Tonight’s episode of The Voice was a tale of two contrasting ends of the music business.
In the red corner was 57-year-old Dene Michael, the spiky-haired Hawaiian-shirt-wearing singer with Black Lace of “Do the Conga” and “Agadoo” fame. He turned up for the competition with his “personal friend” Bruce Jones, the man behind Corrie’s Les Battersby.
In the blue corner was the slightly more prepossessing and credible figure of Esmée Denters, 25-year-old singer, former YouTube sensation, protégée of Justin Timberlake and singer of the top ten UK hit Outta Here.
Guess which one made it?
Yes, for Aga-fans it was goodnight Black Lace as Dene did the conga out of the competition (we kid you not, he did just that).
“I want to show the world I am not just the man who sings Agadoo,” he said before he went on stage. And I am afraid the world just didn’t listen. Dene’s spirited rendition of George Benson’s Never Give up on a Good thing failed to impress the coaches Sir Tom Jones, Ricky Wilson, Will.i.am and Rita Ora. Still, you can see him being the man who sings Agadoo in the clip below. He does it well.
It was better news for Denters whose version of Coldplay’s Yellow got all four turns – eventually.
The coaches all waited until the last minute to show their appreciation for the svelte 25-year-old former star who told us with barely disguised horror that she now works in a frozen yoghurt shop.
But she sang beautifully and plumped for Will.i.am to coach her. After all, he is someone who recognised her from her heyday and whose fall from fame prompted much stunned reflection on the vagaries of the music business by Rita. If it can happen to Esmée it can happen to anyone, you sensed her thinking….
Denters also showed she was immune to the oleaginous praise of Ricky, suggesting that he was being a bit too “charming” and warning him that her boyfriend was backstage and would be prepared to “kick your arse”.
There were other good performances on what was initially billed as Welsh night (even though there were only two acts from the country on the show) with tears for Belfast’s James Duke who failed having just seen his twin brother Daniel Duke get through.
Perhaps the best singer of the show was Emmanuel Nwamadi who sang Sade’s hit Sweetest Taboo with great style and beauty.
Even funnier after hearing his high-pitched, angelic singing was his speaking voice – which was so deep and gravelly he could have been Barry White.