The Voice UK Episode Five Review: A former Hollyoaks actress, a Mobo Nominee and a Liverpool rocker all try their luck in another lacklustre instalment

by Matt D

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As we reach the penultimate week of the blind auditions, The Voice UK appears to be running out of steam. Instead of using the shorter running time to focus more on acts they seem to be doing the opposite. So tonight we had plenty of montages and saw the four coaches’ teams grow quite rapidly. But I believe there were no memorable auditions tonight nor was there an act that really made me stand up and pay attention.

First up tonight was 34 year old Jack-of-all-Trades Jamie who divided his time between being a chef, gardener and builder. However his real passion was for singing so its a good thing he applied for The Voice. I thought Jamie’s rendition of ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ was a strong start to the show. His powerful vocal and captivating stage presence were enough to see Tom and Will both turn round. While Will fed Jamie the same lines about being honest, Tom put in a very strong pitch telling Jamie he sung the hell out of his son. In the end the crowd basically made Jamie’s decision for him as he opted to become a member of Team Tom.

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Skinny and child-like were two words that 21 year old Jordan Lee Davis used to describe himself. He probably does have some body image issues though seeing as his father is the world champion body-builder. I personally found Jordan a little overly-theatrical during his performance of ‘I Believe In a Thing Called Love’, especially when it came to the falsettos. Meanwhile none of the coaches turned around and I thought we’d have an altercation between Tom Jones and Jordan’s dad. Surprisingly then, both Danny and Will turned round on the last note and tried to get Jordan to join their team. Although Danny did put up a good fight it was Will’s appeal to Jordan’s geekiness that ultimately won him another act. It was also revealed during Jordan’s performance that they thought he was a girl, which kicked off a montage of what the judges are expecting to see. This included Charlie Ryan whose version of ‘Let’s Get It On’ made him sound like a two people were singing. Though it seemed the judges were intrigued, they didn’t find anything special in Charlie to take him through to the next round.

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Cherelle was next to sing for the coaches and she wanted to do her young children proud. She wanted to prove to her kids that if you can try, you can live your dream. But she should also teach them that they should pick the right song as Jessie J felt that Cheryl’s ‘Call My Name’ didn’t suit her vocals. Luckily Tom Jones heard something in her that none of the rest of us did. It transpired that he liked the overall tone of Cherelle’s voice and felt she was a strong enough pick for his team.

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Ricardo Alfonso had already made his name in the West End by starring in We Will Rock You but he felt it was his time to make an impact in the world of pop. His version of ‘Hard to Handle’ was powerful and demonstrated Ricardo’s ability to use his voice in order to tell a story. With Tom and Danny competing, the fight was on to secure Ricardo and it seemed that Will was firmly behind the former. But for some reason, unbeknownst to me, Ricardo decided that Danny was the best choice. This kicked off a montage of Danny stealing acts from Tom when they’d both turned their chairs around. This montage introduced us to former Hollyoaks actress Alice Barlow whose version of ‘Call me Maybe’ enticed both Tom and Danny. Again Alice plumped for Danny and it appeared as if she could be the latest Voice contestant to be romantically linked to The Script front man.

Katie Evans told us that her life changed when she had her son. Katie, who was a former addict, turned her life around after becoming a mother and had since trained as a midwife. Despite becoming a career woman she had belief that she could become a successful singer. To be fair to Alice I found her mix of ‘You’ve Got the Love’ and ‘Feel the Love’ to be incredibly tender and honest. But I felt that the nerves got the best of her and ultimately none of the coaches turned around for her. What annoyed me was that none of the judges thought Alice believed what she was singing as I found her to be incredibly personal. But I feel Katie will probably be a lot happier delivering babies than she will be on a talent show such as The Voice.

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Faring better were friends Kelly and Elesha. The pair met when they were both in a girl group in the early 2000s but had since parted ways. One became a mother and the other worked in an office but they reunited specifically to perform on The Voice. The pair, collectively known as Nu-Tarna, belted out a passionate version of Katy Perry’s ‘Part of Me’ which made Will push his button. These two girls will actually fit in on Team Will quite well if only because they seem as quirky as he is. We then had an odd montage of people who were in other jobs but wanted to be singers. These included Skegness-based nurse Gemma, personal shopper Eva and Art Henson who invents gadgets and previously studied robotics. Oddly none of these got through and to me this was one filler segment that really didn’t need to exist.

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The final four contestants had all had a modicum of success with their singing prior to their auditions on The Voice. Probably the most notable was Nate James, a MOBO nominee who’d previously performed with Al Green and Aretha Franklin. I sort of remembered Nate when I saw a clip of him on Jools Holland but I felt he didn’t really do much with his rendition of Adamski’s ‘Killer’. Nate was actually the first person Jessie turned round for all evening and she instantly knew who he was. Despite Danny trying to snatch Nate for himself, Nate realised that Jessie could nurture his talent and gave him the support he needed. Though Lareena Mitchell hadn’t had any big commercial success she was still making a living as a singer. Lareena worked as an Adele tribute act but surprisingly she didn’t perform an Adele song here instead choosing Annie Lennox’s ‘Walking on Broken Glass’. I personally thought she was going to get any of the coaches to turn round but in the end Tom pushed his button for her.

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Tom also took on another team member in sixty year old Colin Chisholm who claimed that his appearance on The Voice was one of his last chances to make it. Colin had previously been in a sort of glam rock band called Bilbo Baggins who got as far as appearing on Top of The Pops. But Colin had never achieved has much as he’d wanted to and so saw The Voice as an opportunity to show what he could do. Though all of the coaches seemed to appreciate Colin’s performance, they all knew that Tom would be the right match for Colin. So thankfully Tom turned around during Colin’s rendition of ‘I Drove All Night’ and later added that he loved the intensity Colin brought to the song. Though he was much younger than Colin, Paul Carden had also briefly been in the limelight as part of rock group The Black Velvets. He saw The Voice as a chance to launch himself as a serious artist once again and impressed both Jessie and Danny with his version of ‘Locked Out of Heaven’. Predictably Tom chose Danny to be his coach meaning that the Irishman now only has one spot left on his team.

In fact this episode of The Voice was primarily centred on Danny securing a number of acts for his team, none of whom were particularly memorable. In fact, for me at least, this was the dullest episode of The Voice UK so far this series and I found it an utterly lacklustre affair. Despite some talent being provided by the likes of Nate, Jamie and Nu-Tarna there was no real standout audition. After watching this episode, I still feel like The Voice UK is really struggling. I’m just hoping that next week’s final audition show has some outstanding performances that will renew my interest in the show.

What did you think to this instalment of The Voice UK? Did you find it a little lacklustre? Leave Your Comments Below.