Think you’ve had your fill of TV talent shows? Think again. We’ve had a sneak
peek at The Voice, the BBC’s latest baby, and we reckon it’s got “smash hit”
written all over it. Gripping, entertaining and boasting some of the biggest
names in the biz, it promises to be a huge success for the Beeb (well, they
did splash out £22million on it). But what sets it apart from the sea of
Britain’s-Strictly-Got-The-X-Factor type shows? Allow us to, ahem, Voice our
The Voice is a total game-changer. For a start, it’s only open to genuinely
talented singers (sorry Jedward). Secondly, the contestants audition
“blind”, meaning coaches (judges) Tom Jones, Jessie J,
Will.i.am, and The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue can’t see the
auditionees. They sit with their backs to contestants, and if one of the
coaches digs the vocal, they race to press their buzzer. Their chair then
swings round, bringing them face to face with the singer who’s automatically
through to the next round, and they get assigned as the mentor. If more than
one coach pushes their buzzer, the singer gets to choose who they want as
Of course, there are heart-wrenching moments when a contestant leaves without
a single vote – only for the coaches’ chairs to spin round to reveal someone
they wish they’d picked. Like a certain ex-boy-band member (we won’t say
who, just watch)! Each coach eventually ends up with 10 contestants, and in
the next stage (the gladiator-style Battles rounds) the coaches pit two of
their own acts against each other, before sending one home. Then come the
live shows, where each coach takes through five contestants and the public
votes for their favourite acts, who are battling it out for a record
The proven success
Thought up by Dutch Big Brother creator John De Mol in 2010, The Voice is
already airing in 39 countries.
The Voice Of Ireland began in January and has had up to 1.2 million people
tuning in – a quarter of the population!
But it’s in the US, where Christina Aguilera is a coach, that the show’s
ratings really speak for themselves. The second series began last month and
drew 37.6 million viewers for its first episode. Compare that to the US X
Factor’s 13 million and we bet Simon Cowell’s weeping into his V-necks.
The coaches for the UK version of The Voice bounce off each other in
side-splitting fashion. Sir Tom Jones is very tanned and not scary like we’d
presumed. Jessie J’s “all about tough love”. Will.i.am hints Cheryl Cole
will perform on the show “if she wants to”. And we already have a crush on
Irish cutie Danny.
The amazing first episode opens with the coaches performing a Black Eyed Peas
song to prove they’re all bona fide singers. Excited? Trust us, you will be.
- The Voice starts on Saturday, BBC1.