It’s been LITERALLY months since Strictly and the X Factor finished, and like a slightly cleaner crack addict, I’ve been been jonesing for my next fix of reality TV. Therefore the launch of a tried and tested international hit, combined with the new series of an old favourite, surely I was in for an amazing Saturday night of telly, yes? As it turns out, no. Really, really, no.
Let’s start with The Voice. Their first mistake was the “coaches” (NOT judges. If you saw the Brit Awards, you’d know Jessie J very much doesn’t approve of being called a judge). Whereas in America they got the hotness of Adam Levine off of Maroon 5, combined with all the chubby awesomeness of Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green, here we got horrendousness. Yes, Tom Jones is a “legend”, as every single bloody person on screen took great pains to remind us of, but now, sadly, he’s just a bit of a has-been with the same skin texture as a sideboard. Danny from the Script seems to have been picked simply for being the Poundland Adam Levine (who isn’t exactly big budget to begin with), will.i.am thinks Cher Lloyd should be the biggest star in world, whilst Jessie J started off likeable and funny, but the more famous she becomes, the more of a horrendous bellend she becomes. I want to like her, really I do, but by fuck she makes it difficult for me. The only bits I liked from her were her face when the boyband 5ive were mentioned and her taking the piss out of Justin Bieber. Both attitudes I can totally get on board with.
The contestants were all not bad, but they all seem to have SUCH an inflated sense of their self worth, because they can play a guitar or a keyboard or whatever, and somehow that means they’re “credible musicians”. They seem to think they’re so much better than the people on the X Factor, when actually they’re just as big fame whores, but at least the X Factor contestants aren’t pretentious twats too. The big “twist” in the format is obviously that it’s all based on the voice and not the appearance. Which would be great, if it wasn’t for the programme trying to ram this point down our throats every twelve seconds. Literally with every contestant you hear about their looks and hair and clothes or whatever, and since the X Factor has been notably less fussed about appearance since SuBo (eg, Jesy from Little Mix, Biscuit Craig, Johnny Robinson etc) it actually makes everyone come across as incredibly vain and fixated with appearances. It also doesn’t help that when no one turned around for a twatty, vaguely pretty girl with a pitchy voice, Danny immediately said “Aw man, I wish I’d turned round now!” when he saw her face. Kind of missing the point of the show there, Dan.
So when it came to the choice between this and Britain’s Got Talent, I actually picked BGT, so bored I was. Of course then I discovered that BGT was starting with a big flashmob miming to “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, and suddenly my decision was less clear cut.
So the big selling point this year, was the removal of David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre as judges and the introduction of David Walliams and the glorious Alesha Dixon. Both of them came across very well indeed. Funny, witty, and actually interested in the acts. Very well done to them both. In fact Amanda Holden would probably have been concerned for her job if Carmen Electra hasn’t turned up and been awful, proving that actually Amanda does a very good job.
I think the main problem with BGT these days, is that it’s SO obvious when it’s trying to manipulate you. With it’s use of Snow Patrol, and sob stories, and apparently zero really amazing acts, it’s just gotten so dull and repetitive. You can put up with this sort of shit when you get acts like Misha B or Little Mix out of it, but when it’s some sweet, fat opera singer being mocked and then patronised, it just gives me a headache. I’d like to point out The Voice does the exact same thing, but with considerably less finesse. Seeing The Voice editors trying to manipulate your emotions, it’s like a gorilla trying to perform open-heart surgery.
The thing that REALLY ground my gears though, was the two gay ballroom dancers. At first it seemed to be a “Alesha is here for a reason! Look how she knows about dancing!” sequence, but the minute it was revealed that they were gay, every started laughing and mocking and rolling their eyes, looking uncomfortable etc, Simon being the worst for it. I expect better than people being mocked for nothing more than their sexuality on primetime national television in 2012, thank you ITV. Admittedly, David’s rampant flirting/mocking of Simon was a nice side effect and I LOVED how into it Alesha seemed. Not too surprising that she loves the gays, without us she’d have no career, but still.
Anyway, I might give them both another try at some point (probably when the auditions are over) but frankly both shows were fairly pathetic. Boo.