The Voice battles to keep its heart

By David Knox on May 1, 2012 / Filed Under News 21

So did The Voice just lose its heart the moment Seal told two of his singers “You are no longer friends”?

Up until now I have been totally hooked to Nine’s Reality show. Great casting (contestants and judges), clever storytelling and that dramatic device of the spinning chairs in the blind auditions.

More than anything it’s been the show’s heart of celebrating all who came to the stage, including those sent home.

As of last night it switched to a vocal boxing ring. Who can sing louder, higher, longer? Who owns the stage? I appreciate the show has to cull the numbers if we are to arrive at a title winner, but if there is any way more heartless than this then I’m struggling to find it.

Pitting males against females in a duet also means the key will favour one gender. We saw Mitchell unable to match Fatai on the chorus. Adam similarly had to sing close to falsetto on Over the Rainbow in an uncomfortable key that favoured the female voice. Both boys lost out.

The Prinnie vs Mahalia sing-off was dramatic stuff. How to choose between them. Isn’t it ironic that lesser singers than Mahalia remain while she is sent home? Blame the format for that, Ms. Barnes.

I also wish Shine would pull back on the relentless audio-sweetening of the audience? Looks pretty silly having the audience sit spellbound while there are stadium screams going on.

We like the show, have a little more faith in us please.

21 Comments »

  1. johnjet May 2, 2012 at 12:18 am -

    @Goatracer As you say there are exceptions to the rules, but I honestly can’t see an Australian version of Susan Boyle in the near future.

    And I think you may mean Ricki-Lee.

  2. Goatracer May 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm -

    @johnjet that used to be the way when record companies controlled the spin exceptions to the rule are of course “Boy Bands” because they only have a short market life and are a target demographic.
    After numerous Music industry controlled flops the marketing became more emotionally controlled Television spin doctors have a huge arsenal of weapons at their disposal and your point became moot when Susan Boyle entered the equation.
    Simon Cowell and You Tube have changed the way Industry operates and seriously with the exception of Keith Urban/Megan Washington the coaching aspect of the show leaves a lot to be desired.
    I believe the obvious shock and awe strategy of pitting the best Voices against each other so early may come back to bite them, the name of the show is “The Voice” and this trashes the whole premise of the big red chairs spectacularly spinning around to pick a voice regardless of its owner.
    Regardless of the validity of any of my statements the show lost all credibility when Seal had to consult with Jamie-Lee with all due respect to the girl she is not a Music industry icon and it would be like me giving driving advice to Sebastian Vettel.

  3. DWP May 1, 2012 at 10:56 pm -

    Don’t have a problem with the battle rounds concept and have only disagreed 4 times so far (Keith’s two choices on Monday and Delta’s 2 tonight) but it’s fairly obvious (well to me anyway, maybe I’ve watched reality shows too long but can see where things are going from a mile away) that the judges or more likely the producers have pitted the better looking/more personality people against the not so pretty and boring people to get rid of them.

    As soon as the judges say the picks, before I even hear them sing I already know who’s going to get picked just due to either their looks or their personality from before

  4. johnjet May 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm -

    It is not only the voice that counts. It is the overall package that will sell the records, whether people like it or not.

    Look at Idol. Cassie Donovan was a clear winner with the voting public, that where willing to part with the 55c call costs, but not enough to go out and buy her album. And unfortunately looks, personality and her weight went against her.

    Ultimately the winner will be given a record deal.
    Do you honesty think One Direction would have been a hit if they where five ugly middled aged men?

  5. lin May 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm -

    Don’t mind the host at all, he’s inconspicuous and it’s not all about him (like a lot of other programs). This show is about the judges and the contestants, in that order. Some of the singers were not as good as they first appeared and I’m sorry to see Mahalia go, although I liked Prinnie. Shame they had to sing against one another.

  6. Goatracer May 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm -

    Another well written piece David,wanted so much to get into this series but underestimated the power of my disappointment.
    What was advertised as “The Voice” only to have the obviously less talented Joel Madden disagree with his more talented brother opts for a “performance” excuse and with a whimper the best female voice in the country is gone(perhaps if she had longer less clad legs?).
    Mitchell Thompson was the best male voice in the competition and he met the same fate, the show is called “The Voice” a point seemingly lost on most of the judges.
    Other decisions were borderline but that was enough for me and any credibility that was left is now gone.

  7. steve sydney May 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm -

    What is the host wearing!!??

  8. John Jackson May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm -

    Ricoz, The X Factor gives ‘oldies’ a chance too. There is a group specifically for them and one of the ‘oldies’ won in the first series on 7 and another came runner up in the second series.

  9. Bella May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am -

    I hated the song choice that Keith (or the powers that be) picked for Abby and Adam it didn’t suit either of them nor did they seem to be enjoying it.

    I liked Mahalia better then Prinnie.

    I can’t see The Battle really improving as the judges and the mentors sitting behind them are making the decisions.

  10. jonno May 1, 2012 at 11:26 am -

    After seeing last nights show i think The Voice have put off a lot good singers appearing next year. If you have a really good voice you would have a better chance on xfactor or AGT. I loved the first few weeks but it has turned into just another talent show. What a shame.

  11. TomK May 1, 2012 at 11:21 am -

    I turned off last night. It was horribly tacky and over produced. I found the auditions to be poorly directed with random edits (showing a persons back story and having them walk back stage and then cutting to another singer) but at least there was heart. The judges seemed genuine and talent was allowed to shine through.

    The battle round was just wrong. Same horrible direction, but no heart. The Judges/mentors had clearly been told what to do (as all judges are in these show – they just didn’t hide it as well or were perhaps more exposed after the auditions) and the stage was tacky. Having the contestants walk into the studio from outside was weird and having them eliminated in front of an audience (and the friends and family) was cruel.

    While The X Factor may be ‘mean’ during the auditions the bootcamp stage is far better for the viewers, judges and mentors IMHO. They seem to care for their talent. Hopefully The Voice can find its heart again in the live performances.

  12. simmo3 May 1, 2012 at 11:21 am -

    I just hope they get a new host for the next series, whoever this bloke is he is hopeless !

  13. stevie g May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am -

    I agree with chk chk. Seal’s decision not to chose Mitchle was the worst. Mitchell had me in tears over his rendition of the song. Just wanted to watch him. Same with Prinnie, just wanted to watch her, so I’m glad Joel picked her.

  14. Tony Bee May 1, 2012 at 9:51 am -

    I’m enjoying the format, but agree it was a mistake to bump Mitchell. I also think Keith made a bad song choice and should have stuck by Abbie Cardwell.

  15. ricoz May 1, 2012 at 9:37 am -

    At least this show isn’t all a bunch of teens, its good to give the ‘oldies’ a chance, however I don’t really agree with some of the conflict of interest here with Delta’s backing singer, Guy Sebastian’s brother and Barnsy’s daughter all in it. Also Fatai over Mitchell was a shocker. Mitchell’s performance was a little Glee like but at Fatai was too young, nervous and the performance was lacking.

  16. chk chk May 1, 2012 at 9:16 am -

    great article, I was also devastated about Seal’s decision to chose Fatai over Mitchell not so much with Prinnie over Mahalia though, I think Prinnie really nailed it last night. I reckon Mahalia tamed it too much, she’s got great voice and much better than Prinnie’s but Joel made the right decision, it was all about the performance that night and Prinnie was it.

  17. pondie May 1, 2012 at 8:44 am -

    Having watched the UK version of the Voice I had the same criticisms of the ‘battle rounds’. It turns it just into a screaming match, the singers usually going awfully out of key and not really showing their best. I also found in the UK version that usually the more frumpy, overweight or older contestants who got through the blind auditions went on to be eliminated to the younger, more attractive contestants in the battle rounds – which might be more realistic of how things work within the industry, but sort of makes the whole initial gimmick of the show pointless.

    The problem is with the format of the show rather than the Australian production of it.

  18. roaringdave May 1, 2012 at 8:34 am -

    @ alistair : Completely agree with you. I don’t watch this debacle but if it was truly about the voice then the judges shouldn’t see the contestants at all. It’s now again all about who can sell CD’s. And having seen a short clip of the judges singing on Today, why is it all blurry?

  19. AnnMareefromTaree May 1, 2012 at 8:14 am -

    I too was not impressed with last night’s format..apples and oranges comes to mind……might not come back for more I think……

  20. Beckala May 1, 2012 at 8:13 am -

    I thought Prinnie was better than Mahalia. I think she had stage presence, her vocals were lovely, she connected with the crowd. I didn’t agree with some of the decisions, but I’m still really enjoying the show. I really like the idea of the sing-off – a lot more interesting than just going into final rounds. I think however that the judges need to be a little more careful about who they are putting against each other – Mahalia is a big loss.

  21. alistair May 1, 2012 at 5:48 am -

    The show has lost its heart it should be renamed the look seriously look at the battle between mahalia and prinie. Prinie turns up in the skimpiest out fit the shortest of shorts and a tight t shirt she is tall and lean and beautiful, she won on her looks. The voice belonged to mahalia. This show proves again that fat people are discriminated against in the entertainment industry. And whats with pitting a male and a female voice against each other . The show is a joke.. Lost its excitement.

Leave A Response »

You must be logged in to post a comment.