The Voice hit our screens on Saturday for its 5thand (on the BBC anyway) final series.  The line up of judges changes more often than the Sugababes did and this series is no exception.  From left to right (depending on where you are stood and if they have swung their seats around) are:

The Stalwart: is still hanging on in there hoping to get his second win.  This week he was dressed in shorts, brogues, ankle socks and a tunic.  He looked like a cross between Just William (or Ju St. will.iam as he would put it) and little Lord Fauntleroy.  He acted like it as well.  At one point he was swinging on the arms of the chair like am excitable 7 year old.  The rest of the time he was mainly looking at his tablet.  I think he was catching up on last week’s Eastenders on iPlayer.
The Old One: Sir Tom has bowed out and so Boy George has filled the “icon” chair.  He’s sold 50 million records you know.  You should know, he said it often enough.  George is at his best when he is being catty and the claws were out most of the evening.  This boy is not bland.
The Female One: Paloma Faith replaces Rita Ora, who replaced Kylie who replaced Jessie J (they do have problems keeping their female judges don’t they?).  She is the embodiment of bonkers in the most lovely way.  We learnt that she hates musical theatre (much to the derision of her fellow judges), which immediately ruled out three of the better male singers on the show who did show classics.  But she was popular with the contestants successfully snaring 2 of them for Team Paloma.
The Other One: Ricky “what’s his name from that band that sung about a riot” replaced Danny “thingy from that band that did that song that you would know if you herd it on the radio” two series’ ago.    I think they still share the quiff though.  He also presents “Bring the Noise” on Sky 1, which makes The Voice look like Mastermind, so his transformation from indie rocker to Light Entertainment darling is nearly complete.  Last year he coached the winner…whose name escapes me at the moment.
The show started with the 4 of then singing 3 different songs to the same tune (which says something about the nature of pop music.  Plus it meant that the band had fewer chords to learn).  They then settled into their seats on probably the dullest ride at Alton Towers.  At least the teapot rides go all the way around.  These seats only go half way round and you have to press a button to start them.
Then the singing began.  But not a lot of it.  The show had duration of 95 minutes, but only 14 minutes and 33 seconds of that was singing.  Yes I timed it.  I like stats all right.  It’s not a crime.  (That’s 13% of the show if you are interested).  But contrary to the title, The Voice isn’t about singing.  It’s about entertainment.  Compared to X Factor, where you can feel the pressure of the panel calculating whether these people are good enough to be the Christmas number one and all the financial pressures that are at stake, The Voice appears to be 4 celebs mucking about in oversized Thunderbird chairs and having a laugh along the way.  It’s not about winning, it’s about taking part that matters, as the previous 4 winners will tell you…whatever their names were.
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