on. If you were all sarcy flippant American commentators you would have been all over that. Up your games.
Anyway, my favourite Andrea Begley moments of the final were obviously her mum “reacting” to her win, and also her telling that crowd of supporters that never mind blind, they’d send her fecking DEAF if they didn’t stop their screaming. My least favourite Andrea moment was probably when Danny did a “duet” with her that consisted of him running around frotting with audience members and yelling “COME ON GUYS, LET’S MAKE THIS A MOMENT!” (lol, desperate and awful to the last), as Andrea occasionally lept up and down, sideways on, yelping “HALL OF FAME!”, as a random member of The Script did more singing than she did. I’m only saddened that, when Holly asked her what it felt like to sing with her favourite band, she didn’t haul “WHAT? U2 WERE HERE?” out of her repertoire of things to say to humourously reference her blindness.
Scenes From The Judging Panel : Danny talking about how she made his pubes dance ; Tom talking about how Andrea hits him every week (so desperate) ; William telling her that, if she wins, he knows what he’ll be listening to when he has bad days (LOL THE IRONY); that hot ginger stagehand who led her off (WHAT? I’M NOT BLIND!); Danny giving her the full “you’re a winner even if(/when) you lose” treatment ; Tom getting all “I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT MIKE WALL WAS NOT FLAT!” all over her comments for her reprise ; Joseph Apostol chewing gum and looking bored in the background of her victory song
Result : WINNAH! And as the winner she gets…erm…the same recording contract at least two other finalists will probably get, a title more cursed with shame than the Chiltern Hundred and “Professor Of Defence Against The Dark Arts” combined, and expectations she can’t possibly live up to. You can see why the Leah fans are so bitter. In truth, the show should be happier with this winner than the last one. Any vote-in reality show winner wins because they’re the best marketed. At least they actually seemed to be TRYING to market this one, where last year they marketed Leanne better than everyone else in the entire competition entirely by accident.
TEAM JESSIE BABY YEAH! Fourth place for the second year running, with an artist who didn’t even want her in the first place. If we take into account only artists who are TEAM JESSIE BABY YEAH originals, she probably finished 7th. And in a fight between four judgecoachmentors, that’s pretty damned impressive. She truly is the British Christina Aguilera. I’d feel sorry for her, because her cock-eyed earnestness and complete lack of self-awareness truly are the very heart of what makes The Voice so funny, and so she deserves more just making it so watchable (and kudos for being the only judge not to use the duet section solely as an excuse to plug your back catalogue girl, so selfless) but…her staging for Matt’s solo song was so misguided that you can’t help she should go away and think about her tactics. Because nothing says “INTERNATIONAL MEGASTAR” or “UNDENIABLE VOCAL TALENT” like a hot ginger stagehand holding you back from getting on the stage whilst several disinterested crew members push trolleys around in the background, not even noticing you’re performing. I mean…I guess the moment when he burst out on stage was supposed to be some moment of explosive catharsis but…he was singing David Grey. Think on.
Scenes from the judging panel : After his first song, Jessie telling him that “this is the final, and that was a final performance” (LOL out in fourth) ; Danny snerking that Babylon sounds like something William would write because he BABBLES ON AND ON AND ON HURR HURR HURR ; William saying “whatever happens on the show happens”, all cool with it (LOL APPARENTLY NOT) ; Matt’s friends and family saying “bad boy performance! bad boy performance!” to him after he sang David Gray
Results : Fourth. And boy did Jessie not let us forget about it. Two years in a row she’d had my favourite voice on her team out of the four finalists and…this was the result. Again.
Did you know that “I Will Always Love You” was originally recorded by Dolly Parton? If you didn’t then congratulations, you now have been infected. Every single person who knows that has to mention every single time they hear the song, and this process will continue until literally every single person in the world knows, and we’ll sit around saying that and nothing else until the Earth collides with the Sun. And even then, as lava consumes the planet, you’ll hear someone pipping up with “and the original is so much more heartfelt and humble and personally I think it’s be…” as their flesh is melted off their bones and their hair boils. William’s choice of it for Leah to sing is frankly up there with his choice of Bohemian Rhapsody for Tyler last year. I don’t think it was as bad people are saying it was (apart from towards the end, when things got rough) but that doesn’t mean I wanted to hear it and it was clearly the worst vocal performance of the night apart possibly from Andrea pogoing around going “NUH NUH NUH HALL OF FAME!” like nobody was watching, and even that was at least kind of sweet, in its way. Leah herself didn’t even want to do it.
Fortunately, this was followed up with her performance of “Bang Bang” which…I want to say was probably my favourite performance of the series? By anybody? In any context. Matt Henry doing Skinny Love is probably its only competition. Unfortunately William probably left it a little too long before her vocals came in for it really to have won her votes, but once she started it sounded like she finally found the point where her odd squeaky vocals found their most natural niche, and the staging was the sort of fun this staid show sorely needs.
Scenes From The Judging Panel : William saying that Whitney would have loved Leah’s performance, which he can, because she’s DEAD and can’t leap on stage to drag Leah for ruining her song like she did Danyl on the X Factor ; Tom Jones being the one to bring up Dolly Parton because LORD KNOWS somebody had to ; William claiming that Leah is the greatest singer ever in the history of The Voice ever beating international megastars…erm…yeah… ; Jessie begging everyone to vote for Leah just because she’s possibly maybe going to be commercially successful for 5 seconds ; William blazing a sore loser trail all over everything, culminating in him tweeting a fan not to audition next series because he’s NOT GONNA BE THERE, making her cry (will.i.troll <3)
Result : Runner-up (probably). Obviously she’s going to go on to be the TRUE STAR though, just like Bo was. A number 10 album in a slow week and a song on the soundtrack to a mediocre sci-fi movie AHOY.
LOL so drunk.