The weekend is on the verge of landing and it’s all systems go as The Voice semi-final and the Eurovision Song Contest fill our screens in an epic night of hysterical wailing and longing glances shot down camera lenses. From the little information I have been able to pick from the grapevine, it looks like we’ll be served with another pre-recorded results show from The Voice on Sunday, meaning that markets will be suspended over the weekend and we can all get well and truly engrossed in Eurovision.
But what of our eight semi-finalists and their chances this weekend? Let’s have a quick rundown, shall we?
Cute as a button and fierce as a tiger, Ruth has wowed with every performance and the public reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Throw in a compelling back-story and it’s no mystery that she leads the market. She does suffer from occasional tuning problems and screechy moments but ultimately she seems safe atop the leader board for now. Off all semi-finalists, Ruth sees the least threat from her teammate, Leanne Mitchell, and should sail through to the final with a clear shot at the win.
At a strong second placing in the market, Jaz is a likely contender for the crown, if he can beat out Ruth. With the elimination of David Julien last week, Jaz is the best fit for the ‘everyman’ story whereby an ordinary guy is presented with an extraordinary opportunity. The only thing is, Jaz’s voice is so good it’s almost mathematical, almost synthetic, almost auto-tuned. Factor in the shambolic VT and anniversary staging from two weeks ago and it’s easy to wonder if Jaz has been rammed a little hard down the public throat. Is there any possibility that a win by underdog Tyler James could present us with a shock upset this weekend?
Less Little Bo Peep and more Little Bo Steep, Lady Catherine Anna Brudenell-Bruce has managed to overcome the stigma of being well posh in order to win last week’s public vote. She’s got her own thing going on and apparently even Kate Bush approves so she can’t be all-bad but still, she hardly feels like a likely people’s champion and a win would be something of a miracle. Can she secure another popular vote over Max Milner tonight? It all depends on the songs really. I wouldn’t like to call it.
It was nice to see that Vince was capable of winning a public vote last week as I had long wondered if his style was just too left of centre to endear a mainstream audience. He remains the contestant with the strongest sense of artistry, in that we can easily imagine the kind of music Vince would be making post The Voice. His winning potential still feels very slight but a progression to the final shouldn’t be too much of a problem if Becky Hill continues to jar somewhat.
I have to give it to him – Tyler turned it around. From sitting at the bottom of the market, he came out with two very accomplished performances that were stylistically clear and made the most of his limited range. I actually like the idea that he could creep up on Jaz and make the final as it at least tells more of a story than the super-accomplished singing teacher making it all the way. Realistically though, it doesn’t look likely and tonight could potentially mean curtains for Tyler.
Becky came into The Voice with a lot of potential and last week’s performance of ‘Seven Nation Army’ remains, despite lyrical fluffs, one of the better moments of the series so far. Unfortunately, there’s a slightly awkward feeling in the air around Becky that says she’s not really connecting with the public in the way that she should. Perhaps it’s that she seems ungracious or perhaps it’s just that she doesn’t behave like a prepared stage performer should but it does feel like it would take quite a kick for Becky to leapfrog Vince at this late stage.
I wrote in last week’s post-mortem that I had never envisaged Max making the final. Looking back on our audition posts for the series, this wasn’t strictly true as I did rather champion him and for good reason. Max is a more than competent performer who might have had a shot at the crown had he been dealt a few more even remotely compelling songs. Instead he has been fashioned as mini-Danny and lumbered with boring songs in early slots with VTs that remind us of his musical theatre background. Does he stand a chance of making the final now? It would require a bit of a U-turn from a team that has thrown the kitchen sink at Bo and left her comrade to flounder a little. Did Danny progress Max just to pose minimal threat to Bo’s success or is he going to pull it out of the bag tonight?
Poor Leanne. She does feel rather like filler at this stage. She can certainly hold a tune which is nice but so far we’ve only been reminded time and time again that Leanne is a holiday camp singer who’s slightly past her prime in pop music years. Interestingly, I’m not sure The Voice can afford to send her out in another early slot without inviting accusations of unfairness. That is if anyone cares enough about her to notice. Either way, she’s got the competition juggernaut of Ruth Brown to surpass so it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing much more of Leanne after tonight.
So basically, we can see pretty clearly that Ruth will trump Leanne in the popular vote but the rest is, in my very humble opinion, unclear. Jaz, Bo and Vince are definitely the front-runners for their respective teams but great song choices or placements in the running order could easily boost Tyler, Max or Becky into the final if that were the plan. I think we’d do well to stick by the presumption that The Voice want a gender-equal final so pimping, for example, Becky could mean having to also push Max past Bo.
What are your thoughts? Should be stop dithering and guess at a final of Ruth, Jaz, Bo and Vince? Or is there room for upset still? Only time will tell.