Girl Power! Lucy Milburn, Gayatria Nair, Lauren Bannon, and Tai blew their male competitors offstage on the first Knockout Round of The Voice UK, by JIM SHELLEY
The best thing about the Knockout round on The Voice UK is normally watching the celebrity coaches agonising over which of their own acts’ dreams to shatter when they knock them out by sending them home.
So perhaps it was unsurprising that Will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs, and Sir Tom Jones made it easy for themselves by loading things in their favourites’ favour.
They went on and on about hard the decisions were but three of the four ‘dilemmas’ were really No Contest with Gayatri Nair (Team J-Hud), Lauren Bannon (Team Olly), and Lucy Milburn (Team Tom) effortlessly blowing their colleagues-turned-rivals offstage.
Girl Power! Lucy Milburn, Gayatria Nair (left), Lauren Bannon (right), and Tai blew their male competitors offstage on the first Knockout Round of The Voice UK
This victory for Girl Power was compounded as even in the case of Will.i.am the winner Tai overcame Paige Young and Anna Willison Holt.
Frankly the singers representing the boys (Kade Smith, Jake Benson, Kalon Rae, and Ross Anderson) looked like exactly that: boys.
They also sounded dated and unoriginal - like the type of young, fresh-faced singers who could have come 5th or 6th from ANY series of The Voice, The X Factor, or Fame Academy.
Lauren Bannon was an obvious winner over Kade and Holly Ellison - not least because she had given up university to concentrate on the show.
Nailing it: Despite their best efforts the boys were blown out of the water in the first knockout show of the series, leading each coach to choose a girl to advance to the semi-finals
We had already seen Gayatri Nair her mentor Jennifer Hudson to tears in rehearsals – definitely an indication of her chances, particularly as the final the 16 year-old’s final rendition of ‘This Is Me’ by Keala Settle was more emotional still.
‘I am actually speechless !’ said Hudson’s guest mentor - the winner of last year’s series Mo Adeniran, proving he was even worse in this role than he was as a pop-star.
We also knew the show was always likely to end on a high and everyone knew Lucy Milburn had delivered as soon as she sang the opening line of ‘Gravity’ by Sara Bareilles. Even the notoriously indiscriminating studio audience didn’t drown her out by clapping and whooping (for once) - because they wanted to actually listen.
Stunned: Jennifer Hudson's vote was one of no contest when it came to selecting her favourite from three stars of her team
Give me strength! Olly also had to make the impossible decision, eventually going with Lauren Bannon
The only note of controversy/conflict came, inevitably, with Tai.
‘I can’t even believe I’m here,’ she said before her performance. ‘I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe Will picked me over Kade.’
Some viewers will know how she felt.
They would also have been surprised when Tai made the only choice of having a producer as successful as Will.i.am at her disposal but then elected to over-rule his idea.
‘I know Will’s supposed to be picking the song I get for the Knockout…’ she grinned, before telling him she’s been working on a version of Jolene by Dolly Parton.
‘I want to make it urban!’
New mix: Tai was only element of controversy during Saturday's show as she flipped the Dolly Parton classic Jolene on its head by making it an urban track
Not even Will.i.am could stop her.
‘Turning that song from country to dancehall who does that?!’ cried one of the Black Eyed Peas, not unreasonably.
‘Some people are not going to love her!’ Olly Murs predicted accurately.
‘Yeah but that’s like ice-cream,’ acknowledged Will. ‘As good as ice-cream is, some people like toast.’
Shell-shocked: The spunky songstress seemed stunned to make it so far saying beforehand: 'I can’t even believe I’m here!'
Maybe this was his idea of the Marmite metaphor (marmite on toast).
‘I did that to put my own stamp on it!’ Tai smiled when Will put her through into the semi-finals on the grounds she was ‘the one I feel who the industry needs’ (i.e. more likely to have a hit).
Tai’s decision to mess around/mess up the Dolly Parton classic had been vindicated – according to her anyway.
‘I’m not just here to sing songs. I’m here to be an artist!’
We had guessed that from the welder’s glasses.
Glamorous: Tai was chosen by her coach will.i.am to make it through to the semi-finals
Here are my marks for the performances and my awards from this week’s episode.
Lucy Bannon: ‘Believer’ by The Magic Dragons ***
Kade Smith: ‘Express Yourself’ by Charles Wright ***
Holly Ellison: ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran **
Paige Young: ‘Power’ by Little Mix *
Not so good: Paige Young struggled with her rendition of Little Mix's Power and failed to make it through
Tai: ‘Jolene (urban version) by Dolly Parton **
Anna Willison Holt: ‘Masta Blasta’ by Stevie Wonder **
Jake Benson: ‘Sun Comes Up’ by Rudimental **
Ross Anderson: ‘Torn’ by Natalie Imbruglia **
Gayatri Nair: ‘This Is Me’ by Keala Settle ****
Jiving along: Sir Tom Jones got into the dancing spirit for his team's performances
Kalon Rae: ‘California Dreamin’ by Sia ***
Eliza Gutteridge: ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ by Sigrid ***
Lucy Milburn: ‘Gravity’ by Sara Bareilles *****
‘He did smell really good!’ - Lauren Bannon on guest coach Craig David.
‘I walked in and I was like: ‘what?! It’s Craig David! When the bassline drops you know what to do!’ - Kade Smith.
Best Impression: Kade Smith gave a funnier moment of the night as he did an impression of Craig David
‘He already knows who he is – as an artist’ - Will.i.am on, um, 17 year-old window-cleaner Kade Smith.
‘When I was 17 I was selling kitchens in a call centre!’ - Olly Murs reminding Kade (and us) that he was irritating even before he became famous
LEAST CONVINCING COMPLIMENT
‘I grew up listening to your music - obviously everyone did!’ - Paige Young, suggesting she had been briefed about who Taboo and apl.de.ap were.
Just wrong: Anna Willison Holt took inspiration from Jim Carrey in The Mask with a mustard yellow trouser suit
LEAST APPROPRIATE OUTFIT
Anna Willison Holt singing ‘We’ve agreed to get together/joined as children in Jah’ from Stevie Wonder’s Masta Blasta wearing a flowing mustard yellow trouser suit that Penelope Keith would have rejected as ghastly and made her look like Jim Carrey in ‘The Mask’
WORST CONFIDENCE VOTE
‘For me Ross did not shine in the Battles…’ - Jennifer Hudson reminding us that Ross Anderson shouldn’t have got this far anyway
SWEETEST REACTION BETWEEN COMPETITOR & MENTOR
‘She’s like Thumbelina isn’t she?!’ - Lucy Milburn on hugging Kylie Minogue
Star-struck: Kalon Rae got the shock of his life when he met Kylie Minogue during rehearsals
SOUREST REACTION BETWEEN COMPETITOR & MENTOR
Kalon Rae on seeing Kylie: ‘I could not be happier! She’s a legend! No-one is better than her!’
Kylie to Kalon after his rehearsal: ‘It was a little bit busy. With the trills you’re doing, something in your brain goes ‘huh I’m a little bit bored of that now!’
Ouch. Back in the knife drawer Ms Minogue…
Ouch! Sadly the Aussie pop princess said Kalon's rendition was 'a little bit busy'
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