Brian O'Reilly: The Voice week 2 - Does RTE have anything but leopard print shirts in their wardrobe department?
THE second week of the live shows were probably on balance the weaker of the two, however there were still some stand out performances.
Once again the lack of music while Kathryn delivers her dialogue really disrupts the pace of the show. As the night wore on and the mentors were delivering more and more ‘7’ points, the crowd seemed to be less vocal and the pace and excitement of the show suffered. Music keeps the pace constant and keeps the atmosphere building.
The judging panel are really starting to gel well this year, Jamelia has been a great addition and is paying off in spades now.
Also, is the wardrobe budget really that tight in RTE? All of the male singers seemed to be wearing the same leopard print shirt. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice shirt, but a little variety please.
There was something very obvious this week, the difference between what those live the auditoriums hear and what TV viewers hear. There were some baffling scored from the judges for poor vocalists, and vice-versa.
Those who see the show get a different sound feed than the TV viewer gets, so things sound slightly different to both.
It’s why oftentimes on these shows the judges will speak the following week about “when they watched it back” – they like to see and hear what the viewers do, as they know it’s a different experience.
What a fantastic start to the show - Wayne is a complete natural for so early in the series. He oozed charm and confidence on stage, vocally he was pitch perfect and he could walk into a recording studio tomorrow. Confidence allows us as viewers to really feel comfortable and enjoy a performance. He was definitely one of the highlights of the night and one to watch in weeks to come.
The tone in Jennifer’s voice is her strength. There are technically stronger and more dynamic vocalists, but her tone is unique. She clearly was nervous as she started, however she pulled it together as she shook off the nerves. Her tone would lend itself to Shania Twain/ Leann Rimes sort of music. She would have offered something different in the competition, and it’s a shame to see her go.
Vocally he’s one of the most unique of all the performers this year, and the judges loved it. However I just wasn’t getting what all the fuss was about. Vocally it was solid, however he looked awkward on stage and mumbled a lot of the lyrics. There is a divide between the live audience and a TV audience hear and this performance showed it.
It’s not just physically he resembles last year’s winner Pat Byrne, but also vocally. His deep, husky tone isa pleasure to listen to. There were some pitching issues here, however he delivered one of the most authentic performances of the night. He delivered the song and its meaning better than anyone else on the night. He was clearly nervous, but when he becomes more confident on stage we should expect great things.
To take on a song by Leona Lewis and Kelly Clarkson is a challenge. To do it on your first live performance is an even bigger challenge. Unfortunately it wasn’t up to the standards of Lewis or Clarkson. There were some pitching issues on the higher notes and she clearly struggled with the range in the song. However she has some huge positives - On screen she looks fantastic and she is an incredible charismatic performer. She can sell the performance, which is half the battle at this stage. Once again she is another performer we will see flourish when she can shake her nerves.
Poor song choice claimed its first victim of the night. Karl is a great vocalist but he was just wasted on this song. This is one of those songs that needs to be delivered with a smooth confidence that only comes after a few weeks on a show like this. The first show isn’t the time do take on a song like this, the first show is when you should lay the foundations of what you can do vocally.
John had some pitching issues on the higher notes which exposed a weakness in his upper range which we hadn’t seen previously. On the technical side, the lighting during the performance was incredibly distracting - the flashing spotlights should only be used on long panning shots of the stage, it’s very distracting to a viewer, of course there’s nothing John can do about that. Despite the pitching issues John delivered one of the night’s more confident performances and vocals, and really marked himself out as one to watch.
And then came Tammy. She just blew everything that came before out of the water. The best vocal of the night by a long stretch. Only one slight flat on the high note, but besides that it was faultless. I agree with the judges she needs to bring more personality, however the vocal was flawless. Another personal qualm of mine, but either use a mic stand or hold the mic with one hand, not two. It blocks part of the face on camera. The most obvious winner I could see from last night.
Stephen fell victim to getting lost in a sea of husky male vocalists, despite delivering of the better male performances of the night. A great rock voice, a faultless vocal and delivered with great confidence. He just didn’t stand out enough from the other males, but he is a loss to the competition.
It’s the first week, but this just had too much wrong with it to justify taking a place off anyone else. It was messy, vocally it wasn’t strong enough and Terri looked a little lost on stage. She was given a little too much to do for a first live performance and she paid the price. We’re lacking the female pop singer this year and with a better song choice Terri could have been it. Unfortunately she was clearly the weakest of the acts and paid the price.
Sinead was clearly incredibly nervous, perhaps the most nervous of anyone last night. I think the pressure of expectation weighed on her, as she was called a potential winner so much in the run up to this performance she felt she had a lot toe prove. She has an incredibly strong voice, however nerves completely got the better of her. I’m delighted she got through as she has so much more to give. If anything this performance should light a fire in her to really show what she can do, and why she justifiably was called a potential winner.
Bressie called Andrew the most experienced singer in the entire competition, and it completely showed during his performance. He owned the stage, and was vocally completely on point. There are a lot of male rock singers in this year’s live shows, so the completion will be very tough – but Andrew threw down the gauntlet last night. He can’t just rock out every week however, he needs to show us what else he can do - and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.