One of the changes made to this year’s series of The Voice UK was that there would be two extra blind audition shows. However I’m not sure how good an idea that was as the last few episodes have really started to drag. Coming into this final episode, there were only seven spots left in the competition. The fact that the coaches only had a certain number of spaces left on their teams was a recurring theme in tonight’s instalment. We were reminded constantly how many places each coach had on their team and one coach in particular began to wind me up towards the end of the episode.
The aforementioned recurring theme was present during the first audition as all coaches seemed reluctant to press their buzzers. This was bad news for 23 year old Adenike, who came from a musical family, as she was about to sing in front of four people who’d be very hesitant to turn around for her. Her version of ‘Sweet Love’ was very pleasant to hear but at the same time wasn’t incredibly spectacular. Unfortunately for Adenike nobody turned around for her, a decision that was mainly due to limited spaces on each team. In fact, after Adenike’s performance, Tom Jones admitted that he’d made a mistake in not turning his chair around. The general comments were that Adenike’s voice was amazing although Will noted that she hit a bum note and never really recovered. It really appeared though as if Tom was kicking himself over not choosing Adenike and this wouldn’t be the first time that Sir Tom felt he’d made the wrong decision.
Next to face the indecisive coaches was 31 year old stylist John who felt the competition was important as it relied on what he sounded like rather than how he looked. I found his version of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ to be technically sound and I was convinced that Tom would turn his chair around. But instead it was Will, who still had three places to fill, that turned around and praised his high, lows and fresh clothes. Will also defended his newest team member to Jessie who criticised John’s lack of breathing and diction. While Jessie wasn’t impressed with John, she loved Letitia from Preston’s rendition of ‘Bust Your Windows’. After hovering over her button for most of the audition, Jessie finally pressed just as Letitia was about to finish. I have to say I was surprised after learning that Letitia was only seventeen and Jessie admitted that she’d have been vexed if she’d let Letitia go.
We then had the weekly collection of contestants who’d previously had chart success and were now trying to revive their careers. First up was Danny Foster who was a member of the first ever reality pop group Hearsay and obviously hadn’t had as much success as his female band mates. Since leaving the group Danny had apparently formed a soul group and performed on the London club scene. Danny took a bold move of performing a jazzy interpretation of ‘Wannabe’ which fell very flat. The coaches, none of whom turned around, all praised the tone of Danny’s voice but felt he picked the wrong song. Indeed Danny O’Donaughe felt that the grizzly edge to Danny Foster’s voice would almost suit a rock song rather than the tune he picked. Tom also concluded that the performance was a little bit cabaret and, while he understood what Danny was trying to do, it just didn’t come together for him.
Also trying to step back into the spotlight was Jay Aston, the female member of Buck’s Fizz who hasn’t had as much success as band mate Cheryl Baker. Jay talked about all of the success that Buck’s Fizz had had as well as the coach crash that had left her paralysed down one side. Jay’s main fear was that her appearance on The Voice would either restart or end her career in 90 seconds. Like Danny, I felt Jay picked a song that didn’t really play to her strength that being Muse’s ‘Time is Running Out’. I found Jay’s performance to be a little flat throughout though it did perk up towards the end. The coaches agreed telling her that she should’ve picked a song that was more suitable for her voice and Tom added that she should control her vibrato.
Next up was ginger-haired Essex lad Moni Tivony who didn’t feel his voice matched the way he looked. Indeed Moni demonstrated his superior reggae vocals during his rendition of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’. Throughout this performance, both Tom and Jessie were considering pushing their buttons and indeed both turned around at the same time. However they didn’t realise that Will and Danny had also turned around meaning that Moni became the only contestant to have all four coaches turn around for him over the last two shows. Will praised Moni for adding some stuff to Bob Marley that he didn’t think was possible and also felt he had some crazy lows. Danny felt he would be the coach that would have the most in common with Moni and he believed they would develop a close bond. Jessie told Moni he was a great, great singer while Tom wanted Moni on his team as he didn’t currently have anybody like him. Moni finally made his decision and went with Will meaning that now every coach had one spot left on their respective teams.
This meant that dentist Abi went onto the stage fighting for one of only four spots. I have to say Abi was one of my favourite contestants of the whole series as she presented a soulful version of Oasis’ ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out.’ She was also able to incorporate some of her own background to the song by bringing an Asian influence to the instrumental part of the tune. Danny heard something unique in Abi and decided that she was the missing member of his team. He described her singing style as ‘haunting’ while Will added that the world needed a big international Asian artist which made think that he’d never heard of ‘Gangnam Style’ originator Psy.
Filipino native Joseph talked about how difficult it was coming to the UK at ten years old and how singing helped him with his confidence. He also hoped that his performance of ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ would make his family proud. Indeed by the end of the song both Tom and Jessie had turned around hoping Joseph would be the final member of the team. Jessie felt that Joseph would be a huge asset while Tom told him that he had an original sounding voice and that he’d love him on Team Tom. Joseph’s mother obviously wanted him to go with Tom and it seemed as if he knew this as he became the final member of Tom’s team.
With only two spots left, some artists who would’ve got through earlier in the competition were cast aside. So I really felt sorry for 28 year old builder Brett who’d previously been in a pop group who had supported JLS. Tragically he’d got ill and they callously decided to continue the group without him. His version of ‘Fast Car’ was good but not great and I agreed with Will and Jessie when neither decided to turn their chairs around. 19 year old Bronwen Lewis was also one of the unlucky ones as her version of ‘Fields of Gold’ didn’t do anything for either of the two remaining coaches. This shocked Danny who felt that she had an incredible voice and told her that he would’ve turned round if he still had a place on his team. Tom was also visibly emotional as he felt he’d made a bad decision not waiting for someone like Bronwen to come onto the stage. Long-haired Adam Barron surprised me when he burst out a jazzy version of ‘Summertime’ as I was expecting him to sing a rock number instead. Adam was also able to break the curse as Jessie made him the final member of her team, adding that she thought his higher range was just ridiculous.
Next up we got a montage of Will’s decision not turn around for a number of credible artist. These included a couple who presented a stripped down version of ‘Billie Jean’ and a young attractive opera singer. With just two acts remaining, veteran rocker Rob Reynolds who performed an incredibly heartfelt version of ‘Wish You Were Here’. Despite him sounding absolutely amazing, Will decided not to turn around and instead face the wrath of Danny who called him an idiot. Once again Danny regretted already having a full team as he praised Rob’s storytelling tone and told him he’d have picked him straight away. As Will had no choice in the matter, I really hoped that the final act would be somebody really awful to make Will regret not turning around earlier.
But this wasn’t the case as charity worker CJ Edwards sounded incredible during his version of ‘Dedication to My Ex’. In his opening VT, CJ opened up about the death of his mother and his need to make his father proud but he worried that he was taking a massive risk with his song choice. Will turned his chair around almost immediately but I guessed he had to at some point as there wasn’t anybody else left. Will told CJ that he felt the energy, the love and the passion that he brought to the song and added that he’d definitely heard the emotion in CJ’s voice. With CJ being the final competitor, the Blind Auditions came to an end as we anticipate the Battle Rounds that begin next week.
Almost every Blind Audition episode from this series of The Voice has felt too long and this instalment was no exception. I got fed up with being reminded how many spots each coach had on their team while I was also fed up of seeing nobody turn around for acts just because they had a limited number of spaces left. In addition, I’m finding there’s very little jeopardy left as I usually know whose going to get through and who will fail to get a spot on a team. I think the decision to increase the number of Blind Audition episodes was a mistake as these last two instalments have provided very little in the way of memorable performances. I’m just hoping that the inclusion of the steal option in the Battle Rounds will make the competition seem more exciting as I’m currently rather ambivalent to who ultimately wins the competition.
What did you think to tonight’s instalment of The Voice UK? Did you feel it was too long? Leave Your Comments Below.