TOTAL REALITY – THE VOICE VS BGT
It’s been front paged, podcasted, chat showed, Tweeted and anything else you can see or hear, yep on Saturday the battle of all battles of reality shows began , the BBC with their “shouldn’t be chasing ratings with the licence payers cash” The Voice vs ITV’s heavy artillery BGT ( BGT is what we call it in media land) – this war is going to go on for months which will either excite or depress depending on whether George Osborne has left you enough cash to have a social life or whether you just love reality.Either way you better get used to it as at least 5 hours of Saturday night in the near future will feature nothing but good and decent ordinary people offer up their souls in front of millionaires for the odds against chance of becoming a star.
I have included ” Take me out ” in the above working of hours but reality it certainly is.Won’t dwell too long on the show except to say what an inspired choice Paddy was as host and what the bloody hell processes the blokes to go on it ? Particularly if you’re an Albino heavy metal fan !
Anyway back to the main battle, probably best if I concentrate on the Voice which is the threat to Cowell’s dominance of the Reality Schedule and welded to ITVs fortunes going forward, ie any suppressing of ITV’s commercial impacts could damage its share of commercial impacts and CRR gong forward ( who shouted” bore off” ? )
Watching the Voice is not dissimilar to watching a newer edition of Columbo you know what’s going to happen, you’ve seen it all before yet it’s still worth a gander to kill a couple of hours if you have nothing else to do or flu.
It has a strange mix of production values, we first see the contestant about to sing walking through what looks like the decking area of a garden centre then a back shot of them walking across the smallest red carpet ever made with a couple of cheap disco lights on the side into some double glass doors that would grace any Travel Lodge – bit of background then onto the pretty impressive “shiny floor” set. It’s here we see where the BBC budget has gone over and above John De Mol’s fees this in the shape of our four star judges who sit awaiting in sawn in half Dalek’s.
Our contestant starts to sing – good to see some playing instruments and in the background barely visible is a tenth of the Strictly Come Dancing Band, although it is a band and one assumes playing live.The normal singing songs are sang ie Adele and Jessie J plus some belting R&B standards – of course what is different is the half Dalek seats are turned away from our performer giving us the slightly awkward position of facing the judges whilst said singer performs to their backs.
Panning down the judges it seems that their styles have been pre set ,I Am Will sits motionless looking pretty cool, Tom Jones sits trying to work out why he’s there dreaming of when he met Elvis, a younger chap sits daring us to work out who he is and Jessie J – well she can’t sit as she wants to sing and dance really, it’s our Jessie who forms a facial feature pretty close to that of a cod when most happy accompanied by the Ed Balls flat line gesture to emphasise her street – must work as the Sunday Mirror front page screamed “I want Jessie J for X Factor, says Cowell” code for that’s the end of you Tulisa !
About an hour in alarm bells do start to ring when it dawns on you that each judge needs 10 contestants each so we have weeks of the blind choosing shows – I don’t think our Tom had sussed this and burst out of the blocks and chose or was chosen by loads, the equivalent in Monopoly of buying Old Kent Road, The Electric Company and Kings Cross in your first three turns.He did back off though when picking one chap who the other three thought was a woman.
The bit that does need working on is the straight lift from X Factor where the presenters stand with the family’s in front of the monitor praying for contestant deliverance – lets call it the Dermot Oleary moment. In the Voice we have Reggie Yates who seems to do good job but poor young Holly Willoughby edited to within an inch of not appearing at all – dire this bit.
So what did the ratings say well BGT beat The Voice but not by much and you wonder what the effect would be if BBC1 had a +1 Channel. In the 20 minute cross over The Voice beat BGT and BGT was down on last year.
Something has happened though and a shift has occurred in Saturday Prime Time and that is the BBC has just parked a very large tank on ITV’s front lawn – they have a show with the legs to damage one of ITV’s key brands – Cowell will fight back,and I did detect it could be in the shape of David Walliam’s who has the potential to lift the XFactor on his own,a very funny man who to his credit recently swam through a load of shit to end up here sat in front of a whole load more.
Oh if you have some spare cash go and see The Hunger Games at your local Vue an excellent film which fore tells where reality ends up – it’s not a pleasant sight.