It’s a time of considerable soul-searching in the world of the talent show, and ‘The Voice’ is under more pressure than most. Having failed to launch a big new star with a first series that petered out after the novelty of the blinds (coaches choosing singers based on voice alone), the programme-makers have wisely made a few tweaks to the format. Out go the interminable parade of live rounds, inescapably reminiscent of ‘The X Factor’. In come more blind rounds, knockouts in which performers choose their own songs, and ‘steals’ through which coaches can pinch acts rejected by their colleagues.
Whether that will be enough remains to be seen, although the taster tape that we’ve seen bodes moderately well. At least ITV have held ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ back for a few more weeks, while the bizarrely alchemical blend of Jessie J, Tom Jones, Will.i.am and Danny O’Donoghue on the judging panel once again represent the series’ best hope of pulling in the punters.