The Voice – And The Winner Is…

For the past two years, Sofabet has thrown caution to the wind and made an educated stab in the direction of X Factor’s finishing order. In 2010 this prophecy was pretty much as close as one can hope to get without a coconut or Simon Cowell’s chlamydia. In 2011, Sofabet fell victim to the unforeseen power of the Little Mix steamroller.

I’m not half the expert that Daniel or Andrew are, but I feel it’s only fair that I stick my neck out on the line and put my money where my mouth is in a brave display of mixed metaphor. Unfortunately, a certain broadcaster’s press office doesn’t deem me to be worthy of any information regarding format so my prediction is based on my own skeletal assumptions of how The Voice will play out.

LIVES

This Saturday, The Voice will go live and the slaughter contained within will become that bit more real. Teams Thomas and William are up first, which means we’ll have to wait another whole week for Ruth-Ann St Luce. Sorry, guys.

HOW IT WORKS

The five members of each ‘team’ (why call them that when they’re in direct competition with one another?) will fight it out for one of their category’s two spots in the semi-final. The first will be selected by popular vote and then each coach will save one of the remaining four in their respective categories. Most likely, we’ll have to wait a week to hear the results, which I can only imagine will be agonising for fans of Tyler James.

WHO WILL GO FORTH?

So who will the public choose? The public will choose RUTH BROWN because she’s the most adorable thing since Furbies and her dad died so we cannot take the piss out of her or fail to vote for her under any circumstances. And she can sing as well.

The public will also save JAZ ELLINGTON because he’s totally awesome and he tried to kill himself but his family BELIEVES in him and he can sing. The public likes SINGERS who have STRUGGLES.

AND THE COACHES?

Tom will opt to take LEANNE MITCHELL to the semi-finals for two reasons. Firstly, he needs a lady in control who can hold a tune in place and Leanne knows her shit. Secondly, he needs to take action to avoid Samuel or Matt & Sueleen from making the final and he probably won’t remember Adam Isaac’s name at this point.

Surprisingly, Will will ditch Joelle and take SOPHIE GRIFFIN to the final because she got tic-tacs because she stays fresh holler and nobody seems to have noticed that Joelle is kind of boring and brings the room down a little bit and she’s blatantly got the curse of the Adedeji about her.

In the event that I am incorrect, Adam Isaac or Frances Wood could slip through the net and qualify, but I imagine that this would result in a BBC exec being taken out back and shot.

AND NEXT WEEK?

Next week, Teams Jessie and Danny will go into the arena. From Team J, Becky Hill will win the public’s heart because she is a bad girl with a good soul who squashed Pixie and Indie and thus did the nation a massive favour. Jessie will then save Vince Kidd because he’s a soul mister and everybody likes individuality right? RIGHT GUYS? Otherwise it’s Toni Warne and her singing face terrifies me.

BUT WHAT ABOUT TEAM DANNY?

That’s exactly the problem – Team Danny is like a deck of five very good cards – a full flush or a royal house or something (I only know how to play snap). Aleks is weak but his relationship with Danny and subsequent growth could make for patronising, vomit-worthy TV gold. Dreamboat Max has a face that could win votes and a voice that can handle whatever’s thrown at it. Bo offers something unique, Hannah’s powerhouse vocal is yet to be showcased and David represents that cursed everyman staple that I so despise on these shows.

At a push, I’ll guess that the public will save either Aleks or David and that Danny will save whichever of those two doesn’t immediately qualify. The pair seems likely to grab votes and are as likely a combination for Danny as any.

SO WHO’S IN THE SEMI-FINALS

According to me (and you should never trust me), it’s DAVID, ALEKS, BECKY, VINCE, RUTH, LEANNE, SOPHIE and JAZ. These eight will then be whittled down to four finalists by a process combining popular vote and coaches’ score (so basically the producers can wangle it any way they like). That will leave RUTH, DAVID, BECKY and JAZ as the final 4. This is how I see them finishing:

4th PLACE – RUTH BROWN (9/1)

She’s surely got to be the winner for Team Tom but is unlikely to appeal to a broad enough base of voters to clinch the whole thing. I’d love to be wrong, but I’m not convinced that Ruth is everyone’s cup of tea.

3rd PLACE – BECKY HILL (9/1)

In a previous post, I called Becky Hill a ready-made popstar and I stand by my point that she seems perfect for a journey on the show. However, her style is that little bit too screechy and Cher Lloyd-y to carry her all the way. Becky’s natural charm should see her to a respectable third place.

2nd PLACE – JAZ ELLINGTON (4/1)

He’s got soul, he makes people cry, and he loves his family. What more could you ask for in a champion? The answer is simple – personal identification. Jaz will make it all the way to the final but essentially he’s too talented to root for. He’s never going to hit a bum note or pull a strained face. Ultimately, his Achilles heel will be the fact that he doesn’t have one. Jaz just makes it look too easy.

1st PLACE – DAVID JULIEN (10/1)

He stacks shelves, so he’s a hero. He quit his job to audition, so he’s a risk-taker. He sings falsetto, so he’s both sensitive AND secure in his sexuality. On top of that, he’s average enough that women all over the country can realistically project their desperate longings on to him whilst men can envisage themselves partaking in a football-based discussion with him in a local ‘boozer’. He’s EVERYMAN!

Of course all of this will seem irrelevant in five years time when Sophie Griffin and Vince Kidd are comparing platinum discs over dirty martinis and diamond-encrusted Pringles whilst David Julien is ‘on the road’ with Matt Cardle doing Bob Dylan covers at working men’s clubs.

Now all I have to do it sit back and wait to feel the egg on my face.

BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK!?

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41 comments to The Voice – And The Winner Is…

  • Henry VIII

    Brave man, that’s what we like to see. And good reasoning.

    Toni Warne terrifies me too. I’m sure she’s a lovely lady. And I’m not easily terrified. But I just can’t help it.

    The USA took the “looks don’t matter” myth to greater extremes and had 2 bald women in Series 1, one of them reaching 3 place. The series was won by a bald man (but he was good looking) and to cement the theme they had a bald judge in Cee Lo Green.

    I wonder if Jessie J is a closet baldy. Her hair doesn’t look natural.

    • Dug

      Ah, very good, Henry VIII.

      I’m not sure if Javier Colon’s baldness was much of an obstacle for him – he was a young, attractive, black male after all. It didn’t do any harm to Tyson Beckford, who is supposedly the world’s only male supermodel.

      The main thing that we can take from Javier in The Voice U.S. is that an early favourite with an effortlessly soulful voice can win the whole thing. Of course, American audiences are very different to British ones in that they really and I mean REALLY like their winners to show off their vocal prowess.

      I am however a fan of the idea that Jessie J is secretly bald.

    • eurovicious

      I have it on good authority that Jessie J is actually Richard O’Brien.

  • Andrew

    Hey Dug, Nobody is an expert in The Voice yet! 🙂

    How very unsporting of the press office! And the official website is so unhelpful – “the artists compete against each other during several live shows on BBC One and the audience get to vote”. Doesn’t tell us how many shows, what role if any the coaches have alongside the public vote, etc etc.

    I’ve been away and haven’t seen the battle rounds yet, though my appetite is whetted by your reviews. But just now looking at the teams on the BBC website, one thing that strikes me is that we might be able to reverse-engineer what they’re thinking by starting with the assumption that they’ll ideally want a balanced final (for example, not Bo vs Becky vs Ruth vs Frances).

    If we further assume that the extraordinary pimpage accorded to Jaz at the end of the auditions suggests he is slated to be Will’s standard bearer in the final four, one would guess they also will want one, and only one, male who is more conventionally attractive to the young female vote – and Danny seems to have been lined up to provide him, with a three-way choice of Aleks, David and Max. This would suggest that Bo, Hannah, Cassius, Vince, Adam and Tyler might be seen as backup plans.

    Tom’s category looks to be a straight fight between Ruth and Leanne, doesn’t it? This may be just my speculative pre-thankfully-wrong-spoiler 50/1 talking, but I reckon Leanne might make it. I just wonder if there might be a significant older woman vote for Tom, and if they will be able to project themselves onto Leanne more than onto Ruth.

    Which would leave Jessie to provide us with another female for gender balance, something that also makes obvious dramatic sense in terms of coach-act relationship, and Becky does look rather obvious here, doesn’t she?

    Don’t know if any of that takes us any further forward… except that I suspect you’re totally right to be looking towards the Danny bloke axis as the source of winner, given your earlier point about this kind of act tending to win this kind of show. Would I be right in surmising that your alighting on David carries an element of “I hate him, so at least if he wins I’ll be able to console myself that I tipped/backed him”? 😉

    • Dug

      There’s definitely an element in that! However, it has more to do with The Voice in my gut telling me that Jaz isn’t going to take the crown. The pimping goes way above and beyond anything we’ve ever seen in an X Factor audition and he’s discussed openly as ‘the favourite’ in popular media. On top of that, as I mentioned, he sings flawlessly and appears to do so without effort. I feel like this could be a case of David and Goliath – the public love an underdog after all.

      I also used the balanced final logic to assemble my final 4. The problem was still Team Danny. We’ll have to agree to disagree about Max, Aleks and David being in a three way tie for the good looks vote. The way I see it, the everyman contestant and the pinup are two distinctly different archetypes and The Voice could well want one of each. David Julien’s, er, ‘sex appeal’ will only stretch so far i.e. not so much for the under 25s. I figure that Max can do a little bit of what the other two can do but is too much of a performer/all rounder to pull in a tonne of votes. I guess if this was X Factor, Aleks would be pretty much guaranteed a place in the final and so far The Voice has surprised with just how much it is willing to follow in ITV’s footsteps. Of course, ‘Danny’ (the show) may decide that just David or just Max is enough for one team but in that case I wouldn’t rule out Hannah over Bo – she’s easily the stronger vocalist of the two but then I doubt the show would want to see her in the same final as Leanne.

      • Andrew

        No, you’re right, everyman and pinup are distinctly different archetypes, it was clumsy of me to conflate them. What I was loosely trying to say is that if Jaz is in the final then the interests of demographic balance would presumably be served by one further male, and Team D looks the likeliest source.

  • eurovicious

    Without having caught up on this weekend’s shows yet, I think that’s a pretty on-the-nail prediction. Based on TV singing contest archetypes, David Julien is the one that screams winner for all the reasons you so expertly and wittily outline. Bearing the nature of the show and the BBC1 audience in mind though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset (don’t ask me who), as Julien is almost a more ITV/X Factor figure (if that makes any sense?). The final of The Voice Of Germany a few months ago was interesting – the finalists were 2 straight white indie guys and 2 black girls (one German, the other American) singing pop/soul. Against all received wisdom and empirical data about what usually happens in these shows – teen girls vote for the cute guys, while women (especially black women) don’t do as well as they deserve – the girls took the top 2 places and the guys came 3rd and 4th! German Pop Idol on the other channel is won by a “cute teen boy” archetype every year without fail (the only thing that does invariably fail is their subsequent career), but a young black German woman winning The Voice and knocking the cute boy archetypes into 3rd and 4th place shows that anything can happen! 🙂

    • Henry VIII

      Did you see that final Eurovicious? If so, what was each of the 4 performances like in quality?

      • eurovicious

        Hi Henry VIII, yes, it was the only part of the German series I saw. I found it surprisingly low key, despite being a big production – there was a lack of any of the usual X Factor elements like hometown visits, tales of overcoming adversity, or in fact any kind of personal narrative. It was just 4 good yet not spectacular performers who came over as completely anonymous and didn’t have much star power. The whole thing was a bit bland and they relied on celeb guests (Ed Sheeran, Katie Melua, Florence & The Machine and the guy from Mattafix) for entertainment value. One of the judges was Nena who you may remember from “99 Red Balloons”. All in all, it reaffirmed to me how good The X Factor UK is at what it does.

        • Henry VIII

          That’s interesting, I thought the girls would have had to have been spectacular to overcome what I agree is the “received wisdom and empirical data about what usually happens in these shows”.

  • fiveleaves

    Final 4.

    Becky, Frances, Ruth & Hannah.

    They’ll then set up as a group to rival the Little Muffins.

    • Dug

      Haha, fiveleaves.

      I’d actually love to see an all female final and it seem like that’s where the best vocal talent is. However, as usual, the public will be more wowed by a bloke (‘grr’!) who can sing than by a woman.

  • Boki

    The predictions look very logical to me. What I don’t understand is the confusion about what’s going to happen in the following weeks.
    Wiki page is set up according to the Dutch version (didn’t look what was in the US) and that means each week 2 acts (1 per team) are eliminated. So 1 get saved by a coach vote, the rest is public vote and bottom 2 in each team compete on Sunday in a sing-off. Markets for week1 elimination are available everywhere… cheers.

    • Boki

      Just a small correction, the predictions look very logical to me but I don’t see David Julien in the top4 because the public (well different than ITV) will not vote again for a Matt look-alike with much less charm imo.

    • Andrew

      Hi Boki, there are loads of international versions
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voice_(TV_series)
      and the format does seem to vary, e.g in terms of how many acts are in each team at the start of the lives (6 in Holland, 4 in the US, 5 in the UK), how they get down to 2 per team (Holland losing one per week, US jumping straight from 4 to 2), etc.

      It seems like this week we are losing one, but it’s not clear how – public vote alone? Singoff between bottom two in public vote, as in XF? Singoff between the bottom two in vote after the coach has “saved” one before the vote is revealed? Which would enable the show to hide an act’s lack of popularity with the public (and just think of all the Katie Waissel and Frankie Cocozza related fun this would have deprived us of).

      And after this week, who knows?

  • Highlighted

    I just wrote a long post, but didnt get through. So just to shorten it. My bets are for Vince Kidd and Sophie Griffin. A quick summary of why. Vince seems likeable and creative. I think the audience will attach to him quite well unlike what we first thought. With Sophie, as I said, she got the irish sweetheart role froM jessica, showing the producers have something in store for her. I expect her, like you, to be picked by Will for the SF, after that I am unsure if she can grow enough to get past Jaz, but we will see. Just purely for an outside bet I pick her, but my main bet is Vince.

    • Highlighted

      Ah I was unsure if that format was the definite format, or if that was just your version of events? If it is not, then hopefully that could give Sophie more time to get into the competition and ‘wow’ some people. As clearly the prods and Will think that she can eventually for them to put her before J Marie, and take Jessica’s place as the Irish lass on the show. Hopefully it is less than 3 eliminated in the first place. However, when is the official final date? Maybe could work it out from that. Hopefully this week it is at most 2 leaving from each team (I think this is what will happen). So from Team Will it would be Tyler and Frances (IMO) that leaves.

      • Dug

        Hi Highlighted, my guess was based on how The U.S. season 1 went but according to TV Guide, only one from each category will be eliminated as a result of this Saturday’s show. So ignore my ramblings and go with the TV guide. I definitely have an eye on Sophie also but doubt whether she can zoom past Jaz. I’d like to think it’s possible but his pimping has been ‘ridonkuloso’ to borrow a phrase from Jessie J.

      • Andrew

        Hi Highlighted, I don’t see an official final date anywhere, but I did just notice that both Saturday’s live show and Sunday’s results show are listed as “episode 7/12” on the Radio Times website, while both the Saturday May 5 and Sunday May 6 shows are listed as “8/12”.

        That suggests the weekend of May 12/13 will be week 9, May 19/20 week 10, May 26/27 week 11 and the final on June 2.

        This makes scheduling sense for the BBC, as it gives us The Voice semi final on the same day (May 26) as the Eurovision final. Presumably they’ll be hoping for a healthy crossover audience there. (And what are the odds that one of this year’s The Voice alumni will be gracing the Eurovision stage for the UK in 2013?)

        So the question mark is over what happens in weeks 9 and 10. Presumably there are two possibilities:

        (i) we get all 16 acts singing in week 9 and they’re reduced to 12, then all 12 singing in week 10 and they’re reduced to 8

        (ii) alternatively we get two teams apiece singing in weeks 9 and 10 and they’re each reduced from four to the two semi-finalists in the US way Dug refers to.

  • Highlighted

    I definitely hope there are another chances to hear her and possibly squeak past Jaz to the final, again like you I’m not fully confident but a small stake on large odds. Think she is the tastiest outsider perhaps with Leanne who someone above already mentioned.

    Good thing about Sophie is she is young and fresh a little like Little Mix, she doesn’t seem to have a problem with arrogance or anything. Like Little Mix she seems to have a quite ‘cute’ side to her but best of all I don’t think she’s the prettiest around. I know she’s just a solo and not in a group like those were, but I’m hoping she can pull off a surprise like they did as the show goes on and gets many favourable VTs. Being Irish is also a bonus, though can be misleading as in the past it shows the Irish vote fades the longer it goes on, but with Sophie I feel like the opposite could happen.

  • Lanny Markham

    Ruth Brown

    1. Insane voice, ‘raw talent’ as they keep saying on the show, but needs work on polishing = room for improvement, a key element of a winner
    2. Genuine avuncular affection of her mentor, Tom Jones, public loves real emotion. If she nails the final and he wells up with pride, game over.
    3. Her backstory is a perfect feelgood element for the final of any show and it’s not forced or fake. Her Dad would be proud of her, etc.
    4. She is the Leona Lewis type, shy and quiet then comes alive on stage. I reckon this will be shown further in some of her performances. This again is an archetype the public loves.

    In case anyone thinks it won’t work, remember that her audition was a do or die final note, the note that made Tom Jones turn round. I think she knew this, I have a feeling she has the same in her locker, a big moment. Every winner of these shows needs a big moment.

  • fiveleaves

    Song Choices

    Team Will

    Joelle Moses – I’m Going Down (Mary J Blige)
    Sophie Griffin – Titanium(David Guetta feat Sia)
    Jaz Ellington – At Last (Etta James)
    Frances Wood – Ain’t Nobody (Chaka Khan)
    Tyler James – Higher Love (James Vincent McMorrow)

    Team Tom

    Sam Buttery – A Little Respect (Erasure)
    Matt and Sueleen – Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac)
    Leanne Mitchell – Who Knew (Pink)
    Adam Isaac – All My Life(Foo Fighters)
    Ruth Brown – Get Here (Oleta Adams)

    Odd choice for my Fanny Woo, but at least the audience will know it.

    Good choice from the Hippies which could see them safe.

    Joelle & Adam for the chop for me.

    • Boki

      Hi fiveleaves, if I remember you are always chasing big upsets, this time you might be on to something. It seems they want to pull Joelle to bottom 2 with death slot and wonderful song choice lol. It remains to be seen if they manage to do it and what will happen next but it’s a nice risky bet.
      In the other team I’m confused, Adam indeed poor choice but good slot. Samuel for the slaughter maybe?

    • Dug

      Excellent song choice for Sophie Griffin – if she pulls off the ti-TAAAY-nium note it will be very impressive but if she mullers it there will be tears. I wish I could bet on odds shortening because I see hers slimming down significantly in the coming weeks.

  • fiveleaves

    True Boki.
    By nature I like to take a punt on a longshot or 3, rather than lump on a ‘goodthing’

    As for the singing order. That’s uncertain.

    Last saturday they weren’t listed in the correct order on the bbc site. On the sunday they were.

    So a 50/50 chance that the order is correct.

    Even if Adam is 2nd last, he’s singing foo fighters, which is hardly a vote winner for an early saturday evening audience…and is followed by Ruth singing Get There, which is a perfect, if rather safe, song for the audience.

  • Andrew

    So, format is confirmed – this week and next we lose one act per team, and then it works as per Dug’s article above, with the remaining four being whittled straight down to 2 semi-finalists through the public choosing one and the coach choosing another.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00k96j4/features/terms-and-conditions

    And how do we get from 8 to 4? “Scoring rules for the Semi-Final will be published closer to the time. These may involve a combination of public vote and coach’s scoring.” Or, as Dug astutely puts it above, “so basically the producers can wangle it any way they like”. 😉

    Also, on the FAQs:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00k96j4/features/mobile-short-dial-codes-faqs

    “20. Will Voting Figures be published?
    No, the BBC does not disclose this information”

    Boo! Come on Beeb, if ITV can be transparent, why can’t you?

    • Dug

      So effing unim-effing-pressed. And ripely cheesed off. The Voice should sort its life out. Its USP has supposedly been that it eschews the corruption of ITV. So far, it has only eschewed (eschewn?) the excitement. Chelsea Redfern to win The Voice!

      Question: does Strictly release votes? Wondering if The Voice will announce both scores or just the combined score? Boo Beeb.

      Also, does the elimination of one act per team not feel like something that has been arranged to fit into a schedule? The formats in other countries have been about constantly whittling down and halving the contestants so eliminating one more before the groups are halved just feels like pointless filler.

      Please man up, The Voice.

      • Andrew

        Hey Dug, They don’t release votes for Strictly, and you prompted me to google if there was any stated reason why. It seems that someone submitted a Freedom of Information request to try to force them to reveal the figures –
        http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/strictly_come_dancing_telephone?unfold=1

        The response: “The information you requested is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”). With regard to votes cast, and voting breakdowns this is also not the type of information we would provide voluntarily as we want to protect programme participants from any potential impact of individual voting levels being made available.”

        I think what they mean is “we want to avoid humiliating celebrities with fragile egos by revealing how consistently unpopular they have been with the public, as this may impair our ability to persuade other celebrities to take part in future series”. Which, okay. But surely that doesn’t apply to The Voice?

        And agreed, this 5>4 round sandwiched between 10>5 and 4>2 does feel a bit horse-by-committee.

  • Boki

    That order worries me but if it’s correct it suggests Adam could be saved because he’s not the 1st choice to go. We’ll see how this develops…

  • Dug

    Adam worries me – he’s something of a dark horse. He’s easily disposable, considering the talent pool in Team Danny, but he hasn’t yet shown what he can do, vocally. If Team Danny wants a girl then Hannah or Bo could render Leanne less important and it’s not unthinkable that Adam could make the semis. ??

  • fiveleaves

    Cheers for that Andrew.

    It puts alot of power in the hands of the judges.

    Boki – Given the song choices I’m happy to take 9/2 on Adam going and double figures Joelle, regardless of order.
    Unless ofc one of them gets a pimp slot.

  • Andrew

    I see where you’re coming from on both Adam and Joelle, fiveleaves. Looking at the song list reminds me of how it sometimes feels like the XF producers might be dropping little hints that way – “I’m Going Down”? 😉

    Watching brief for me tonight, though – there’s so much we don’t know about how it’s going to work. For instance will we get all of one team singing first and then the other, or will they intersperse? Battle rounds suggests they’ll intersperse. If so, and if that order is correct – two big ifs – that could theoretically end up with Adam in 7th, just after Jaz. Not a great spot for him. Especially as it would leave Tyler, the act who seems most likely to be fishing in the same waters as Adam from tonight’s crop, in the pimp slot.

    One would also assume that Joelle and Ruth are reasonably likely to be fishing somewhat in the same waters. And you could easily imagine Joelle being forgotten about if, say, she sings second sandwiched between Sam Buttery and Matt/Sueleen, and then Ruth sings second last.

    So many ifs, though. Here’s another: If this were XF and the bottom two were, say, Leanne and Samuel Buttery, you might expect them to go for the “shock” elimination. Will The Voice also chase headlines or will they be more worried about credibility if they put through an obviously weaker vocalist?

    And how does the vote-off work? Presumably it’s entirely down to the coach in question rather than a four-way vote, which excludes the possibility of handling a controversial exit via XF-style deadlock. On the other hand, Sunday’s results show is only 35 mins so presumably no time for singoffs, which could make surprise decisions seem less controversial as the contrast between the two acts is less fresh in the mind.

    You would assume that by now they’ll have seen enough of all the acts in rehearsals to know who’s expendable. As you say, Dug, if Bo or Hannah are looking amazing they may want to keep Adam (or Tyler…?). All in all, very interested to see tonight whether producers’ intentions are going to be in the Spot Goes For A Walk league of easy reading.

    • Boki

      Completely right Andrew, too many things that we don’t know yet. So we can skip it this time or try to interpolate with the few facts we know (e.g. Alex is through so it’s NOT all about the voice) and use experience from other shows (I’m going down). Can’t wait for the confirmed running order and also curious to see if there will be in-running possibilities on Sunday (hardly without sing-off).

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