5:58 Hello! I’m Jack Seale, and tonight I am going to attempt something truly extraordinary. I will try, without a harness, to liveblog not just the third live show in the inaugural series of BBC1’s square singing competition The Voice, BUT ALSO to liveblog the grand final of ITV1’s tawdry splurge of random, Britain’s Got Talent 2012. That’s more than four hours of solid, talent-show-based liveblogging. Gad, and, to a significant extent, zooks.
6:00 They have said it cannot be done. In fact I was not the first choice for this, but Eddie Izzard screamed “You’re insane! INSANE!” and slammed the phone down, weeping, while David Blaine simply fainted. So it’s my health and sanity on the line. For all our sakes, please leave some comments in the small area provided.
6:06 Just time for some predictions before the off. The Voice looks pretty much sewn up this week: Matt and Sueleen are certain to go from Team Tom and I think Leanne Mitchell is almost definitely doomed too. On Team Will, Joelle Moses is not just toast – she’s toast, butter, expensive French jam, bottomless coffee and free WiFi. Frances Wood must be in trouble too, as she’d have to knock out one of Jaz Ellington and Tyler James. Can’t see it. But we shall, er, see.
6:11 Over in the brightly coloured, plastic wasteland that is ITV1 and BGT, I think it’s the strongest field they’ve ever had in the final. Jonathan and Charlotte and Ashleigh and Pudsey are the clear front-runners, but Loveable Rogues are dark horses. I don’t fancy Ryan O’Shaughnessy or Sam Kelly because I think they’ll steal each other’s vote, and possibly I’m missing something but I don’t rate Aquabatique at all, so if an outsider’s going to shock us it could be Only Boys Aloud or Kai and Natalia. Mind you, as my delighted bookmaker will tell you, I massively didn’t predict Jai McDowall winning in 2011, so ignore my advice utterly. That’s my advice.
6:11 Comment From jane Never fear m’colleague. I shall be with you (nearly) every step of the way – although I may occasionally fall off the blog depending on how much pinot grigio I’ve downed.
6:12 Radio Times reviewing legend Jane Rackham there, ladies and gentlemen. I’m afraid she’s not joking about the Pinot Grigio. Two for a fiver.
6:13 The Voice can’t be far away because the closing credits of Madagascar are rolling. At the end all the animals died in a horrific shipping accident, which surprised me.
6:17 We’re off! “They can’t all win,” warns Tom Jones, pseudo-parentally. Shocking but true.
6:19 Comment From Yoo Hoo This is madness – you’ll never do 4 hours straight — MADNESS
6:20 Judges’ style watch: Danny as normal; Tom Jones in a skinny tie and pocket square – very much the look of a man who’s been flipping through some 2010 back issues of Esquire at the hairdressers; Jessie J sporting a long Bettie Page side parting which I reckon is her real hair; Will in a monochrome baseball cardigan and driving gloves.
6:22 Fans of Holly Willoughby’s cleavage, meanwhile – and I don’t count myself among them, as I am too busy rating her excellent live presentation – will not be disappointed. If Cassius Henry were singing tonight they could reprise their memorable “three bald men, one of whom has escaped” routine. Holly’s got a lacy number on.
6:22 Anyway, it’s LEANNE MITCHELL.
6:22 Comment From SpecialFriedRice Leanne in the death slot. Shame.
6:25 She’s singing I Put A Spell on You. Lots of decibels as usual, but nothing too fancy. Elegant (mildly dowdy actually) black dress, wine-bar saxophonist behind her. Some licks or runs or whatever they’re called and it nearly went shouty in the middle, but that was very very solid. Adam Isaac under a bit of pressure now. “Ridiculously good,” says Holly.
6:27 As SpecialFriedRice points out, however, going first is not good for Leanne at all. We’re starting stupidly early tonight – as my small children who just attempted to cook their own tea will tell you – and I think I’m right in saying that the four singers last week who were in the two bottom twos, if you follow me, were the first four to sing. Massive compliments from the judges, though. Jessie J said something about a “chest belt” I think. No idea what it meant but it was positive.
6:28 Next oop, FRANCES WOOD!
6:29 Footage of dogs being dragged around Wakefield on a lead with Vote Frances posters cruelly stapled to them, and plumbers risking their livelihood by replacing their own phone numbers on their vans with the Frances vote line. Anyway, Frances is singing Show Me Love in a big dress and a massive chair.
6:32 It’s a t-shirt and taffeta skirt combo, not a dress. I do apologise. She’s stood up now. I comment further on the clothes because that was deeply average. Polite applause from the coaches. Gone. Definitely gone.
6:33 “I don’t know about ‘Hello Wembley’ – ‘Hello Wakefield’!” says Holly. She doesn’t mean “you’re going home” but that’s how it sounds.
6:33 Comment From Katie The best thing about her voice is her nail varnish…..
6:35 “There were parts there that looked like Star Wars,” says Tom of the light show around Frances, “but she’s the Princess Leia and the force is with her.” Then Danny does a carefully rehearsed Will impersonation. Earlier this week I wrote a piece suggesting that the Voice producers should prep the judges with a few lines rather than letting them wilt on live telly. I’m not saying they read it and followed my instructions, but clearly they did.
6:37 Now it’s MATT AND SUELEEN. Matt refers to the comparisons made between him and Gandalf, although I think Graham Norton nailed it when he wondered where Matt’s other 20 wives are. They’re singing Missing by Everything but the Girl, on park benches.
6:38 Matt and Sueleen’s relationship problems are, I assume, worsening. They’re on separate park benches (no, really – there’s a leafy video backdrop), facing away from each other. And, wait for it… they’re singing in different keys!!!!!! Ha, that’s a joke. But this is depressing and awful.
6:39 Comment From jane After tonight’s show I reckon the only place Matt and Sueleen will be singing is on a park bench.
6:39 “You didn’t even look at each other,” Holly observes. “It’s a good test,” says Sueleen, “to see if we can work together back to back.” Eh?
6:42 Holly also says Matt and Sueleen are known for their tight harmonies! Are they? Danny, ever the bad boy, brutally rules that M&S didn’t always pick out the relevant thirds. That’s technical jargon, folks. By my reckoning, Sueleen was mostly doing six-and-a-halfths. “Harmonies like that… haven’t really been done before,” says Jessie J. Uh-huh.
6:44 Comment From Suki2618 I love how Danny always follows his criticism with a well done and round of applause waiting for the audience to follow his example so that he doesn’t seem so mean.
6:44 Matt stares dolefully at the floor, while Sueleen opts for a rictus grin as Holly goes through the pretence of reading out M&S’s voting details. Oh and now it’s JOELLE MOSES. Apart from Leanne we’re blatantly front-loading the part of the show, when people might not be watching, with contestants who won’t be here in a fortnight’s time.
6:48 Joelle did Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. Will is on his feet doing machine-gun mimes but I think he’s chosen which two are going, and one of those is Joelle. That was remarkably unremarkable.
6:48 Briefly a shot there while Will was talking of Jessie J slumped in her big chair, listlessly staring at her fingernails.
6:51 Tom uncertainly compares Joelle to Muhammad Ali, but that was more Audley Harrison. Danny says Joelle cracked on the high notes – Will tells Joelle, “You didn’t crack. HE’S ON CRACK.” It is 6.50pm. This is BBC1. The Queen is watching.
6:53 Ha, I love Frances. In Reg’s cupboard, she answers a silly question about whether, growing up in Wakefield where life is rubbish and everyone eats coal for supper, she EVER thought she would sing with will.i.am, as his team are going to in a minute. “All the time,” she says, deadpan. It’ll be a shame to lose her.
6:55 Comment From Suki2618 what is Matt doing? cringe! Reggie looked petrified!
6:57 Aw Suki, I thought that was funny! Reg introduced RUTH BROWN rehearsing, with Matt standing behind him draping his grey tresses over Reg’s shoulders. Anyway, in rehearsal we saw Ruth playing the drums, but my dream of a singing drummer on a major talent show is still to come true as Ruth sings Next To Me by Emeli Sande in the traditional manner. Not sure about the floral trouser suit but she’s belting the song out as usual.
6:57 Comment From jane They obviously blew the costume budget on dressing Will.i.am and Jessie J. What HAVE they made poor Ruth wear?
6:58 Comment From Mother My ears hurt.
7:01 Comment From Jj A bit shouty? But she will go through
7:02 I dunno if that was as good as last week, but at the moment Ruth could come on and do Old MacDonald Had A Farm and she’d still be through. Danny reports that every hair on his body is standing on end. Will makes a long and bizarre comment about the apparent need for more pyrotechnics (“missiles” is what he specifically suggests, a bit worryingly), Tom gets Emeli Sande’s name wrong four times, and off goes Ruth. Next, TYLER JAMES.
7:03 Tyler is sticking with the eighties and doing Sign Your Name by the one and only Terence Trent D’Arby. Big shoes, Tyler. Figuratively speaking, that is. Terence actually had freakishly small feet and had to shop in the children’s section of Clark’s.
7:04 Comment From jane Just flicked over to C4 and saw Matt performing again. Oh no, sorry it’s Gandalf in Lord of the Rings ….
7:05 My big question here is whether Tyler will attempt the Terence Trent D’Arby trick of kicking over the mic stand, then tipping it back upright at the last moment with the other foot, with a triple spin to follow. I suspect not.
7:06 This is a bit wibbly. Tyler’s trademark falsetto is screeching in and out awkwardly and the other bits are treading water. Frances Wood, you are BACK IN THE GAME!
7:09 “Very cool. I wanna chill wiv you,” says Jessie J, trying to turn this into a flirty remark only for Tom to immediately say: “That’s a turn-up for the book!” After Will’s crack crack I can almost hear the meeting room being booked for Monday, as the producers wonder if they can do next week’s show on a five-minute delay.
7:09 Comment From Katie Jessie J is looking more and more like Whitney from Eastenders. In fact, have they ever been seen in the same room at the same time….
7:10 Reacting to the main problem there, which was that Tyler is in artistic terms staring up at Terence Trent D’Arby’s ankles, Tom Jones comforts him by mentioning his own cover of Kiss by Prince. Very kind and very apposite. It wasn’t as bad as that, no.
7:11 After a lot of dull analysis of Tyler’s falsetto, look out! It’s ADAM ISAAC and he’s going to do Radiohead’s classic moan, High and Dry.
7:12 The guitar might be a mistake. You can see the fingers of his left hand trembling on the fretboard.
7:12 Comment From SpecialFriedRice Lot of Twitter buzz that The Mend are the BGT wildcard. Completely baseless at this stage of course, but it’s a strong buzz.
7:12 Thanks Special! When the two shows are on at once I will need all the help you can offer. Er… who were The Mend again?
7:13 Comment From Al Doesn’t Russell Howard have an unfair advantage being on this?
7:14 Adam largely dodged the falsetto issue there, going for the breathy, vague approach rather than Tyler’s glass-cutter.
7:15 Danny agrees with me on the falsetto. Sorry. I’ll understand if you don’t want to read this blog any more.
7:15 “That was dope. And I don’t say that if I don’t mean it. I take that word seriously,” says Will. SCRIPTED LINE KLAXON.
7:16 Comment From Pippa How does Adam manage to be creepy and bland at the same time!?!
7:17 After the awkwardness with Adam in week one and Cassius last week, Holly there was holding the shared hand mic a bit higher and further away from her, so Adam wasn’t forced into leaning over in a slightly pervy “Sorry, I think I dropped my travelcard down there” way. Anyway, now it’s JAZ ELLINGTON.
7:17 Comment From Mic Adam should not be allowed to talk…or sing for that matter.
7:19 Update from Jaz’s personal life: him finding out the sex of his upcoming baby. Clinic, wife covered in that cold gel stuff, ultrasound, the works. It’s due for release in autumn 2012, with a UK tour to follow.
7:21 Jaz does a mashup of Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars and Billy Joel’s insulting classic, The Way You Are. Dressed in a heavy overcoat for some reason, but he sings it with his usual aplomb. That last note wasn’t offkey by the way. It was JAZ(Z).
7:23 Heavy mention of Jaz and Mrs Jaz’s anniversary, with Holly confidently saying that “everyone is crying backstage” (she must have checked the monitors) and Will wishing that his (single) mum had someone to sing those songs to her like Jaz just did to his lady. Jaz might as well go on holiday and not even bother turning up tomorrow. He is enormously through.
7:26 We’re back in Reg’s cupboard. Everyone’s sung now – just the team performances to go. I think this is the Beeb’s way of saying to ITV, “Sorry about the whole clash thing. We’ll put something awful at the end, how about that?”
7:31 And as TEAM TOM play dinosaur mini-golf to build up team spirit (why? They’re all up against each other in the bit that counts), BGT has started on the other side…
7:32 Reg reacts to Tom Jones playing crazy golf. “That has literally just made my life!” GET BACK IN THE CUPBOARD, REG.
7:34 Tom and Team Tom sing Hit The Road Jack, with Tom centre stage doing his trademark “what’s that on the floor just in front of me?” moves. Very tired and dated. On ITV1, the finalists take the stage, which with Nu Sxool and Only Boys Aloud on there must be in contravention of several fire regulations.
7:35 “The wildcard act is… THE MEND,” confirms Ant or Dec. Good work, Agent Special.
7:36 Damn. David Walliams said something funny there I think, but I was watching Team Will having pizza with Jamie Oliver, who then scooted away self-parodically.
7:37 Team Will are doing I Got A Woman. Or at least, Tyler James is. Where’s everyone else? Ah, here comes Jaz. Will is miming the piano convincingly.
7:42 I’ve switched fully to BGT now, let me know if anything awful happens at the end of The Voice. Something awful’s happened in BGT straight away…