The Big Debate: BGT vs The Voice

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The Voice

It’s Saturday night again and this time I’m not groaning at the TV, or judging my family, because I’m not watching Britain’s Got Talent. I’m watching The Voice.

In a culture that’s pretty much dominated by music, celebrity, dance and the media, the war is on between the BBC and ITV for the most viewers on a Saturday night. Not surprisingly, Simon Cowell has found himself extremely challenged by The Voice and its popularity.

On April 14, The Voice had 10.7 million viewers and Britain’s Got Talent 10.2 million (including viewers watching ITV+1). Personally, I enjoy The Voice so much more than any other talent show. And here are the reasons why:

The Judges. Danny O’ Donoghue, Tom Jones, Jessie J and Will I am. All of these judges are extremely talented, well-known and current (well maybe Tom Jones isn’t current, but he makes up for it in experience).

Every week, watching the show you know that they know what they are talking about. They know what they are looking for, and they have a goal. I’m not sure whether that experience is as clear when watching Britain’s Got Talent.

Maybe it’s because the show is more generic and The Voice is specified to singing, but I think there is more faith in the judges on The Voice than the judges on the Britain’s Got Talent.

The Style. On The Voice, the judges had to choose a selection of ten people for their team, out of all the contestants. They had to choose on the spot, following their gut instinct. There’s more at risk for the judges on The Voice.

If they make the wrong decision, turn their chair around too early, they risk losing 10% of their chance to win. On Britain’s Got Talent they can buzz to stop the act, but still change their mind and put them through to the next round.

The Contestants. I can’t even count on my fingers how many hours I’ve wasted watching all the rubbish acts on Britain’s Got Talent, and doubting whether there is any talent at all in Britain.

The Voice, on the other hand, is completely different. None of the acts are terrible, although some are better than others. But all the people who can’t sing at all have already been filtered out, which makes it so much more interesting to watch who the judges pick.

The judges pick based only on the individual’s voice, nothing else. This is essentially the whole point of the show, to find “the voice”.

I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed every act on Britain’s Got Talent, and didn’t want to throw something at the TV. But these last couple of Saturdays, watching The Voice have been so entertaining, and even though I have a soft spot for Danny, I love everyone on that show.

Particularly Jazz Ellington, who if you haven’t heard or seen yet, you really should.  And so, I am looking forward to watching the contestants battle it out. As for Britain’s Got Talent – it has a lot to live up to. 

Britain's Got Talent

Being a self-confessed reality television addict having watched all the series of The X Factor and I’m a Celebrity, I was interested to hear that a new talent show was due to be aired on BBC1, in the name of The Voice.

Promising to offer something new, by judging the contestants solely on their voice rather than personality or appearance, I had to check it out. Unfortunately though for a number of reasons, it did not live up to all the hype, and when faced with the choice, I prefer to watch its adversary Britain’s Got Talent.

Firstly, the auditions are the best part of any TV talent competition. Laughing out loud at the terrible Christina Aguilera wannabes, and being utterly stunned by amazing performances from unlikely characters such as Susan Boyle, is a major part of our Saturday night viewing – it’s true that audiences like to boo as well as cheer.

The producers of The Voice, however, decided to cut to the chase with the auditions and filter out the good from the bad before the show even started, therefore denying us the chance to snigger, laugh and cry at all the thousands of hopefuls who do not make it through. Granted, all of the singers on The Voice are talented, but where’s the fun in that?

Secondly, as we all know, most of the media hype surrounding TV talent shows is related to the calibre of the judging panel. Known for his blunt, sarcastic criticisms and no nonsense attitude, Simon Cowell is the ultimate TV judge and expert at telling it like it is.

After choosing not to appear on last year’s The X Factor, it is brilliant to have him back on our screens again. Although his rival BBC1 show boasts the likes of Will.I.am and Tom Jones, what is missing from The Voice is the banter between the judges.

Replacing Michael McIntyre, this year David Walliams is equally as funny and his constant jibes at Simon make the programme even more enjoyable to watch.

The main objective of Britain’s Got Talent is to find just that – talent. And amongst all the shocking singers and disastrous double-acts, it is heart-warming to see that our small country really does have talent to be proud of.

With Lauren Thalia’s unlikely rendition of Turn My Swag On and Pudsey the dog dancing to the theme tune of The Flinstones, I defy anyone who says that both do not put a smile on their face.

Due to the wacky nature of many of the acts on BGT, it must surely be the most talked about of the two shows.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past couple of weeks, no doubt you’ve heard or at least become acquainted with Mr Zip’s rap, “Where me keys? Where me phone?” For me, Britain’s Got Talent triumphs against The Voice, despite its initial comparatively lower viewing figures, because of its ability to surprise as well as entertain.

The public will tire, after acknowledging the initial novelty of brand new show The Voice, as it proves to be just another singing competition. Britain’s Got Talent provides viewers with more variation. As programmes such as The X Factor have proved, it’s not just about “the voice” but it’s the whole package. It’s about vision as well as sound.

If Britain’s Got Talent is good enough for Queen and country, then it’s good enough for me.

Which do you prefer? Let us know by commenting below.

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