The Voice UK 2013 – Semi Final Preview

Judging by bookmakers’ lists and our comments section, punters finally got stuck into The Voice after the quarter final. Leah McFall is now a general price of 1/3 in the outright market. Well done to Andy for snapping her up at 3/1, which you could get before last Friday’s show.

Still, the format allows us to look at some more interestingly-priced match bets this coming weekend. There has been a consensus on these in the Sofabet forum. Here are my thoughts at this stage.

Team Jessie is left with Dog’s Trust worker Matt Henry and Welsh wonder Ash Morgan after Scottish ‘Love Sensation’ Sarah lost the phone vote against Matt. Ash has got a nice tone to his voice, though the trilling is a little overdone for my liking. Overall, however, he has everything going for him in his match-up against Matt, who isn’t really distinct enough.

Ash has a sympathetic backstory and regional vote among various things on his side. I think the bookies have this one right at 1/4 Ash, 7/2 Matt.

Since Team Tom lost Alys – or rather Leanne Mitchell Mk2 – last weekend, it’s between Joseph and Mike at the semi-final stage. There’s no doubt that the former has a better voice, though his version of ‘Higher and Higher’ had me wishing for the X Factor kitchen sink approach that gave us Revered Marcus Sunshine.

But whilst Mike was pitchy, he’s also physically morphed into Shane from Westlife. On the announcement that he had beaten Alys in the phone vote, I chuckled to myself about the Lloyd Daniels syndrome – be wary of opposing the pretty boy, especially in the preliminary stages.

Andy pointed out earlier that Evens on Mike to prevail in this duel was too good to miss. Guild Horn Forever was in agreement, stating: “Am struggling to see which demographic (of any significance) will vote for Joseph Apostle over Mike Ward.” I have to concur. Mike is now a best-priced 4/6 to make it to the final on the back of his cheekbones.

Over on Team Danny, I was rather sad, though not surprised, to see Leanne lose the phone vote to Karl. Meanwhile, Andrea’s understated performance of ‘Hey Ho’ was my favourite of the night. This means I’m also with the consensus in the Karl v Andrea match.

Andy is backing Andrea, as Boki, Guild Horn Forever and Stoney have done. Despite having a good enough voice (though not as good as he thinks it is), I don’t find Bedsit Karl to be particularly sympathetic. His performances are too self-involved.

Andrea on the other hand is as sympathetic as it gets, and not just for the obvious reasons. She comes at her songs in a straightforward fashion and looks like she’s having fun. In an era of Adele covers and sob stories, you just don’t see that often enough on talent shows.

Which brings us to Team Jessie and hot outright favourite, Leah McFall. Guild Horn Forever is not convinced, but gwri78 and Henry VIII point out that the BBC would presumably dearly love to see her over the line as the one ‘credible’ artist in this year’s lineup.

Online polls have her at nearly 50% among the final eight and her version of ‘I Will Survive’ (the arrangement and affectations of which had me grinding my teeth) is currently at number 8 in the UK’s midweek charts.

She has to overcome Cleo in the semi first, but we all know what happens to confident black women on these shows. I’m not touching Leah’s prohibitive price in the win market either way right now, but I’m inclined to think it’s far too short.

Let us know your continued thoughts below.


31 comments to The Voice UK 2013 – Semi Final Preview

  • Boki

    The Voice UK has ditched its separate results show and will now reveal the outcome of the public votes just after the performances.

  • Andy.

    I believe the acts are performing with their mentor’s tomorrow night, Mike Ward and Tom Jones should be interesting.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      My book is now a rude “green” (as the lingo seems to go) on both Mike and Jo. V pleased the path the week’s odds took.

      Happy to stick with Andrea and almost backed her again the other day. Think that’s a wonderful, moving choice of song for her (as you’ve listed below in your subsequent post).

      Think Joseph’s End of the Road (although setting up an easy headline!) could be performance of the night. Would be happy for him to exit as I view him as a superior version of Ash.

      I’m on Ash in the EW outright market but have increasing doubts about him.I wonder if Jessie will ever be a winning mentor on The Voice as her fetish for vocal top-end indulgence brings out the worst in her charges. Add her almost creepy encouraging of him – and Ash’s initial charm has all but gone. I would be surprised but not shocked if he fell at long odds-on at this hurdle.

      I suppose tonight’s show will feature another all-mentor love-in after Leah has re-imagined, re-interpreted and re-engineered Killing Me Softly. I can imagine announcing that he has just rang Wyclef to get him to check it out.

  • Andy

    Song choice for tonight.
    Matt Henry – Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

    Ash Morgan – Ex-Factor by Lauryn Hill

    Andrea Begley – One of Us by Joan Osborne

    Karl Michael – I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly

    Leah McFall – Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack

    Cleo Higgins – Don’t Let Go by En Vogue

    Mike Ward – Picking Up the Pieces by Paloma Faith

    Joseph Apostol – End of the road by Boyz II Men

  • Stoney

    Great song choice for Joseph, as a result of that and him being the best male vocal in the comp I’m on him to progress at 2/1

  • Tish

    I seriously can’t stand Karls performances! Andrea all the way 🙂

  • Cath

    That was a lot of fire during Matt’s performance! Traditional x factor rules apply?

  • Tish

    And how the hell is Leah the favourite by a mile? Her constant wailing is awful!!

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      As Jessie plugged Leah’s i-Tunes success did I hear Danny chip in with: ‘We make stars: that’s what we do’?

      Leah does have a terrific range (with a Minnie Ripperton party trick to boot), and she’s likeable, but she delivered a non-performance there. Imo, it was a bit uninvolving. And was there shades of Ella Henderson?

      They all seem desperate to have her win. I hope it blows up in their faces.

      • Tish

        Her performances seem too self indulgent to me and imo, she’s nothing special, just a mariah wannabe with all that un neccessary screeching. I hope Cleo takes her out

  • Stoney

    I said cleo wouldn’t let her breeze into the final. Performance wise cleo topped her

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Just listened to, there, instructing the watching public who they should/must vote for. Desperate stuff.

    Just put a win bet on Mike for the outright. Hopefully, that means I’ll have three ranged against Leah, if Leah makes it through.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Argghhh! I tipped Ash to go out and didn’t back against him. Lol.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Nice one, Andy: your Andrea tip never felt or looked in doubt.

  • Guildo Horn Forever


  • Stoney

    Yeah props to Andy for that one, bit gutted for cleo tonight though easily the best of the night for me but luckily chose not to follow the gamble on her going through

  • Andy

    Well done everyone.
    I threw matt into the mix at 4/1 when I saw the song choices this afternoon so had a very good night.
    On the downside it is getting tougher to get the money down.
    will hill accepted £6 on Matt at 4/1.
    Bet365 send the bet to traders and came back with £14.
    2 more firms that are limiting stakes on reality TV once you take a little off them.
    Anybody else getting this kind of treatment from bookies ?

    • Stoney

      No, I was able to get 500 on Andrea at 4/6 in the week and 50 on joeseph at 2/1 tonight. They sent 350 worth of Andrea bet to the traders but cleared it for me
      Anyway can Leah topple the odds on favourite or will Danny sabotage her chances like he did for bo last year?

  • Andy

    I hope not but I think Leah will win.
    she passed a big test tonight which was a 50/50.
    Andrea sounded a little lifeless in her performance and would really need to come out fighting next week to stand a chance.

    • Tish

      Why did Will look so surprised when they announced Leah was through? I don’t see what the hype is about her. Everything about her, her styling and her voice is ever so annoying and cringeworthy!! Whereas Mike on the other hand, I could watch him and listen to him all day

  • Stoney

    Yes but Andrea is blind and has A singing style Thay is very easy on the ear, I can see her gobbling up a large chunk of the Grey vote. Leah Is popular with the youngsters but often over sings. I don’t have any money on any finalist yet but for me the value is with Andrea

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Yeah, I don’t see Leah as a definite winner either.
      Am happy with a two pronged attack of Andrea and Mike for the outright crown. Won’t be going near Leah’s price

      Imo I don’t think Leah did pass a big test tonight. She was probably always going to beat Cleo. But Cleo produced such a superior performance that I think it might have left a mark in the viewers’ perceptions: the contrast in performances exposing the halo of hyperbole that ‘Team Will, Jessie and Danny’ have constructed on Leah’s head. Does it feel as though Leah deserves to win? There’s a tangible doubt.

      On the X-Factor we know it was the demise of Ella that produced the triple-turbo bounce for James Arthur. The credible artist must not be left to suffer the same injustice. Here on The Voice, Jessie, Will and Danny are stuffing down the viewers’ perception holes that Leah is already a success – so there it is: there’s no need to vote for her. Interesting strategy. Oh! hang on! Will says (amid close-ups of nodding, serious-faced Danny and Jessie) we should and must vote for her because the series has to produce a global star!

      Last year the viewers gave Ruth Brown the heave-ho and voted Leanne champ, despite continually moaning that the viewers had voted the wrong girl off the show. He even came close to explicitly making an accusation about why the general public voted off Ruth. Even Tom Jones seemed apathetic about pushing his mentee Leanne for the win. She still won.

      I think Will, Danny and Jessie are following a strategy with their push for Leah that seems as much aimed at the series producers as the viewers. Anyway, they’re trying to mobilise the youth vote as they realise that the majority of regular viewers may not be as impressed by Leah as they are. A dangerous strategy because the pushing of Leah is probably annoying, and alienating to, many of the core viewership. I think Leah is a nice enough girl, but I’m finding her more irritating than I should be doing because of the campaign around her.

      Props to Tom tonight. I thought he played a blinder in reinterpreting into a seal of approval Will’s attempt at undermining Mike.

      And props to Matt for winning through, despite the devilishly unhelpful staging. He’s still clearly under-rated.

      I think the current prices for Leah are horrible. If it really was 50/50 her going through against coming-at-ya Cleo yesterday then 1/3 to 1/4 for her to beat Andrea, Mike and Matt is an unrealistic and yucky price range.

      What part if any will be played by Leah and Andrea both being 20 year old girls from Northern Ireland?

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    20 something year old girls from Northern Ireland, I meant.

  • gwri78

    Right, that’s it, I’m laying Leah. BBC will do all they can to push her but the youth vote they want might just not exist, worth finding out at 1.4

  • Andy

    Song Choice.

    New song
    Mike – ‘Suspicious Minds’ by Elvis Presley
    Andrea – ‘My Immortal’ by Evanescence
    Matt – ‘Babylon’ by David Gray
    Leah – ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston

    Duets with Coaches
    Mike and Sir Tom – ‘Green Green Grass of Home’ by Sir Tom Jones
    Andrea and Danny (and The Script) – ‘Hall Of Fame’ by The Script
    Matt and Jessie – ‘Never Too Much’ by Luther Vandross
    Leah and Will – ‘Bang Bang’ by

    Series Favourites
    Mike – ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ by Keith Whitley
    Andrea – ‘Angel’ by Sarah McLachlan
    Matt – ‘Trouble’ by Ray Lamontagne
    Leah – ‘Loving You’ by Minnie Ripperton

  • Andy

    Mike going all out for the golden oldies votes with these song choices.
    Leah very brave taking on a whitney classic and this could go very wrong.
    Andrea singing my immortal is genius.
    This song is a haunting piano song that will suit Andrea’s voice beautifully.
    Not sure where Andrea will fit in with the Script and Hall Of Fame.

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