Has The Voice 2014 been a success?

An improvement, but is it enough?

The Voice bowed out last night as Jermain Jackman was crowned this year’s winner. The show has grown its audience and two more series have already been commissioned. But has it really been the roaring success the BBC would have us believe? I’m not so sure.

You can read the full article on the Metro website here.

The coaches get their Rocks off, courtesy of Primal Scream (Image: BBC)

The coaches get their Rocks off, courtesy of Primal Scream (Image: BBC)

The Voice season 3

Has Kylie Minogue turned The Voice into an X Factor beater?

Ten to watch in the battle rounds

Battle round (part 1)

Battle round (part 2)

7 things we learned from the battle rounds

Knockout round (part 1)

Knockout round (part 2)

Why the winner won’t be a big star

Live quarter-finals

Semi-finals

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6 Comments on Has The Voice 2014 been a success?

  1. I watched it on catch-up just now, which had the benefit of enabling me to skip over some bits so it only took me about 1hr 15mins to watch, which was preferable! Watching the performances in the final, I actually liked Christina Marie best, which I hadn’t done leading up to the final. Will.i.am makes me laugh, he often seems like he’s going to say something negative but then he says something really positive instead. Overall I enjoyed the series and will watch again next year!

    • I liked Christina Marie too, but I’m not sure Jermain winning was quite the shock that some would have us believe. I think the only certainty going into the final was the Jamie wouldn’t win. It’s been a good series overall but still flawed, particularly in its later stages.

      And after all the noise about the bigger ratings earlier in the run, the overnight figures for this year’s final were around 10% down on last year’s. Oops. So, clearly still some work to be done – hopefully the BBC will take some bigger steps to rectify the issues before next year.

  2. Excellent article, and broadly agree with all your points! I think the format of the shows is the key issue. The blind auditions are great and have in-built drama, but then the show loses its way. I think I’d prefer more live shows with a vote, to keep things simpler and focused on the singers. The advantage the X Factor has is that is has 10-12 weeks of live shows for viewers to get to know the contestants, so that by the final there is (hopefully) a genuine connection between audience and winner, and so a better chance of a big hit (although having the SyCo juggernault behind the winner is an advantage the X Factor will always have over The Voice). The Voice seems rushed in comparison.

    The Voice is refreshing in having every entrant being decent and avoiding the “Let’s have a laugh at the borderline mentally ill” attitude of the X Factor auditions. However, I’d like to see more critque from the judges throughout, and perhaps more footage of the rehearsals and how they actually coach good performances out of their picks. The Voice could be the show that is all about the music, but needs to follow it through more.

    Saying that I thought Emma/Marvin were a big improvement in terms of presenters, and the judges were all likeable and engaging. I’m glad it will be back next year.

    • Hiya Steve. ‘Rushed’ is exactly what the live stages are. Three weeks of lives (plus three rounds of pre-records) isn’t really enough to build the contestants up. I wouldn’t string it out as long as X Factor does, but surely we could have 5-6 weeks of live rounds rather than 3? The logistical problem with that, of course, is that we would have to give up this equitable nonsense where the judges have the same number of contestants at each knockout stage. Personally I would have six live rounds, with the final 12 being whittled down two at a time to leave us with a head-to-head final. If that means one coach loses all their acts before the final couple of weeks – as I strongly suspect Kylie would have done here – so be it.

      The SyCo involvement is a key point too – I’ve mentioned in previous articles that the BBC seems to get a bit uncomfortable about the grubby commercialism that comes out at the end of the process and seems to play it down, to the winner’s detriment.

      More critique from the judges would be welcome. No one’s asking them to rip contestants to shreds, but more commentary about technical aspects of performances, song selection etc would be welcome. Harry Connick Jr has been doing this particularly effectively on the current season of American Idol. Without being nasty, he expresses a firm opinion and offers constructive critique beyond “You’re brilliant and I love your outfit”. It’s made him unpopular with some fans for criticising their favourites, but a little controversy is a good thing (and it’s a million miles better than last year, when Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey spent the entire series critiquing each other rather than the contestants).

      • 5 or 6 weeks of live rounds would be perfect, and agree the judges don’t really need to have the same number of contestants at each stage – although if that is what they want I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to arrange voting to accomodate that.

        They really do need a hit to make the show feel like a genuine star-maker, but I agree the BBC attitude to commercialism doesn’t help, although is understandable. I’d perhaps like to see the winner have their debut album produced by their mentor – that could be a separate series in itself, and would give them the added publicity and star-rub that is probably necessary to get enough sales.

        I haven’t watched American Idol, that approach sounds excellent. Judges with a genuine musical background really should offer more constructive comments, and that makes a nice change from saying everything is great, or just being mean for a cheap reaction.

        • To be honest, Idol has struggled to get the balance right since Cowell left too. New judges Steven Tyler and J-Lo drifted too much into anodyne critique so as not to annoy too many viewers, and they ended up with much the same vanilla commentary as we see on The Voice. They both quit after 2 years and Carey and Minaj were brought in last year to add a combination of serious credibility (Carey) and controversy (Minaj), but the pair ended up disagreeing with each other for the sake of disagreeing. The balance is better now – Connick calls it as he sees it, a returning J-Lo is the nice one and Keith Urban is mostly very mild but will offer gently couched criticism when he feels someone has done a really bad job (although he does need to be a bit less Mr Nice Guy).

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