Nearly every year we gather round our televisions on a Saturday night and watch another talent show. We watch people sing their hearts out, cry, tell their (sob) stories and then we usually commentate on the show, whether it be through Twitter, Facebook or debating with those around us.
A lot of people think these shows are fixed and even though the public are asked to vote for who they would like to ‘keep’ on the show, not everyone is convinced that the most talented person wins, in fact it is a common belief that it is inevitable that the most marketable person win.
A show that tried to avoid this was the The Voice UK (based on the US hit show The Voice). The show had a unique stage of blind auditions where the judges had their backs turned to the singer, and would only turn around to take the singer through to the next round if their voice was good enough. The idea was that it would only be about the talent and this was the first time people began to get excited about a show who gave everyone a chance, no matter what age, sex, colour or better yet image. However, it is the second stage that has disappointed many.
In order to reduce the contestants down the final 20, each judge had to select two contestants to go up against each in other in a battle. After each battle it would be up to the judges to select the person they wanted to take through. This was the point where the show fell down. It was no longer about the voice but clearly about the age and look of the contestants. If you look at the majority of battles, nearly every time the younger contestant went through. Will.I.am make the choice of a contestant based on age due to who he was as a 17 year old. Foolishness.
This show has gone from being revolutionary, to being dry and banal and a matter of weeks. It hooked me on the auditions, but if the show isn’t really about “the voice” what is it about?