The fourth blind audition show of The Voice UK was aired last Saturday night, and ten new contestants were added to the show as the coaches each added to their teams of singing talent. We’ve already selected Liss Jones and Lucy O’Byrne as our early tips for the winner, and Rita Ora as our tip for the winning coach, so let’s examine the ten new artists to see if there’s a vocalist worth adding to our portfolio this week.
Model Cai Williams sang Licence to Kill by Gladys Knight, and went straight onto team Tom after he was the only judge to turn his chair. His performance wasn’t too bad, but neither was it anything special, and it’s a happy coincidence for Tom that Cai also hails from Wales.
Despite an unconvincing performance, Holly actually had all four coaches turn their chairs. Perhaps it was her unusual song choice of ‘Timber’ by Pitbull and Kesha, in which she also showcased her rapping skills. She chose Team Will, which given the performance, seems a logical decision. She may fancy herself as a bit of a ‘Fergie’ of Black Eyed Peas fame, but we weren’t bowled over by her vocals.
Tim Arnold revealed that he had a record deal when he was 19 but was cruelly dropped by his record label on the day his debut album was released. That harsh turn of events clearly made a mark on him, and he admitted that at the age of 39 he was still chasing that youthful dream. His rendition of ‘Running up that Hill’ by Kate Bush was nice enough, and after turning round, Ricky said he recognised the singer after jogging past him earlier in the day. However, although we might be reading too much into it, Ricky seemed to find it hard to mask his disappointment after turning and seeing Tim.
In stark contrast the three male coaches could barely hide their excitement at seeing Kim Alvord, and even made ‘Flirty’ Rita Ora cringe a little as they fawned over the blonde singer. Tom was the only one to turn for her cover of Paolo Nutini’s ‘Scream (Funk my Life Up)’, and seemed particularly happy with the singer who revealed she was close to becoming part of S Club Juniors and The Saturdays in previous years. Her vocals weren’t quite so impressive though, and maybe there’s a reason she didn’t make either of those bands.
Identical twins, Shereen and Sophia, brought something a little different to the show, and their audition was full of attitude. They sang ‘Shy Guy’ by Diana King, and earned a spin from Tom, Rita and Will. They elected to join Team Rita, and will surely bring some entertainment in the later stages of the show, but they don’t appeal as out-an-out winners.
The same can be said of Scouse duo, The Mac Brothers. who brought enthusiasm to their audition, which say them play guitars and mash-up ‘Johnny B Good’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, and Ricky Wilson’s ‘Oh My God’. Enjoyable enough, but their vocals weren’t brilliant, and again it’s hard to see them winning.
Morven Brown – +3300 with Bwin
Morven Brown was the first of three teenage female singers to grace the stage, and she did just that, wowing Rita Ora with her performance of ‘Afterglow’. The seventeen year-old from Glasgow had a ‘captivating energy’ to her voice according to the coach, and is another strong artist to add to her team. The biggest surprise is that none of the other judges turned, but Ricky admitted he would have done if Rita hadn’t.
At just sixteen Rosa Lamele sang, and looked, much more mature, and all of the coaches were surprised by her tender years when they turned too meet her. Crucially, Tom and Ricky were the only ones to turn during her performance – or at the very last second at least – and both were glad they did after her rendition of ‘White Noise’. She chose to join Team Tom, which may have been the sensible decision after Ricky revealed he almost didn’t turn as he thought he had too many girls on his team.
Olivia Lawson – +2500 with Bwin
Rita Ora described Olivia as a porcelain doll, and it was an apt compliment as the teenager looked quite angelic on stage covering Tori Amos’ version of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Olivia’s stripped back vocals were enough to persuade Ricky and Will to turn as well, but the young artist from Sunderland chose to go with Rita. Hers was definitely one of the better auditions of the night, and while we’re not going to back her to win, we can’t help feeling a little smug that Rita has nabbed another great singer for her team.
Sharon Murphy – +5000 with Bwin
The standout, and most surprising performance of the night was from 52 year-old Sharon Murphy. She covered Bob Dillon’s ‘Forever Young’, and the sheer emotion in her voice clearly affected all of the coaches. Tom Jones was very nearly reduced to tears by the performance, while will.i.am summed her up by saying she had an ‘old soul’. That may not sound like the biggest compliment, but in the context of her performance it was eloquently put. She certainly doesn’t have the profile of a commercial pop star, and whether that will go against her remains to be seen. Neither of the winners of the first two series – Leanne Mitchell and Andrea Begley – could have been said to have that appeal either though, so it may not be a huge problem. The amount of back story the producers gave her is also a good sign, and this kind of show needs those ‘human interest’ stories alongside the ‘fame-hungry’ to maintain an audience. She may not win the thing, but it looks like she may be set up to go far, and there’s no doubt she has the vocal talent to do so, given the right songs and production. Bwin stand out at twice the odds of other bookies, and it’s worth a small punt on Sharon, with the potential to trade out at a later stage in the competition.
To win The Voice UK 2015
Sharon Murphy – +5000 with Bwin
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