COUCH POTATO: Rita Ora discovers the problem with The Voice

BLIND AMBITION: Rita Ora is one of the celebs looking for a singing star.
BLIND AMBITION: Rita Ora is one of the celebs looking for a singing star.

We’re all agreed that the blind auditions are the only part worth tuning in for.

Once the chairs stop spinning, the viewers understandably abandon The Voice.

Ricky Wilson and Rita Ora attending the launch of The Voice. PIC: PA

Ricky Wilson and Rita Ora attending the launch of The Voice. PIC: PA

In fact that process can be hastened only if the blind auditions aren’t blind at all.

Say, for instance, if a kid named Jake Shakeshaft begins rasping out Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud to an acoustic guitar.

And Rita Ora asks the audience: “Is he playing?” as gesticulates strumming and playing the keyboard while nodding and shaking his head to the front row for answers.

Thereby defeating the entire sodding point, as per last night.

An infuriating development that exacerbated a catalogue of niggles with this show.

Nepotism has crept in, with host Marvin Humes’s mate Marc Armstrong and the brother of James Carpenter “who works on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show”, Tom, auditioning.

He arrived, as Matt Smith’s bow-tied Doctor Who, with the first sob story of the series: “I’ve got Tourette’s,” and only — HEH! — singing can — HEH! — stop it.

Equally annoying is the editing which remains almost non-existent.

I’m convinced the closest the original recordings get to being curtailed is when they’re shown the cutting-room door sign.

It means we must endure dispensable cack, like everyone singing along to the Rainbow theme, Ricky Wilson performing Orville the Duck’s I Wish I Could Fly for food-metaphor spouter and the Black Eyed Pea-llock going through the telly-unfriendly process of following naturists Billy and Martine Bottle on Twitter.

That pair aren’t the first 30 or 40-something wacky, new-age couple to grace the stage.

In fact the bookings have become as repetitive as the show’s success rate in never unearthing a star.

In just two episodes we’ve had yet more female twins, Welsh auditionees playing the Valleys card for Tom Jones and acts dropped by record labels, such as KFC chicken advert singer Hannah Symons who Will told: “You’re going to be at the O2.”

To see who in concert, he didn’t say.

But possibly Rita Ora, now in the seat formerly occupied by Kylie who was a success last year but, tellingly, isn’t missed one iota.

It almost doesn’t matter who occupies those spinny chairs. The Voice has much deeper, inherent problems.

As Ora said: “I’m starting to understand it now. Everybody can sing that comes in. Everybody.”

Therein lies The Voice’s main handicap. Wave upon wave of adequate singers makes not for entertaining TV.

The comedy turns are nowhere. You’ll never see a Wagner or a Stevi Ritchie here.

It means everyone’s nice to everyone, like Ricky Wilson who didn’t spin to Jake Shakeshaft but imparted this nugget: “We give constructive criticism but I ain’t got any.”

And that’s why we pay them the big bucks.


It’s the most unpleasant, toxic and downright horrible Celebrity Big Brother to watch of them all.

So Channel 5 pulled the emergency Katie Price lever on Friday night in a bid to save the series.

Total desperation by a show reeling from the removal of Jeremy Jackson, for exposing Chloe Goodman’s breast, and Ken Morley, for racist comments from another time.

Though in many ways he was booted out for doing exactly what he was booked for — incite conflict.

The real monsters, however, is Perez Hilton, a needy attention-seeker and vile hot-head Cami-Li who are marginally more objectionable than Nadia Sawalha, the self-appointed moral guardian who threatened to call the police because Ken said he liked female bottoms crudely.

She also summarised the series so far on Thursday in three little words: “This is horrific.”


This week’s Most Tragic Outcome award goes to…

BBC2’s Kate Humble: Into The Volcano as the host abseiled down towards a bubbling lava lake in the paradise islands of Vanuatu.

I regret to say nothing untoward happened and she’ll be jetting off somewhere far-flung again at our expense soon.


Yes, Harry Hill’s Stars In Their Eyes is two shows (the original and TV Burp) fused together by the Large Hadron Collider, but it’s starting to work.

Where else do you see the host, Brian Belo and “Mother Teresa”, in a pink inflatable ring, belting out The Love Boat?

And the talent pool’s deep, as that fantastic Frankie Valli proved last night. But the best thing about it?

It’s not Vernon Kay’s Stars In Their Eyes.


This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates…

Broadchurch threatening to hurl itself of a cliff.

Shortlisted shows pathetically begging for National Television Awards votes.

Horizon spending three hours concerning itself with cake, What’s The Right Diet For You?, when it should be explaining life, the universe and everything.

ITVBe assuming we need a British version of The Real Housewives.

The authorities failing to shut down The Vic in EastEnders despite the Carter kids running it illegally without either licensee, their parents, since New Year.

And ITV daytime Mel & Sue’s Mel Giedroyc asking: “Is it true, Jennifer (Saunders), you’re writing a very exciting film?” Saunders: “It’s the Ab Fab film.” So that’s a “no”, then.


Week two of Blue Go Mad In Ibiza and ITV2 really missed a trick.

The boyband became wedding planners but were pranked with a fake bride and groom, when the jeopardy of ruining a real couple’s big day would be incredible TV. (Blue: Wedding Planners. Make it happen, TV folk).

Still, I enjoyed Duncan mixing his metaphors: “I smell a herring here,” narrator Andi Peters’ thinly veiled insult to the biggest tool among them: “Somewhere in a kitchen, master-baker Lee (Ryan) is knocking out a cake.”

And Simon saying: “We’re not wedding planners but who knows, this could spawn a different career.”

You’ll need one after this guff, lads.


ITV2’s Cockroaches.

Suggest stamping.


Planet’s Got Talent host Warwick Davis: “Pushing the boundaries of what you thought possible in the sphere of dog-themed shenanigans is Korea.”

I think we all know it’s Vietnam that pushes the boundaries of dog-themed shenanigans.

Especially in restaurants.


This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes…

Good Morning Britain’s Golden Globes brown-noser Ross King physically being carried out by a member of the crew dismantling NBCUniversal’s party set after everyone else had gone home.

Mel & Sue’s animal special with a woman attempting, and failing, to hypnotise a live chicken with a piece of chalk and Ozzie, the tightrope-walking dog, twice coming a cropper.

Unexpected Belgian body-popper Gerrit, a fat consultant in a suit on Planet’s Got Talent, giving me the most TV joy of 2015 so far.

And Judge Rinder telling a woman suing over an unsightly tattoo on her bum: “It’s good that there wasn’t an L on one cheek and an L on the other. You could’ve had ‘LOL’.”



Nik and Eva Speakman spent all week giving This Morning viewers tips on “how to be happy”.

Eva: “It’s our mission to make the whole nation absolutely brimming with happiness.”

You’re announcing your TV retirement? Conga time!