It seemed to me as if The Voice UK was fighting a losing battle since day one. After learning that Danny Cohen spent £22 million securing the format, everybody was furious and felt that nothing could be worth the money that was paid for it. The programme seemed even more doomed when we learnt it would be scheduled against Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday night. However, once the programme started, everybody loved the blind auditions – highlighted by those revolving red chairs. The problems started to occur when The Voice UK blended into another singing competition and half of the audience left the programme before Leanne Mitchell was crowned the winner. This year’s second series, despite being more entertaining in my opinion, also suffered from similar issues and saw some of the most talented singers cut before the live shows. It was clear to me that something had to change.
Thankfully that change came a few months ago when coaches Jessie J and Danny O’Donaughe both announced their departure from the show. In my opinion Jessie and Danny were the two weakest coaches due to their lack of experience and their need to be as childish as possible. Jessie in particular was annoying and her staged spats with the other coaches were just embarrassing. As announced on Wednesday, Jessie J’s replacement will be none other than Kylie Minogue. Securing Kylie on the panel is a coup for the show and brings The Voice UK plenty of credibility it didn’t previously have. Kylie is someone who has bundles of experience and will easily be able to coach any of the singers lucky enough to be picked for her team. At the same time Kylie never takes herself too seriously, something that Jessie did, and that will make for a refreshing change. The returns of Tom Jones and Will.i.am were equally welcome as both men bring something to the coaching line-up. Tom is definitely the wise old man who knows his stuff and can rattle off the odd anecdote if needs be. Will brings a lot of entertainment to the panel and I can see his banter with Kylie being particularly joyous.
The other big announcement was that the programme would be coming back in January of next year rather than in March or April. Some are seeing this scheduling as being cowardly as the team behind The Voice UK don’t see themselves as competition for Britain’s Got Talent any more. Personally I welcome the change as Saturdays night in January tend to be the places that the channels dump all their unwanted formats. For example this year the BBC aired Animal Antics, Britain’s Brightest and Richard Hammond’s Secret Service; al programmes that won’t be returning for a second run. I feel a sparkly show like The Voice UK will perk up our wintry Saturday nights and will probably win the ratings war against the dreadful Splash!
Though The Voice UK is definitely taking steps in the right direction, a show cannot improve by the addition of one coach alone. The producers definitely need to think of a way of simplifying the elimination process especially since this year saw the introduction of ‘Steals’ ‘Fast Passes’ and a couple more plot twists. In addition I feel I’ve seen too many Voice UK auditions featuring somebody who’s already had a past career in the music industry. These contestants rarely get through to the next round, unless they were in Cleopatra, and I feel it’s always a cheap way of the show gaining some extra publicity. I’d also cut one of the hosts of the programme, probably Reggie Yates, as The Voice UK is a show that really only needs one presenter. Now that they’re not scheduled against Ant and Dec any more I feel that we may just get the one host, which is absolutely fine by me. I’m actually feeling particularly positive about The Voice UK’s third run and predict that it could be the turning point for the show. I’m now just crossing my fingers that the fourth judge isn’t an excitable indie kid who insists on singing along with all of his acts and generally acting like a bit of a moron.
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