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Monday, 14 May 2012

France has found its Voice

Well at least it has chosen the winner of the first edition in this country of  “The Voice” or perhaps that should be “Ze Voice” as that’s the way many involved with the show seems to have been pronouncing it.
It is of course the latest prime time fast food show masquerading as a search for singing talent and uses a formula that seems to be working well in every country in which it has been adapted.

In France apparently seven million plus tuned in regularly to watch a show which many remarked “exuded positive vibes” with the judges – sorry coaches – praising their chosen protégés and sad to see them eliminated over the course of the weeks.

Oh yes it was really different from the backstabbing criticisms of the now defunct Star Academy or Nouvelle Star both of which had been the launching pad for innumerable short-lived careers among the very few that managed to build up a real following.

“Se Voice” only had participants who could really sing and was based on the premise that, at the auditions, coaches didn’t get to see who was singing and “chose” based on voice alone.

That meant a frump or freak could win the whole shebang as long as they had stunning vocal cords – right?

Quality would win out over image.

Except that didn’t appear to be the case for the final as one slightly off key performance followed another and the two favourites (both teenagers) had a distinctive visual appeal apart from their youth; ie they looked like stars in the making.

Anyway Stéphan Rizon the man with the big voice was the unexpected winner on Saturday even though some sort of wailing woman with a silly name Al Hy had widely been expected to walk it Or squawk it. She finished third.

Each finalist got the chance to sing solo twice and a duet with an internationally acclaimed star – well world famous in France at least.

There was Johnny Hallyday who obviously needed the money, Véronique Sanson, Yannick Noah (yes he of tennis fame) and Lenny Kravitz – heavens,  someone known outside of France.

They provided some of those typically cheesy TV moments  with Hallyday “doing battle” with Rizon or Sanson warblingly accompanying another contestant to one of her songs

All the “stars” were either signed to Universal Music (of which TF1 is part) or just happened to have a new album to promote present  – or both.  Yep the channel really takes the proverbial biscuit for imagining viewers are that dumb.

Not content with the yawnathon nature of the show, the producers decided there had to be one last song from each of the four contestants before the votes were tallied.

And guess who was dragged up on stage to perform alongside  their acolytes. Whoops, that rather gives the game away doesn't it, as of course it was the turn of the judges, coaches, call them what you will.

Well at least it gave viewers a laugh and the chance to see just how far Jenifer hadn’t progressed since winning Star Academy a decade ago and how out of place ex-Téléphone member Louis Bertignac was in the whole set up.

Results time – surprise all round as Rizon was announced the winner and presenter Nikos Aliagas rounding everything off by saying the France had chosen its “best singer”.

What exactly does that mean – that the rest were pants?  Of course not, just that Rizon was the crème de la crème (snort) at least until The Voice 2 begins airing.

On that note doesn’t it all seem a bit rich and something of an insult to try calling the latest non-entity “The Voice “when that has been  a label deservedly earned used to describe the likes of real singers such as Frank Sinatra and Whitney Houston.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I accidentally stumbled upon "the Voice" on Saturday. Given how off-tune most of the singers were, I could not believe it was the final stage of the competition. Has France run out of talents then? How awful were the other contestants I wonder.


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