Last week the Evening Standard got in touch to ask me to write something about The Voice being better than Simon Cowell’s shows. This is what I said:
“I gave up on X Factor last year after not one single likeable or above-average performer went through to the live shows, and I didn’t miss it at all. Britain’s Got Talent has never interested me, though I have managed to sit through a handful of shows – each one singularly awful. Bad singers are one thing; bad mimes, morris dancers, magicians, are quite another. Worse than the acts, however, are the audience.
Ugly, but with the audacity to be quite good at singing? They’ll and point and laugh and roll their eyes until the moment you hit the big note and then rise, as one, in spontaneous applause while mouthing “OMG” at eachother. This is contrasted by their reaction when the sort of person who would happily stab their own sister for a packet of fags but is marginally attractive swaggers onstage and honks out a piss-poor version of some shite by Plan B. The gurning cow people in the audience whoop and holler and declare him the eventual winner before he even opens his smelly mouth.
The Voice, on the other hand, is far more civilised. Yes, we get the backstage segments where people talk about how much it means to them, but gone are the judges agonising over a decision and the cynical scenes with an orange girl wittering on about how “my grandad died on my wedding day but I found this application form in his cold, dead hands so I’m doing this FOR HIM,” while Adele plays in the background.
Factor in a new twist on a tired format (the blind auditions) and judges that are interesting, relevant and seem to take the process seriously (stand up Jessie J and will.i.am) and I’m going to stick with The Voice for the time being.”