The Voice UK Episode Four Review: Karl Michael, Laura Oakes, David Kidd, Barbara and Carla & LB Johnson shine!

by Matt D

alice fredenham the voice

So, after three weeks of complaining that it’s far too long, The Voice UK’s episodes have been shortened to one hour. After watching this episode I have to say that this is the ideal length for this programme. The pace of the show definitely feels more balanced and doesn’t drag like it has done over the past few weeks. However, I have to say I was surprised at who was the first contestant to audition this week.

That’s because it was Alice Fredenham, who most will remember for ending last week’s Britain’s Got Talent opener with a tremendous performance. It doesn’t then take a rocket scientist to realise that this audition won’t end in success. But I personally found it interesting to compare the girl who we saw last week on BGT and the one who auditioned tonight on The Voice. Firstly Alice came across a lot more fragile last week, while here she had bundles of confidence and arrived with her family in tow. In fact Alice’s family were watching her sing for the first time since she was younger and will soon see her perform on a massive stage. I have to say though that her audition for The Voice was fairly unremarkable as she performed a mediocre version of ‘The Lady is a Tramp’. I do feel that if her audition for The Voice was as breathtaking as her Britain’s Got Talent turn then the result would’ve been very different. Indeed Alice seemed to take on the coaches’ criticisms here as Jessie and Danny noted that Alice was just singing rather than singing to be heard. While The Voice’s loss is Britain’s Got Talent’s gain, I could at least see why Alice was turned down for The Voice. But I still think the producers are kicking themselves after learning of her success on the rival show.

sarah cassidy the voice

Faring better was Part-Time Model Sarah Cassidy who once came third in the Miss Scotland contest. While Sarah loved being a model, she claimed she wanted to sing and dance on stage. I personally found her take on ‘Let’s Stay Together’ a little bit over-the-top but it seemed as if I was in the minority as Jessie, Tom and Danny all turned their chairs around. Tom was very passionate about having Sarah on his team, claiming that she sounded very professional and had a unique style. Once again Jessie harped on about being a woman in the music industry and how hard it is for girls. After four weeks of Jessie singing this tune, I understand why the female contestants are hesitant about being on Jessie’s team. In fact it transpired that Sarah wanted to be on Will’s team but this wasn’t an option as the Black Eyed Peas member was the only coach not to turn his chair around. So Sarah decided that Jessie was the next best thing but I bet we see Will attempt to snatch her during the ‘Steal’ rounds.

Emily Worton the voice

The fact that The Voice has been shortened to an hour was particularly evident throughout this episode. This was especially true in the case of Emily Worton whose audition felt incredibly short indeed. Emily performed a version of Pulp’s ‘Common People’ which started slow and melodic before erupting into a straight up cover version. All of the coaches appeared to be adamant that they weren’t turning around especially a stony-faced Will. However this seemed to be all game play as Will turned his chair at the last moment and secured Emily for his team. Danny meanwhile was kicking himself as guitar-playing Emily was right up his street.

Nick Tatham the voice

Although The Voice claims to steer clear of the classic talent show sob stories, it still occasionally features contestants who use their music as a form of therapy. An example of this was Nick Tatum who suffered from Tourette’s syndrome and claimed that music was his medication. I was convinced that, as we’d learnt of Nick’s struggles, at least one coach would turn round but this wasn’t the case. Instead they all stayed still as Nick strummed his way through Kenny Loggins’ ‘Footloose.’ The coaches all felt that there was far too much going on that they really couldn’t hear Nick’s voice. For this reason, they gave him another chance to sing and he chose ‘Another Day in Paradise’ which the quartet absolutely loved. I think it was great that Nick got somewhat of a happy ending but I was still surprised that he didn’t advance in the competition.

LB Robinson the voice

A montage about contestants selecting songs made famous by the contestants ended with the introduction of LB Johnson. Brummie support worker Johnson took a risk by singing the Tom Jones hit ‘ She’s a Lady.’ Predictably Tom was the only one of the four judges to turn around however I felt that Johnson had a lot more to offer. He certainly showed a lot of personality when Jessie claimed the second half of his performance bored her. Tom added that he thought he and LB had a lot in common and LB thought Tom could teach him a lot. Tom ended this segment by saying that it made him proud when people sung his songs. It also means that he gets a little bit richer as I’m sure he claims some extra royalties.

Carla and Barbara

The Voice has always prided itself on focus purely on how a contestant sounds and that was certainly true of friends Barbara and Carla. The duo’s opening VT saw them travelling round on motorbikes and I was expecting them to bust out some classic rock ballads. So I was incredibly surprised when the pair busted out the operatic classic ‘The Flower Duet’. My surprise doubled when Will turned round after the first note and was soon followed by the rest of his colleagues. The majority of the coaches agreed that they didn’t know how they would coach the pair as opera really wasn’t their thing. However, they all seemed to appreciate that the ladies where phenomenally talented and wanted to secure them for their teams. After a short discussion, Barbara and Carla chose to be on Will’s team mainly because he seemed the most passionate about their singing styles. However I reckon that Barbara and Carla won’t make it past the battle rounds simply because I don’t think the producers would want an operatic act in the finals.

David Kidd the voice

Next up we had more love for Tom Jones courtesy of Northern lad David Kidd. As we saw his opening VT, David has been working as a Tom Jones impersonator and was living his dream by singing in front of the man himself. I thought David was actually fairly impressive with his version of ‘Life on Mars’ however the coaches didn’t think so. Though nobody turned around for David, he did reveal what he did in his real life. Shockingly, David then went on to sing a Tom Jones hit to his idol who praised the high key he sang in. I personally felt though that this segment went on too long and that David should’ve been ushered off the stage once his performance had finished.

laura oakes the voice

A staple of a lot of shows like The Voice are contestants who gain confidence through singing. Tonight’s voice introduced us to two such singers, the first being Laura Oakes. Laura had often sung at weddings where she could hide in the background, however The Voice had given her the chance to raise her voice a little more. I found Laura’s version of ‘Spectrum’ to be fairly impressive however only Danny turned around for her. But at least she got a place on a team, which is more than can be said for fellow nervous singer Jessica Steele. Jessica had told us that she’d entered other singing contests and was scared of getting another knock back. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what she got as none of the coaches turned around for her. But her version of ‘Don’t You Want Me’ at least impressed the judges enough to give her some words of encouragement. Jessie, who sat on the stage with Jessica, told her to improve her craft and come back bigger and better next year. Or maybe Jessica should do an Alice and just audition for Britain’s Got Talent instead.

Karl Michael the voice

Our final contestant tonight was Karl Michael who’d almost made is as a recording artist. However, after briefly being offered a recording artist, his dream was snatched away from him and he was now working as a window cleaner. Personally I didn’t really warm to Karl and I didn’t really think much of his performance of ‘No More I Love Yous’ either. But this episode of The Voice was in need of a feel-good moment and Karl received his second chance when all four coaches turned their chairs around for him. Each coach sympathised with Karl’s situation and all felt that they could offer him something. In the end though Karl chose Danny as he felt the two had a lot in common.

After suggesting it for weeks, the fact that The Voice has slimmed down the running time of its episodes has helped to an extent. It certainly doesn’t drag as much as the auditions come thick and fast while there’s a lot less preamble in some of the opening VTS. At the same time I found that this was the most unremarkable episode of The Voice UK with a lot of forgettable singers appearing on the show. I personally felt that the best act of the night was definitely the operatic duo but I don’t see them getting as far as some of this episode’s other success sorties. It’s interesting that the most successful singer on tonight’s show will owe their fame to Britain’s Got Talent rather than The Voice. So, while The Voice certainly feels fresher, I still feel there’s more work to be done in producing an entertaining programme to rival the mighty Britain’s Got Talent.

What did you think to tonight’s episode of The Voice UK? Which act impressed you the most? Leave Your Comments Below.

1 Comment

  1. M on April 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    matt D, you have a strange taste. who r u to sit here and judge? if you checked the view counts on youtube, most viewers prefer sarah cassidy and karl michael. and you being a nobody, prefer the odd ones. remember this is a blind audition, and the coaches know nothing about the contestants’ backgrounds and looks. at this stage, everything is judged on their vocal!!

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