Prime time Saturday night TV can always capture the hearts and attention of the nation but with catch up and iPlayer it spans beyond that one night a week. Normally for me nothing grabs my interest except Strictly Come Dancing, however, as there are a number of months to wait before that comes back around to grace us with the sparkle and sequins I’ve been looking for something to shine.
I’ve watched every series of the Voice since it began in 2012, I didn’t watch it every week for every season because you don’t always connect but I always gave it chance. Now it sits over on ITV (another one bites the dust from the BBC) and like with The Great British Bake Off I’m keen to see what they do with it. Firstly? Bring back the bear, the one only Tom Jones – let’s face it wasn’t quite the same without him. Secondly, mix it up a bit. If the act isn’t successful they walk away; I wouldn’t want any amazing singer to be in those shoes but you got make them turn around… Thirdly, change the prize. Wow, a record deal – that’s a smidgen bit bigger! No pressure then. There have been some singers from the Voice who have excelled beyond the show in their own way. Two acts I still follow are Leah McFall and my unexpected favourite Becky Hill. But how has it faired up in comparison to it’s current rival?
Enter Gary Barlow. Now I never really got the Take That obsession – Robbie Williams, yes (Sorry GB) but not the band, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. However, take musicals and hit Saturday night formula and surely you’ll be on to a winner?! Mr Gary Barlow is looking for 5 singers to put together to make a boy band for his new musical featuring the songs from Take That. Each auditionee has to reach a minimum of 15 stars to make it through to the next round. The judges don’t know what each other have scored and you find yourself drumming in anticipation regardless of what you thought of the act. Mine was hugging the cup of tea and drumming my fingers against the mug. But what happens when you have too many singers for the slots available you see if they can dance and place four on the reserve bench, limber up boys. Mel Giedroyc and Graham Norton are the presenters; an uncertain presenting combination but 4 weeks in and they have found their right mixture.
But which one do I prefer? To get a proper taste of my preference I’ve been giving myself the time to watch them one after the other or one night apart. I found myself switching over to the ITV hub for The Voice first. Maybe it’s the established formula and the fact Will.I.Am and Tom Jones are there, I don’t know but I get excited to see who they turn for. On the other hand, I miss the mini competition between the judges and knowing how many places are left on the teams – perhaps as the show progresses we might see more of that.
I’m sorry to say I’m unsure on Let It Shine. It sure sparkles (although not quite like Strictly) and I can’t deny musical theatre having a spot on my tv watching schedule but something about it for the auditions seemed flat. Guest judge Amber Reilly was awesome and I’m a little gutted she was only there during the auditions, I loved the vibe and dynamic she added to the panel. As a concept it reminds me of the show Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and there is something special about this show. I just don’t know what exactly yet.
As the auditions for both shows draw to a close the next stage will unveil more and I’m excited. I’m gripped regardless. One because I love the show anyway, and the other because I want to see where they take it. Have you been watching both – or has Gary Barlow stolen your attention away from Gavin Rossdale?