I’ve been watching the full episodes of the first season of The Voice UK the last couple of weeks. At first I was surprised that Sir Tom Jones was one of the judges. I mean, how can one resist when Sir Tom turned his chair on blind auditions?
The presence of Sir Tom Jones in the reality talent show was a bit too much I think. I mean, he was far much senior and experienced compared to other judges (i.e. will.i.am, Jessie J, and Danny O’Donoghue), and it was (sort of) obvious that the finalist from his team eventually won the competition.
The ultimate winner was Leanne Mitchell, a 29-year-old girl who used to sing at a holiday park, and had a powerful voice. My favourite performance from Leanne was when she sang “It’s A Man’s Man’s World” on the final. I like her duet with Tom (singing Mama Told Me Not to Come) as well 🙂
Another awesome performance involving Leanne was at the battle round, where she compete against Scottish Barbara Bryceland. It was sad to see Sir Tom’s big fan Barbara to be sent home, but I must admit that Leanne was slightly better than Barbara.
Sir Tom Jones had another powerful singer on his team, and it was everybody’s favourite – the 17-year-old Ruth Brown. It was a surprise when Leanne was voted to the final, instead of Ruth – and even Tom himself looked slightly disappointed. In my opinion, Ruth’s best performance was when she sang Oleta Adams’s Get Here.
Meanwhile, my favourite contestant, the cheeky Samuel Buttery, was unfortunately “not saved” by Tom, after being in the bottom two on the first live show. He sang erasure’s “A Little Respect” (another reason why I like him! haha) on the live show – and his voice really reminded me of Andy Bell’s.
Luckily, the gorgeous (Boy) George spotted him and asked him to play on his musical “Taboo”, playing as the amazing Australian gay artist Leigh Bowery. Yaaayy!!
From the other group, an amazing performance was done by Bo Bruce, an already professional singer who sang Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”. Bo was the finalist from Danny’s side, and she had such a distinguishing vocal, reminded me of all the fresh young indie singers these days.
The semi-finalist Max Milner also had a distinguishing vocal, maybe a bit like a cross between Sting and Dave Matthews. Max is probably the most active former contestant on youtube at the moment, making his own music and recording acoustically in the kitchen and studio and other sort of places. Here’s Max singing KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and A Cherry Tree”, a song I used to listen to a lot when I was still in Leiden back in 2009.
Danny got a very nice group of singers, and this group performance was very, very nice. I really like the concept, and despite Danny was outsung (since his vocal was not that good), this is still a performance to remember.
Of course I also like Sir Tom Jones’s group performance, singing “Hit The Road Jack” – I like the dresses in particular 😛 – but it was too focused on Leanne and Ruth, the two strongest contestants.
The strongest contestant from Jessie’s team was Vince Kidd, whose style strongly reminded me of Billy Idol. He was known to modify the songs he’s singing, making them “really Vince”. His blind audition was stunning, singing Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”. At the beginning I also didn’t expect that this was the same song Madonna sang in 1984
Another contestant who had a remarkable performance at the blind audition was choir teacher Jaz Ellington. At that time he was the last contestant, and only will.i.am had one space left in the team. Lucky will! Anyway, after singing “The A Team”, he was later asked to sing “Ordinary People” and put Jessie and will to tears. Unfortunately, Jaz lost in the semi-final to Tyler James, a.k.a. Amy Winehouse’s best friend.
Apart from the contestants, the judges also sang! Tom, Jessie, Danny, and will.i.am mix-mashed their songs into this final performance.
Anyway, if you want to see the whole show from beginning to end, you can see it on Tom Jones’s youtube (starting from the first blind audition) here.