It’s always great when the BBC gets a coup over ITV.
It’s always great when the BBC gets a coup over ITV. As a public broadcaster with little money to attract big names, many talented stars have defected to the Beeb’s commercial rival just for the sake of a few extra dollars.
So I was quite amazed last week to hear that not only had the Beeb pulled one out of the bag over ITV, they’d also rubbed Simon Cowell’s face in it. Because last week saw the announcement that Kylie Minogue, the Queen of Pop, will be joining series 3 of The Voice UK as a coach.
An abysmal series renewed
Following an abysmal series which saw ratings fall, the wrong person win (it was supposed to be Leah right!?) and the departure of coaches Jessie J and Danny O’Donoghue, series 2 certainly didn’t improve things from the state they were left come the end of series 1.
Ridiculed by Cowell and co, mauled by the critics and even attacked by the one and only Sir Elton John – who slammed the show on Radio 4’s Front Row for producing “nonentities” – the credibility of BBC One’s music entertainment show did seem to be hanging in the balance.
I and many others therefore were surprised to hear that BBC One bosses had renewed the series for an extra series. I mean, let’s look back at the previous two series. Who remembers the name of the first winner? The first champion of The Voice UK, Leanne Mitchell, saw her debut album flop in the charts earlier this year, where it peaked at a measly 134th place in the album charts, selling less than 1,000 copies.
This year, the winner Andrea Begley won the competition despite critics, bookies and even the coaches all believing it would go to Will.i.am’s protégée Leah McFall. Andrea promises to release her new album before Christmas, but even I have to admit that if we’re going to remember her for anything, it will be her disability, not her voice.
One problem I’ve found with The Voice is that it lacks personality. The only thing that gives any emotion other than an occasional applause is the red chair. The ‘coaches,’ as the Beeb like to call them, aren’t interesting. They can sing yes, but they don’t add any flare or colour to the programme. They sit there, occasionally getting up and signing to ‘prove’ themselves as credible performers.
The X Factor may be theatrical and at some points obscene, but at least it’s entertaining, even if it’s for all the wrong reasons.
A few eyebrows raised
It’s something the bosses at ITV obviously recognise. The X Factor barely pulled in enough viewers last year to start a football team, but with Simon Cowell remaining in America, bosses turned to former judge Sharon Osbourne to steer the programme back to its golden years. It’s a big gamble, but one which could potentially pay off. Love her or hate her, the woman is entertaining. All eyes on Sharon then!
But perhaps things are about to change. The unveiling of Kylie as a new coach has certainly raised a few eyebrows. I mean, The X Factor couldn’t get her, they could only manage to book her talentless sister. Without a doubt, Kylie is a superstar. She’s sold over 68 million records, topped the charts around the world and won Grammys, Brits and countless other awards.
She’s likeable, and as an artist she’s still current and relevant in today’s heavily fluctuated music industry. When I first thought about a replacement for Jessie J, I thought the BBC might only be able to afford Jamelia or an ex Spice Girl at a push. But to bag a pop princess, now that is a coup!
The jury is out
I just hope things work with Kylie. I love her songs, I just hope we love her as a personality. Jessie was too whiney, and Danny was too eager. Play it cool Chantelle. I’m glad to see Will.i.am and Tom Jones spinning around and returning to the show (see what I did there!?), and together with the fourth remaining coach (my money is on Robbie Williams or Ed Sheeran, just putting it out there), we could see a winning formula.
I’m also delighted at the news that the high-pitched screams of Holly Willoughby have been muffled, and she’ll be replaced by Big Brother presenter Emma Willis. Reggie Yates has also left the programme, and will be replaced by Marvin Humes from JLS. Why they need a co-host is beyond me, Reggie added very little last year.
Oh well, at least Marvin is good to look at I suppose.
Only time will tell as to whether The Voice will succeed next year. The jury is out for this one.
The Voice UK starts back in January 2014.