This is The Voice

The new series of The Voice kicked off last week with the start of the blind auditions and introducing Rita Ora as a new judge. I like the blind auditions stage because the contestant is allowed to sing without being judged by their appearance first. It’s interesting to see which judges turn around and if more than one judge does turn, which one the contestant will choose to be their mentor.

So far this series I like Lucy O’Byrne (Team Will) and Howard Rose (Team Tom). I also liked the guy who sang House of the Rising Sun but unfortunately he didn’t get through. I’m not going to blog properly about this series yet as there has only been one episode at the time of writing this. Instead this post is going to be about my favourite performances from all the preceding series.

Series 1

I can’t really remember many people from the first series apart from the winner Leanne Mitchell so had to youtube most of the auditions to give myself a little reminder. That said, youtubing the early series reminded me how glad I am that Ricky Wilson replaced Danny O’Donoghue!!

Leanne was one of my favourites so I was glad she won and glad that she beat Ruth Brown to be Tom’s finalist. She almost matched Tom’s greatness in this duet which was my favourite performance by her.

My other favourite from the first series was Jaz Ellington. He got to the final two for Team Will but Tyler James nabbed the finalist spot. He had amazing control of his voice, a great range and tone too.

Series 2

Matt Henry was one of my favourites in the blind auditions though I felt he struggled in the live shows after being passed between coaches (Will & Jessie). I did love all the jokes about how alike him and Will were – they did look as if they could be twins!

I wasn’t sure about Ragsy in the early stages as he had a good rock voice but wasn’t technically great. His knockout performance stood out for me though.

I loved Cleo Higgins’ audition. Anyone who attempts one of Beyonce’s hardest songs is brave. Cleo not only attempted it but smashed it! I remember her from the band Cleopatra and so loved this 90s singer making a comeback. Cleopatra coming at ya!

I wasn’t a fan of Leah McFall in the early stages because I just didn’t ‘get’ her voice or sound. Like Ragsy, her knockout performance of ‘Loving You’ was a turning point. However, my favourite performance was the duet in the final with Will.i.am. I felt she should have won series 2 but it’s good to see that Will has supported her since by inviting her on tour and assisting her with creating new material.

I loved the juxtaposition of the VT preceding the blind audition by Carla and Barbara. Made out to be rock style biker chicks in the VT, the duo wowed the audience (there and at home) and the judges with the classical Flower Duet. I loved the surprise factor but it also somewhat shocked me to see Will’s interest in classical music. It will be intriguing to see what he does with Lucy from this series as he previously mentored this duo who were knocked out in the battle rounds.

My final choice for series two is a singer called Bronwen Lewis who didn’t progress further than the auditions. However, I find her bilingual version (Welsh/English) of Fields Of Gold absolutely beautiful so had to include it!

Series 3

Series 3 had some of the best blind auditions for me and I probably still follow more singers from last year’s programme on Twitter to see what they are doing now.

Christina Marie was my favourite to win last year. I was still happy that Jermain won as like 2014’s Strictly Come Dancing, all the finalists were worthy finalists and any of them could have won. Although all her performances were great, I have chosen her battle ‘Power of Love’ as she showed herself to be a worthy contender.

Anna McLuckie was a more unique voice. She had folky qualities which were enhanced by her harp accompaniments. I was very impressed that she could play the harp whilst singing! Her blind audition was my favourite performance by her as it was a very different version of a song that had received an overwhelming amount of airplay at that time.

One of the biggest shocks of the series was that Bob Blakeley didn’t progress further than the auditions. Despite this Bob was offered a recording contract following the show.

Sophie May Williams possibly gave my favourite auditions performance in last year’s series. I liked her style and the jazz/bluesy elements that she added to her performances. I felt she was let down in the live shows with predictable song choices that didn’t challenge her apart from the fact that the keys were slightly too low for her to properly show off her jazz tones.

Iesher Haughton was another young singer with a powerful voice. I think her audition was her best performance as she struggled slightly in the live shows.

My final choice for series 3 is Femi Santiago. A brilliant singer who left the competition WAY too early thanks to the judges’ decisions. I loved his clear tone and his wide range. I was disappointed Will put him and Iesher in the same battle as I thought they were evenly matched and it would mean a great singer would be sent home. Luckily, there was some hope for Femi fans when Iesher won the battle as Kylie chose to use her ‘steal’ to save him and join her team. However, this hope was shortlived as he was eliminated in the Knockouts – one of the biggest travesties of the show.

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