The Voice vs X Factor

Monday 31st March

We are inundated with talent shows, it is almost wall to wall, with all the spin-offs too.  I can remember a time when Hughie Green presented Opportunity Knocks.  Thirty minutes a week.  And these were real amateurs, and it often showed; they would sing off key, or drop balls or fall over – but above all it was real.

But now we have a professional slick tv show, over rehearsed, with rumours of pitch control overriding flat notes and it is fucking boring.  And worst of all they are all karaoke singers.  There have been a few attempts over the years of original artists singing their own songs, but they have never really caught on with the audiences.  What people at home want, apparently, is ‘pop-star’ look and sound-a-likes who sing songs they already know of the current round of pop-stars.  Trouble is I don’t even know the songs or the artists they are trying to sound like.  Occasionally an older artist will sing a song I know, but as I invariably have the original sung by the original artist I always prefer that anyway.

And what becomes of them anyway?  Mostly they have one or two hits, an album which does well, then they fade back into obscurity.  The music business is a machine for turning out clones with no originality and often very little real talent, young people who are so desperate for fame that they will do anything, sing any song, prostitute any talent they might have to be famous.  And of course all the most famous artists worked at their art for years and years, performed hundreds of gigs for peanuts, wrote and rejected hundreds of songs before finding their sound, their voice, their talent at all.

If I have to choose it will be the Voice, because the judges are more encouraging, their isn’t the venom, the nastiness, the bitchiness, the put-downs that Simon Cowell has created.  But it is still just a karaoke show at the end of the day, and as usual I couldn’t care less who wins.  Does anyone?