You're Not The Voice - A Look At Opening Night

16 April 2012 | 4:27 pm | Andrew Mast

Andrew Mast sat through an hour of The Voice last night, poor sod.

Watching Seal judge/mentor on The Voice is not quite as soul-destroying as seeing John Lydon in I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here but it's in the same solar system.

Here's a piece of rave culture history swivelling around in the company of a vanilla poppette, a plastic punk and Mr Kidman.

At least Lydon had already admitted punk was all a swindle. Seal, however, made us believe in PLUR (peace, love, unity, respect).

The Voice is not PLUR. The Voice is BLEURGH.

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It may have topped last night's ratings but Channel Nine have a problem. They cannot make modern variety TV. No matter what colour paint they splash over the old variety veneer, it always dries a lighter shade of beige.

With this new singing contest, which hinges around the gimmick of contestants performing to the backs of judges so as not be judged on looks, Nine promised us the world.

Overseas productions of The Voice franchise razzled and dazzled audiences (though ratings are slowly but surely dropping off in its second US season) – big name celebrities with big characters like Christina Aguillera and Cee Lo were involved.

The Voice buzzed. Nine muffled the buzz.

The Voice Australia delivered Seal singing Crazy with Delta Goodrem, Keith Urban and that guy from Good Charlotte who didn't date Sophie Monk.

If only it had been crazy… instead of bland. Really bland. The kinda bland that makes you contemplate doing the dishes, vacuuming and sugarwashing the walls.

As usual, an array of averagely-voiced, decent humans were rolled out and encouraged to serve up sob/life-affirming stories and be told all the usual things we've heard for over a decade on Pop Star and Idol franchises: “once every now and then, a voice comes along…”

Then there was the 'sparring' between judge/mentors. It's easy to forget that Goodrem use to act because her banter was as unconvincing as her card-prompted speech later that night on the Logies.

As for that Good Charlotte guy with Bardot connections, trying to do sexual innuendo in a family viewing timeslot never works. He comes off about as bad boy as Goodrem.

The show and its format aren't that bad. It just has nothing new to offer other than its extra large spinny chairs.

It just reeks of being Hey Hey'd by the old hands at Nine (Hi, Ben!).

Wake us if it gets interesting.

Review by Andrew Mast