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Monday, 16 April 2012

The Voice: Still going Strong

Week after the week the BBC reality show has proved too strong for the ITV talent show to compete with but what is it that has made The Voice such a success with viewers?

On the face of it The Voice is just another singing competition. Another reality sereis where singers compet to win a record contract. Sounds worryingly familiar doesn't it? The UK was one of the first to use formats with series like Popstars, Pop Idol and Fame Academy all starting way before other countries jumped on the bandwagon with their own versions. The singing competition was becoming cliché and predictable.  Credit where credit’s due The X Factor has tried to reinvent itself to keep the format feeling fresh but reviews were mixed during last year's series and it appeared that viewers were finally tiring of the singing competition.

Flash forward four months and BBC launches The Voice and whilst its not a BBC idea its an idea that has proved successful all over the world. The BBC has had less success over the years with series like this. Simon Cowell and ITV have always proved more popular and some would say it was a huge risk for BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen to take on this format and compete with ITV's big guns.  It was highly possible that viewers would read about yet another singing based reality series and decide they’d seen it all before and not give the show a chance. Luckily for Cohen and the BBC viewers tuned in their droves and even more impressive, they've stayed with it. But what is the secret? What is it about The Voice that we’re all loving so much?  

When my family and I sat down to watch a recent edition I realised a few things. Firstly we were all grinning like drunken Cheshire Cats. The positivity of the auditions mixed with the banter of the coaches never fails to make you feel smiley. The second thing I noticed was that everyone in our living room was   genuinely impressed with the talent of the hopefuls and the fact that they normally sing current songs. Though we’re no stranger to the importance of “song choice” on these series with The Voice the songs always appear to hit the mark.  Once we get over the talent of each contestant there’s more fun to be had as the overwhelmed singer now has to choose who they want to work with for duration of the competition. The coaches are great to watch too. How could you dislike WILL I AM with his positive yet humble attitude? Jessie J knows what she’s talking about and with each audition you see how passionate she is about music.  Tom Jones is fantastic and Danny O'Donoghue is playful and interesting. 

In my opinion the success of the series is its emphasis on talent and positivity. There are no talentless wannabes here and whilst we may get the occasional sob story the format feels fresh and new. Now that the blind auditions have finished the next stage is the “Battle round” and those who tuned in purely for the swivel chair might be a little less interested by this but as long as the coaches are there and the genuine talent of each singer shines through I’m sure the series will continue to reign supreme for the BBC. Well done Mr. Cohen, Well Done!

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