The penultimate week of The Voice UK’s blind audition round has really hotted up, with Saturday night’s talent finally coming in in heaps and spades and the four coaches’ teams of ten readily filling up.
While last week there were very few standout contestants, this week saw (well, heard) a whole host of both new and discovered and well-seasoned talents impressing Tom Jones, Jessie J, Danny O’Donoghue and will.i.am. First up was backing singer Joelle Moses (only 21, but looking ten years older) who took the risk of trying to tackle Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and but blew all four of them away with her moving rendition of the very popular song, and in an interesting
twist chose will.i.am over the obvious choice of Jessie J.
With the bar having already been set very high by Joelle, other hopefuls really needed to bring it. And many did, including handsome Liverpudlian Jay Thornton with ‘I Need A Dollar’ and holiday park entertainer Leanne Mitchell, singing a powerful version of Beyonce’s ‘If I Were A Boy’. The gorgeous 23-year-old Bill Downs (who is unfortunately engaged – yes, boo!) also wowed the coaches and the crowd with his smooth vocals and Tyler James, who was one of Amy Winehouse’s best friends showed that he, like Amy, is very talented too. The soulful Cassius Henry (picture needed), who has had a record deal before and even a top forty hit single, got Jessie and Danny fighting over him (and exchanging some rather low blows) with each other.
Even the unfortunate few from this week who didn’t get picked proved just how tough it is to get the coaches to turn round and show just how tough the competition really is. Allyson Brown, who won Best Unsigned Artist at the MOBO awards in 1998 failed to turn anyone’s chair despite her best efforts, but left Jessie regretting not doing so, while Alys Williams sung Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ (yes, another Adele song…) beautifully – albeit almost exactly the same as the original – but didn’t excite anyone either.
Yet with so much amazing talent this week, there were bound to be a few who were just not up to scratch in comparison. Rocker Nathan James screeched and screamed his heart out to ‘Livin’ O A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi, but his stereotypical song choice did not impress the coaches. And Ruth-Ann St. Luce sang a rather messy version of ‘Run’ by Snow Patrol, yet still nabbed Jessie but left will.i.am and the others bewildered as to why Jessie chose her. Kate Read may have bored the crowd with her barely audible rendition of ‘True Colours’ but certainly moved will.i.am’s heart and chair.
In amongst the contestants who tried their luck, competitiveness between the coaches heated up, with more name-dropping – will.i.am still clings on to the fact that he’s worked with Michael Jackson – and with some even having to resort to attacking each other’s fashion sense. Jessie J also threw in a few random singing moments and, for almost every single contestant, was seen miming along with them in her seat. In most cases she seemed more attracted to their song choice than their actual voice.
By the end of the episode all four teams were nearly full, with will.i.am having seven and the others having eight each. So who will be the lucky and gifted few next week who will make it through to the second stage of battle rounds?