Saturday, 15 December 2012
The one where I'm in the same room as Sir Tom Jones and Will.i.am
Yesterday we went to watch the blind auditions for series 2 of The Voice UK which starts on BBC1 again next year. I'd applied for tickets after hearing on the local news that The Voice would be filmed at MediaCity in Manchester this time and we were lucky enough to be allocated 4 tickets.
So, yesterday we (me, Tall Daughter, the Teenager and the Teenager's Boyfriend) all went to Manchester to queue in the rain for over an hour to get into the waiting area. Yeah, fun.
Then we waited in the waiting area for another hour.
Then we waited in seating area for another half an hour or so. As you do.
By this time I was starting to get a teeny tiny bit impatient.
Then we were all herded into the bijou studio - only 400 audience seats which surround the judges' chairs and the stage in a horseshoe shape, so no matter where you sit you're guaranteed a good view of the action.
Then we waited a bit longer. But at least we were sitting down and it was dry. And we were given a bottle of water and a Kitkat to eat (nice touch BBC).
Eventually, we were entertained by a 'warm-up' called Nate Stuart (I think) who I thought looked like Dale Winton. And then he made a joke about how people thought he looked like Dale Winton. Erm...
Anyhoo....after what seemed like an eternity the show started. Holly Willoughbooby and Reggie Yates came onstage to introduce the judges and the place went wild!
Danny O'Donoghue was first on and let me tell you ladies, he's quite a dish. Do people still say that by the way? Dish? Anyway, quite a looker and Irish too, which is an excellent combination in my books.
Then it was Sir Tom Jones, who is a real superstar. I mean, he's been around for donkey's years and his voice is still amazing. He got a standing ovation. Respect to Sir Tom!
Next it was Tall Daughter's favourite singer - Jessie J - and I thought TD was actually going to explode with excitement when she saw her. "OMG....it's her, it's Jessie J......*insert high-pitched scream*"
And finally, my personal favourite the genius that is Will.i.am. I know he's not everybodies cup of tea but I love him. He's quirky, he's funny and he's a bloomin' music genius. Long before he was in the Black Eyed Peas he was writing and producing songs for major artists and wrote one of my favourite ever songs, Ordinary People, for John Legend. Yeah, I'm a big fan. Big whoop for Will.i.am!
If you watched the show last year you'll know the format for the blind auditions. The four judges - or coaches as they call them on The Voice - sit with their backs to the singers, who come out on stage to complete silence before they start to sing.
The audience were told only to make a noise if we liked what we heard. And if any of the coaches turned around (meaning they wanted to coach the singer) we were to make even more noise. There was a whole lot of shouting and hollering going on in that studio!
I've been sworn to secrecy about the acts, but I can tell you that on the show we watched there were 12 acts. Some good, some just ok, but none of them really that bad.
And there's the difference between The Voice and the X Factor, there's none of the elimination rounds where the audience are encouraged to laugh at vulnerable people. None of that. Just decent singers who are trying to catch a break.
Of the 12 we saw there was one singer who the audience loved but the judges didn't; an over-confident duo who thought they were ace (they weren't); a singer who was great but had an even better personality when he started chatting; a goth-looking girl singer who came onstage looking all mean and edgy then started to sing a Justin Bieber song (yeah, interesting); and a singer who took 20 minutes (20 minutes!) to decide which coach to go with; and finally an exceptional singer who was the last one to come on stage and nearly took the roof off - the audience LOVED her! She was amazing! And so, it turned out, did all four coaches who all wanted her on their team, and boy are they competitive when it comes to persuading an act to go with them. It also emerged that she had been famous once before, but more than that I cannot say....
The Voice series 2 starts approx. March 2013.
*sorry, no photos because we weren't allowed to take phones or cameras into the studio*