The Voice – Marinaded in Nicejuice

Judged by a black eyed pea, an Irish scamp, a Pantene ProV advert and Aslan, The Voice is an experience that comes with a carefully crafted ‘positive spin’ on the talent show format.  Rather than taking the Britain’s Got Talent approach – turning up in a city, opening a Zoo and picking a few interesting specimens from the gathered masses of squawking, scratching, pooing creatures – the producers of The Voice have hand picked an assortment of singers who are generally highly talented but who have struggled to achieve critical mass in terms of popularity.  When performing, the Voice hopefuls do their thing while the mentors (don’t call them judges – they’re not judges…  so sayeth the BBC) have their backs turned.  Not only does this make life incredibly easy for the camera crew to achieve artistic shots of both mentor and singer in the same frame – thus making ‘lovely telly’ – but it also means that the mentors can only rely on The Voice

Because it’s not about your looks, yeah… or your age, yeah… or whether or not you have to hold a comfort blanket when you sing, yeah… it’s about The Voice. Right on!

In fact, the whole show is so cleverly marinaded in ‘nice’ that buzzers are used by the mentors only when they are willing to work with the singer currently under audition – at which point their chair whirls around, James Bond villain style, to face the talent, while a big light shines ‘I want you!’.  It’s as if four Doctor Evils have somehow softened their hearts due to the tender touch of bunnies and now want to save the world through music.

At first the format is painful to watch as singers croon desperately for attention knowing that, should they fail to encourage any lovebutton pressing then it sort of implies that, not only are they too  plain looking, or too old, or too otherwise challenged to receive a further drink of fame and lemon, but they also aren’t good enough singers for the Voice in the first place.

It all sounds harsh but let’s remember that if ITV had the format to play around with then they would probably have Judgementors armed with guns and any buzzer decision would have a five second cooling off period – just enough time for Simon Cowell to spin his chair back around with his chums should he decide that the face of the voice offends his eyes after all…

I would like to continue in my usual style – slagging the the whole thing off and picking fault with contestants, presenters and mentors alike…

…but I can’t.

The acts on The Voice are made up solely of passionate artists who, for one reason or another, have struggled to make a success of their obvious talent.  Yes, I know there are similar people tucked away on ITV rival Britain’s Got Talent but The Voice is different – there are a lot of people on it who have had a taste of a working career in the creative industry but who have lost momentum somewhere – perhaps through illness, or through crushingly low self esteem, or most heinous of all, because of an entertainment factory that has rejected them for their less than perfect overall package.  Many of the people on The Voice are genuine Has Beens Who Never Were – frustrated individuals born with something inside them that needs to get out but who have not managed to find adequate release for their gifts…

People like J Marie Cooper,  who recently filled in for a singer on Strictly Come Dancing but who has otherwise spent the last decade grabbing crumbs of work here and there.  Still quite young, J Marie is nevertheless on the cusp of HB/NW territory and The Voice is her ‘out’…

And people like Toni Warne who sings like an angel but hair loss due to alopecia has caused her to hide and lose faith in who she is –  an artist who burns inside for the chance to perform.

They are the epitome of a real HB/NW – not the caricatured, overstated comedy-lite version that I so often pedal here to make everyone laugh.  These are people, like me, with dreams not necessarily of fame, glory or fortune, but people who just want to get on with their vocation and see some fruits from their labour.  Perhaps you’re an HB/NW too – you might have a blog after all, so something’s making you create and share. Perhaps, like me, you think your window of opportunity has been and gone, or that something is holding you back.  If so, watch The Voice and cheer on people like us who might have a chance to shine for once.

Yes, the format is dramatically manipulative!  Yes, there’s no doubt a bit of scripted reality in there,  but the following exchange on The Voice helps to indicate both the fire and the fear – the sense of invisibility coupled with the lack of self esteem – that so many HB/NWs carry around with them…  Internal drives that The Voice is attempting to reconcile.

Mentor: “Why [choose to perform on] The Voice ?”

The Voice: “Because you couldn’t see me!”



© Nova Amiko and The Has Been Who Never Was 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nova Amiko and The Has Been Who Never Was with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


One thought on “The Voice – Marinaded in Nicejuice

  1. Came across your blog randomly when you only had 1 post up. Been coming back and forth since. Really enjoyed the post. Keep it up man.

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