The Voice: Semi-Final Contestants Reviewed

A Damian Rice rap, more Elvis Presley references from Tom Jones and Evil Toni. It's semi-final week on The Voice...
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A Damian Rice rap, more Elvis Presley references from Tom Jones and Evil Toni. It's semi-final week on The Voice...

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It’s semi-final week on The Voice, and desperation hangs in the air like L’Aimant in a nursing home. Yes, we know it’s live TV. We know anything could happen; that was evident the day Lulu shat on the floor in front of Valerie Singleton. But I don’t know what’s more cringeworthy, Jessie’s false start in the live performance dressed as a gay humbug, or Tom's constant glances to the jotter on his lap to remind his failing memory of the contestants names. Did Elvis once do that, Tom? I don’t suppose….well, I know it’s a lot to ask, but I don’t suppose you have an anecdote about the time you met Elvis Presley? You do? Oh good. We know how much you hate talking about it.

To be fair, it’s hard to be too scathing about The Voice given that, as opposed to reality shit-heap car crash rival X-Factor, the contestants can actually sing. I’ve only sung in public once, a humiliating concoction of Jaegerbombs, staff night out and Cher. After belting out ‘Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves’ with absolute abandon (just beyond the ‘fuck it’ and hurtling towards the ‘you’ll do’ part of the night), I was approached by a well-groomed man at the bar who smelled of soft leather and bourbon. His description of my singing was of ‘a sick cat pissing through a brush’, thrown to me in passing as you might toss a tail-end of scampi to a hungry seagull. I know I sound like pieces of sheet metal rubbing together, but my enthusiasm is second to none. As a result, it does make it difficult for me to critique any kind of singing (or dancing or baking or DIY and possibly writing) show given that every note these people sing sounds like unearthly Midas gold to me. Apart from when Becky muttered ‘fuck’ or ‘cunt’ or something when she forgot her lyrics. That’s singing I can relate to.

Max: the most exciting thing about Max is never knowing whether he’s going to be wearing a hat or not. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. And today he’s singing a KT Tunstall song with a little rap in the middle which oddly references Damien Rice. I like Damien Rice, but I do wonder how many times the rat-faced, corduroy-wearing ginger bollocks has been mentioned in any popular (or not) rap. I’d like to do a Damien Rice rap. It’d go something like this;

‘Yo yo, big up to the main man

The big D-R

Cunt’

It’s a work in progress.

Cassius: Sometimes in life there’s just nothing to say about someone, no matter how talented they are. For me, Cassius is a bit like this. The most striking thing about him is that he’s exactly the same height as Holly Willoughby’s breasts, which must make for a full and rounded wank bank.

Bo: Lady Catherine Anna Brudenell-Bruce is surely a contender to win The Voice, purely because she could probably buy most of the BBC. Though she is apparently estranged from the father (the Earl of Cardigan) and now wears all-in-ones and feathers in her hair to reinforce this. She probably still rides in on a Pegasus flanked by golden swans though. I’m not a huge fan of Bo’s wailing flicky voice thing, it gets a bit dull when you’ve heard her do it repeatedly for the past four or five weeks. Still, Kate Bush thinks she’s good. But then the best ever Kate Bush cover was by Alan Partridge, so that’s not saying a great deal.

Vince: As part of a Channel 5 documentary called ‘Jobswap’, the BBC were delighted to welcome David Blunkett into the studio to style Vince for his performance of the Whitney Houston classic ‘My Love Is Your Love’. Not wishing to exacerbate the gay stereotype, Blunkett eventually decided on a tye-dye vest, and leather leggings combination which ‘melded the art and masculinity of Vince’s vocal range’. He looked like someone who’d been locked in a cellar for five years and fed through a catflap.

Aleks: Poor Aleks gets a bit of a panning for singing yet another song in the same style; Jack Johnston this time though, so we’re branching out at least. Will.i.am described it as, ‘dang; this again?’ which would be a fair summary. To be fair, his ability to sing on a constant level does make Eoin McLove look a bit like Rhianna. Someone bake him a cake jumper.

Becky: Ah, mad old Becky. She doesn’t know who Janis Joplin is, but assumes the comparison is a favourable one. She comes out, forgets her words, swears and goes through every emotion known to man. In five years time she’ll be fucking Leonard Cohen and shooting up in faceless hotels sitting in her own shit and blood. And she’ll have will.i.am and Jesse J to thank for that. Not even Elvis, eh Tom?

David: he looks like he should be in Starsailor and has what looks like a single woman’s pubic mound on his head. And look, he’s in the park being romantic with a projection of a front door behind him. A blue front door and falling leaves, because obviously Autumn is the time for reflection and, to some point, acceptance that the woman you love will never be yours. Still, Danny had high ambitions for David from the off; ‘we need a song that has a lyric’ was the mantra. It’s a good a place to start as any.

Toni: I just can’t get on board with Toni. I have a real dislike for her. You know when you meet someone in life and they seem perfectly nice. You might meet up a few times, or accidentally bump into each other in a corridor or park. And you’re thinking, ‘you seem nice enough, but instinct tells me you’re dark inside.’ So you then sever the brief acquaintance – because it didn’t have the longevity to warrant a full explanation – and then suddenly you’re the bitch who ignores people and everyone falls out with you and you’re never in group photographs on facebook. Well this has never happened to me, but if I knew Toni, I suspect it might. She sang Elton John and she didn’t cry. But she still pulled the same faces and performed the same ‘middle distance air stare’ that makes me want to turn my eyes inside out.

Then it was time for the group performance from Team Danny, an ‘artful’ rendition of Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye. Like most final year Theatre Studies performances (and I should know, I had to wear paper bloomers and be murdered by an interpretation of Dr. Crippen through shadows and the immediacy of dance), someone was mocking up Alex in A Clockwork Orange. Danny Donoghue, for shame. Though the hat may have been a distraction from the fact that Danny can’t actually sing as well as his team members.

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