Teleprompt: The Voice

Apparently the BBC want to buy it and Robbie Williams might be on it... but what is it?

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So, what’s The Voice all about, then?

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It’s a TV talent show where contestants attempt to impress a panel of big-name judges with their singing in the hope of winning a truckload of cash and a record contract.

Oh dear, not another one.

Ah, but this one’s the brainchild of Big Brother creator John de Mol. And he’s got a rep for coming up with formats that work.

Still sounds a bit like The X Factor, though…

Hush! Granted, it’s a bit similar but the format is genuinely different. Well, slightly. While the judges still have to mentor teams of acts, they choose their performers via a blind audio-only audition round.

Meaning that there could be plenty of SuBo-style surprises on it, then?

Well, not exactly. The folks chosen to go into the blind audition process are scouted for the show by music industry execs…

Oh. Well anyway, what happens after that?

Once the contestants have been divvied up into teams, they’re polished by the judges before being pitted against their teammates in front of an audience. After this, the strongest singers go through to gala live broadcasts where they’re at the mercy of the telephone-wielding people watching at home, who vote to keep their favourite acts in the competition. And once the contestants have been whittled down over several weeks and the final votes come in, the sole surviving ‘strongest voice’ wins the contract and the lolly.

I thought you said this was different to The X Factor.

I only said “slightly”. And it’s one of the most popular talent shows on US TV at the moment, thanks no doubt to the fact that it’s judged by genuine megastars like Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. Rather than folk like Amanda Holden.

Ooh, get you. So who’ve they got lined up for the UK version?

At this stage it’s all speculation but Dannii Minogue, who recently quit The X Factor, soul sensation Adele and Robbie Williams are three names being mentioned in the press.

How exciting! When’s it starting?

Whoa there, hold your horses. It won’t make the airwaves until next year but BBC bosses are said to be lining it up as a rival to The X Factor, so it’ll probably emerge when ITV wheel out next year’s series of that programme.

Seconds out, ding ding!

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Well, quite. It’ll be interesting to see how the new show fares against its popular rival, but from the sounds of things it’s got a healthier chance of besting the SyCo show than Strictly did. And whatever the weather, it’ll be better than Sing If You Can.