Over the last few days our guest blogger Dan Cohen and co-owner Gerard McGarry have been having quite the debate over The Voice and Simon Cowell’s talent shows The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
Here is Dan’s latest response:
Thanks for the reply Gerard.
Having watched several versions of The Voice (the original Dutch version, season two of that and the USA version) and know it’s background I stick by my original opinion.
It wasn’t meant as a is BGT better then The Voice article. I wanted to expose the lies and false claims that are spread about the show.
Now in reply to your points:
As I said in my first article, the reason I got annoyed by Tom jones’ “freaks” comment is the fact he DID judge people on their looks, calling people that looked different freaks. In the Dutch version people were judged on their looks anyway. As the judges face the audience they can see their response. If they see people snigger or look appalled they get a fair idea of what the contestant looks like and often base whether to press the button or not on that. So Susan Boyle or Paul Potts would have been judged by the audience.
Meanwhile check out a reply I got about the UK version:
“The concept of the blind auditions is great if they truly were the first time anyone had seen the contestant audition. As we all know X Factor and BGT have producer auditions before hand and The Voice has been no different with per auditions being held with a producer and vocal coach with everyone being told to dress to impress and that this is their chance. My daughter auditioned and we know that in the group of 10 singers that she auditioned with there were some amazing singers that didn’t even get through the first round. People that she heard and thought wow they’ll get through lots of people were saying there were mediocre singers getting through in the groups as well. Also a large number of the people that we spoke to in Manchester were in Artist Development programmes there were very few who had a normal day job and sung as a hobby. There were two rounds of auditions at least before the so called blind auditions. In contrast my daughter has been old enough to audition for X Factor this time and after years of trying for BGT and has got through the first three rounds and is now waiting to find out if she has made it to the live judges. X factor has never pretended to be anything other than what it is where as The Voice claims to be all about the voice if everyone was given a blind audition then they could take the moral high ground but they don’t. How do we as the viewing audience know that the judges haven’t already scrutinised the video taped auditions from the pre auditions?”
Also once the series start running the press will dig into the lives of the people that auditioned. Whether people like it or not that’s the risk you take once you go on a TV show and after all these years of reality TV people should know that this is what they can expect.
Back to The Voice. I myself am not really a fan of tweeting while watching TV, no matter how much you try to concentrate on both, you always end up missing bits. So the social media aspects doesn’t make it more fun for me. In a way every show going now has a social media aspect anyway. For me the length of the series is also annoying. X Factor usually lasts 4 months while The Voice often runs close to 6, on and on. And you the viewer can only get involved in voting near the end. The Dutch version lost many viewers in it’s second season come battle rounds because it was simply too long.
Yes, the competition might be good for Simon Cowell. But there is a big difference between cheeky challenging comments and acts and a smear campaign and that’s the route it has been going. With buying Alesha Simon gave a dig to the BBC. The reply from the BBC was not just a dig back (they did with securing a performance from Cheryl Cole) but repeating a “he is evil”, “he must be stopped” mantra in every media outlet.
Today for example the BBC created a furore about BGT overlapping for half an hour in the schedule – saying this was news and @Juliantelly saying it was getting “ridiculous.” I had read about the clash weeks ago. It’s not news.
The BBC first planned The Voice for broadcast in the summer, then moved it to March –knowing it would overlap with BGT and making excited claims about how this would kill the show. Not surprising that ITV moved in on this.
I am more pro ITV in this because the BBC, over the last few years, has become quite a close minded po-faced institution that begrudges other channels their success in general.
If a channel gets a successful format the BBC seems to find it necessary to jump into that hole and make a copy-cat format. I miss the days of Paul Jackson he was a fabulous and original head of entertainment.
All in all, thanks for trying to win me over in this “battle”, but no, The Voice is not for me. I might give it a watch on catch up in the future just to see how they adapted the show to the UK, but won’t be a regular viewer. In the end I just hope for great ratings for both series, for the sake of the contestants as they deserve to be seen by as many people as possible. It would be sad to see their dreams and hard work dashed by two channels at war.
This post was written by Britain’s Got Talent and Big Brother uber fan Daniel Cohen. Catch up with him on Twitter here.