Tonight, after months of excitement, The Voice UKlaunched on to our screens on BBC One, and we could have not been more excited!
With Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Danny O’Donoghue and will.i.am as Coaches, what could be better for the contestants? They each have 200 million records sold between them, a number of awards and not to mention number one’s.
The Voice started tonight with all four Coaches singing Black Eyed Peas’ hit song I Gotta Feeling. What struck EF from the word go was the freshness and the fact these Coaches can show their vocal abilities, compared to those from other TV talent shows. It was a brilliant opener.
Presenter Holly Willoughgby and Reggie Yates then explained the rules of the show. The four Coaches would be sat before the stage, with their chair turned from the stage, and if at least one chair turned round whilst the auditionee was on stage, then that contestant was through to the next round. If more than one chair turned round, the contestant has to make a decision on which Coach he/she wanted to take on.
17 year old Jessica Hammond was first up, and the pretty brunette hoped to make it big in the music world. She chose Jessie J’s Price Tag and performed an acoustic version of the song. Will.I.am was the first coach to turn his chair around. Jessie J was the second, and we could see the joy in her family’s face when Jessica’s idol decided to acknowledge her. Danny O’Donoghue wasn’t far behind, as was Sir Tom Jones. Jessica received a tremendous applause from the audience. Will.I.am said: “I’d like to work with you. So, I’d like to have you on my team, and we’d make an album, and have it out everywhere….I’m telling you, you need to come here!” Jessie J said: “There are things in your voice that reminds you of me, and I don’t surround myself with ‘Yes Men’. It’s amazing to have someone like you sing one of my songs. Music is what it stems from, and it’s something I enjoy.” Tom Jones said: “This show is called The Voice, and if you pick me, we would pick songs for your voice..” Danny said: “We would work incredible well together.” It was then left to Jessica to decide who she wanted to work with. She said: “Well, I’ve take on board everything you’ve said. I’m only 17, number one hits don’t’ matter to me, sharing my music matters to me. I’m going to go with Jessie!” Good choice Jessica!
Next was Shaun Conran, and EF remembers him from 90’s boy band 5ive. Having left the band first, he said he wanted to find who he was. He said: “The fact it’s a blind audition turns to my favour, it doesn’t matter if it’s Shaun from 5ive.” Would he succeed? His song was Trouble by Coldplay which he started by being playing the keyboard. It was a very pleasant performance. Jessie J felt as if she’d be hitting her light, but unfortunately in the end, no one did. After his performance he said: “That’s it then!” Danny asked “What’s your name?” And Jessie remembered him. will.i.am said: “You wanna be a maestro, take the reigns, and take control!” Jessie J said: “It completely chilled me out!” It wasn’t enough to put our ex-favourite boy band member through though, maybe we’ll see him again?
Third to take to the stage was 20 year old Birmingham lad, Samuel Buttery. He described himself as ‘jolly’. He looked jolly. He also said: “I don’t think my voice goes with me!” His idol was Tom Jones and he wanted to impress him more than anybody. Singing Set Fire To The Rain, Sammy is a perfect example why this format works – indeed, his voice does not match his image, and Sir Tom Jones was the first Coach to turn his chair around. No one else did. He told will.I.am: “I loved the format, but I don’t think I’m the package, and I applied because I wanted to sing!” Danny said: “I was really surprised when I heard turned round, and I expected to see a female!” Tom Jones said: “You sounded like me, and I think we’ll work really good together!” Well done Sammy!
will.i.am said: “I’m afraid of Sir Tom Jones.” Who wouldn’t be? With the legend having been around for a long time, he has the credentials to rival anybody! Like he said: “I’ve sang with Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin!”
34 year old bank worker Toni Warne, and her appearance has had an impact on her for a very long time. Suffering from alopecia from a very young age, she hasn’t had the chance. She said: “This is called The Voice. And you don’t have to cover up. It’s time now for me to sing. If they turn their chairs around, it will be amazing.” She stood on stage, bald, and sang Leave Right Now. She looked stunning, and the first person to turn their chair round was Jessie K, along with Tom Jones and Danny O’Donoghue. She received tremendous applause. Danny said: “You have an old soul. I could tell you’ve been through the wars. You’re amazing.” Jessie said: “You’re so old school and I felt like you could teach me something! Please lets hang out!” Tom said: “You are what I call a real singer. You sung fantastic.” Tony was feeling very overwhelmed. In the end, she said: “Four year ago, someone said to me, check Jessie J out, and I’d love to choose you!” And that’s what she did!
Next up was backing singer Aundrea, and her dream was to become the lead vocalist. To prepare for the show, she had her family sat facing backwards, like you do! Her song was Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. She gave a good performance, but EF feels as if we’ve heard better. Sir Tom Jones was the first person to turn his chair around for Andrea, and the only one. will.i.am said: “You have a beautiful voice, but you need to control it.” Jessie J said: “You have a good voice, but your vibrato was a bit too much.” Tom said: “I’m looking forward to start working with you” Well done Aundrea!
Adam was next to take to the stage and his gorgeous face and acoustic guitar won over EF from the start. His song was the Stereophonic’s Maybe Tomorrow, and his pure voice was very strong from the start. He caught Tom’s attention after just a few seconds, and then will.I.am turned his chair around. liked him! Will.I.am said: “You remind me of people who love and eat music.” Tom said: “I need somebody with a strong voice when we win this!” He then told a story about Elvis Presley and himself to try and win Adam’s vote. “If you want experience, you’re looking right at it.” will.I.am said: “There was one time when I was living with Michael Jackson in Ireland, and working on a track….” They were both competing for Adam’s vote! It was quite a funny moment! Adam said: “Thanks both of you…I think will.i.am…I’d like to say I’ve got much respect to what you do, but I’d like to go with the legend that is Tom Jones.” YAY! Go Adam!
Next was Max Milner, and the 20 year old loved music. His girlfriend Twinnie-Lee was also auditioning, and she loved song writing. Both loved performing, and they were also very excited and said they’d also be there for each other in the competition. Max was first to take to the stage and sand The Beatles’ and Eminem’s Come Together/Lose Yourself. He had a trendy cap, and a guitar with him. will.i.am was first to turn his chair, and then Danny wasn’t too far behind. He gave an energetic performance, and Jessie pressed her light just at the end. She said: “Well done! I think you‘re special. That‘s what having a voice is all about” Danny said: “You got two songs together, and matched them both. I really think you’re great.” will.i.am said: “I think you’re great! Macy Gray was with my label, and I turned her into a star!”
Will his girlfriend succeed? Going up to the stage after her boyfriend Max, she was very nervous. Twinnie-Lee sangThe Climb, and her voice was lovely. She was a bit off-key in some parts. Danny and Tom were debating whether to push their buttons. No one did in the end, and her boyfriend looked distraught. Danny said: “I didn’t press my button because you were quite pitchy in places.” Jessie agreed, as did Tom.
Next was 22 year old Derry boy, Ben. Fresh from Ireland, Ben wanted to become a popstar. He’s also a YouTube hit, and with over a million hits on his page – what could go wrong?! On stage he sat in front of a eyboard, and sang Elton John’s Rocket Man. will.i.am and Danny O’Donoghue were the first two to turn their chairs around. Jessie J and Sir Tom Jones both turned their chairs just before Ben finished his performance. He also received a standing ovation! We loved him! Will.I.am said: “Reason I turned around first I could tell you were singing for something, I could tell you have passion, a vision. Music is the vehicle to get you there. We can dream together, and imagine what we could come up with” Jessie J said: “As soon as I heard you sing, I was imagining what you looked like. You’re a risk taker and that’s what I like! I could also teach you how to put out a record and it to e successful” Tom said: “Where I come from, I’m known as The Voice, you know what I’m saying? And this show is called The Voice, and we could win this.” Ben had a huge decision on his hands, and said; “I want someone who can help me with my voice, and pursue the person who I want to be. I think you’re all great, but it’s Jessie J for me.” EF thinks he should have gone with Danny O’Donoghue this time.
27 year old Phill was next to compete, and he had his Nan with him for support. Feeling very nervous backstage, he revealed that he’s never auditioned for anything before. His song was Drops Of Jupiter, and straight from the word go, he caught EF’s attention. He had a good voice, but he should learn how to control it. It was evident that he hadn’t had any training on it, and in the end, no one turned their chair for him. Will.I.am said: “I didn’t press my button because I wanted Danny to press his button, because I thought he could really help you.” Danny said: “I’ve heard that version many times, and I was waiting for that fire in my belly and I didn’t hear it. It was still awesome though, well done!” Tom said; “There was nothing wrong with your voice, you just need to take it to another place.”
The last contestant of the night was J Marie Cooper. The red haired singer told how us how her mother was the drive in her determination to sing. Having sing once on Strictly Come Dancing, it ignited her passion for singing. Singing Jessie J’s Mama Knows Best, will.I.am was the first to turn his chair around. Jessie was next, and then Danny. Jessie looked as if she enjoyed the performance and even stood on her feet to dance! Sir Tom took longer to turn his chair around, but at least he did! J Marie had an amazing voice! EF loved her! Jessie said “That was insane! Your voice is Ridonculosoy! I would write songs like that for you all day, so come on my team!” will.I.am said: “I come from a gospel family, and I felt your pain and your love for your craft straightaway.” Tom said: “I was last to turn around because I was listening!” Danny said: “If you do go for Jessie, you’d cancel each other out. We’re both very different, and we’d work very well together.” J Marie was stuck between Jessie and will.I.am. “The thing is making me stuck here is the thing you said about pain…this is so hard! I’m going to go with will, because he turned round first.”
And that’s the first episode of The Voice UK. EF loved the banter between the Coaches, it surprised us how much we warmed to all four. Jessie and Tom have three artists each, with Danny and will on 1 each. Next week, the blind auditions continues, with all four Coaches in it to win it.
The talent indeed was amazing, there were a few ropey bits, but EF thoroughly enjoyed everything about The Voice. It’s fresh, it’s new, and the format works.The Coaches have a passion for music which has not been seen properly on television since the early days of Pop Idol.
The Voice UK continues next Saturday night at 7pm on BBC One.