Jennifer Hudson takes the Voice UK to a new level

Is J-Hud the best coach ever on the show?

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Move over Simon Cowell and pack your bags, Craig Revel Horwood: there’s a new talent show judge in town. And she’s better than all of you.

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Her name: Jennifer Hudson, the coach/judge/sass-meister that’s joined the ITV series of The Voice – and injected some much needed life into the deflated show the BBC left behind.

Striding onstage, her massive voice filled the new gigantic Voice studio provided by ITV. She instantly cemented her place as the best coach to sing on the UK’s voice – on previous series you often wondered whether a lot the contestants were better than the judges (sorry, Ricky).

And besides from her beyond Kelly Rowland levels of on-stage sass, the main reason is why Hudson is she’s in the perfect position to help contestants. She’s competed in a talent contest – finishing seventh on American Idol before going on to release three studio albums and perform at the Superbowl halftime show – and knows how to get the best of them. If anyone was going to help a contest on a talent show make it big, it’s Hudson.

By being in the same boat as contestants, Hudson knows how to sail it. Just think about her on-stage singing lesson with Diamond, one of the first members of Team J-Hud; not only did this show how powerful and inspiring Hudson’s voice is, but how good she is as a vocal coach.

And we only saw a very short version of that training lesson on screen. As Emma Willis told Radiotimes.com at the launch of The Voice, “You only see a very edited version of that conversation and Jennifer on screen. Hudson really spent a lot of time with her with lots of technical stuff I don’t understand.”

Inspirational, genuinely talented and a fantastic teacher, it’s hard to agree with will.i.am that “Jennifer Hudson is my favourite female coach so far”.

So, what about the other newbie? What about household name Gavin Rossdale (presuming you live in the same household as Gavin Rossdale). In short: not well. In a bit longer: he might be the ying to Hudson’s yang, the least entertaining coach The Voice has seen.

Maybe it has something to do with Hudson’s star power dwarfing the other judges, but resident meerkat doppleganger Rossdale is still left the smallest. Granted, it’s early days, but he really lacked the charisma to persuade any of the contestants to Team Gavin – he only nabbed Truly Scrumptious Ford (we still can’t believe that name either), a contestant who always planned to pick Rossdale.

But despite being unable to swoon contestants his direction, the other coaches continuously label monotone Rossdale as “smooth” i.e. they can’t truly find something interesting to say about him either.

True, he doesn’t do the annoying ‘inflatable garage tube man’ dancing Ricky Wilson and Danny O’Donoghue were prone to, but at least those coaches offered a smile or shared a joke with the panel. Gavin’s just a bit, well, detached.

It’s partly a shame we don’t see more riffing between Rossdale and the judges, but all in all it gives more airtime for what most will probably want to see: Jennifer Hudson being Jennifer Hudson.

The Voice UK airs on Saturdays, 8pm on ITV.

Move over Simon Cowell – pack your bags Craig Revel Horwood: there’s a new talent show judge in town. And she’s better than all of you.

Her name: Jennifer Hudson, the coach/judge/superstar that’s joined the ITV series of The Voice – and injected some much-needed life into a show that lacked snap, crackle and pop in its final days on the BBC.

Striding onstage, her massive voice bursted around ITV’s gigantic studio and she instantly cemented her place as the best coach to sing on the UK’s Voice (on previous series you often wondered whether contestants were better than some of the coaches – no names mentioned here).

And besides her beyond-Kelly-Rowland levels of on-panel sass, the main reason why Hudson is so likeable is that she’s in the perfect position to help contestants. She’s competed in a talent contest and knows how to get the better of them – Hudson finished seventh on American Idol before going on to release three studio albums and perform at the Superbowl halftime show. If anyone was going to help somebody on The Voice make it big, it’s her.

Simply put: Hudson has been in the same boat as contestants and she knows how to sail it. Just think about her on-stage singing lesson with Diamond, one of the first members of Team J-Hud; not only did this show how powerful and inspiring Hudson’s voice is, but how she soars as a vocal coach.

And we only saw a very short version of that training on the show. As Emma Willis told RadioTimes.com at the launch of The Voice, “You only see a very edited version of that conversation on screen. Hudson spent a lot longer with her with lots of technical stuff I don’t understand!”

Inspirational, genuinely talented and a fantastic teacher, it’s hard to disagree with will.i.am that “Jennifer Hudson is my favourite female coach so far”.

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So, what about the other newbie? What about Gavin Rossdale of indie-rocking Bush fame? How does he fit in? In short: not particularly well so far.

Maybe it has something to do with Hudson’s star power dwarfing the others, and it’s certainly still early days, but our other debutant coach seemed to lack the charisma to persuade any of the contestants to join Team Gavin – in episode one he only nabbed Truly Scrumptious Ford (we still can’t believe that name either), a contestant who always planned to pick Rossdale.

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True, Rossdale doesn’t do the annoying ‘inflatable garage tube man’ dancing Ricky Wilson and Danny O’Donoghue were prone to, but at least they offered a smile or shared a joke with the panel. Gavin’s just a bit, well, detached.

Perhaps Rossdale will grow into his roll as coach as the series goes on, but in the meantime it gives more airtime for what most will want to see: Jennifer Hudson being Jennifer Hudson. Bravo!

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The Voice UK airs on Saturdays, 8pm on ITV.