So from Team Jessie it was Vince and Becky who became semi-finalists. It wasn’t particularly surprising. The market has looked fondly on the pair since their introduction and they have long been our pick for Team Jessie here at Sofabet. Saturday night’s closing performance by Toni Warne made me doubt having written her off, but ultimately ‘Sorry’ was the hardest (and also her last) word.
Team Danny, as I have complained time and time again, has always been the hardest to call and thus I can’t feel bad about falling a little short with my very tentative predictions. In my original prediction piece, I guessed that Aleks and David would qualify for the semi-final. In my post-show review on Saturday, I guessed that David would win the popular vote and Danny would save Bo. In the end, to the surprise of many, it was Bo who won the public’s heart and Max, to the surprise of more, who qualified on coaches’ save.
So the Egg of Damocles reached Ostrich-like proportions as it hovered over me with Saturday night’s results leaks. I had never even pictured Max in the frame for semi-finals and I expected David Julien to go a lot further, especially after a lot of favourable treatment. Why, then, has this category been so hard to predict? This is what I think:
- Placement of acts within the running order has swung between being extremely predictable and seemingly arbitrary (or perhaps deceptive). Jaz and Ruth were pimped to high heaven with their final slots and overwhelming praise. Leanne and Max were both saved from an opening slot and Toni went home from the pimp slot. At points, The Voice has followed the X Factor formula for using running order to push acts. At others, it has not.
- One possible reason for the above is that the BBC has caught on to the amount of negative opinion in the ether, regarding their favour of certain acts. Perhaps The Voice simply wants to mislead us.
- As Andrew pointed out, Toni performing last meant a clash with the football on ITV. Whether there is much of a demographic overlap is unclear but it does seem a possible justification for wasting the pimp slot.
So, overall, Sunday’s results were not our finest hour but, as any life long learner will tell you, people grow far more by getting things wrong than by getting things right. Let us not forget that The Voice is a new show with a new format and new rules. When it comes to Eurovision, X Factor or BGT, it’s easy to get things wrong even with a plethora of previous editions to go on. So far, The Voice has arguably been even less transparent than its Cowellian counterparts when it comes to the process by which its acts progress.
Our pre-lives prediction piece envisaged a final 8 of Vince, Becky, Ruth, Leanne, Jaz, Sophie, David and Aleks. To have overestimated Sophie and underestimated Tyler was my biggest error. On Team Danny, I have always been upfront about the challenge of predicting an outcome. In the post-show reviews, we guessed that Adam would progress over Leanne and David over Max but the other six we called largely right, excusing a little doubt as to whether Toni might magically trump either Vince or Becky. So, all in all, The Voice has so far been largely predictable with a small side of red herring. It’s a good reminder that we must never be too complacent when following patterns.
I stress again, The Voice is on its virgin flight and there have certainly been some clunky, turbulent moments. Whilst the closure of betting markets between live show and results is frustrating, it does present us with the opportunity to learn the show’s tricks, perhaps as a kind of warm up for next year.
If anyone has caught word of whether the semi-final will have live results, do get in touch in the comments section below.