‘I Can See Your Voice is tone deaf but it could be my new guilty pleasure’
We’ve been judging people on talent shows for years. But now, in an era where formats must be endlessly twisted, we must judge them without seeing – or hearing – their talents.
I Can See Your Voice on BBC1, aside from sounding like a mild threat, is the latest singing competition on the ever-evolving TV show conveyor belt.
What’s next? I can hear your dancing? I can smell your talents? That one doesn’t even bear thinking about.
Okay, so it’s a game show for members of the public to win £10k, not a Simon Cowell-esque pop star factory dangling a record contract.
We are presented with six mystery performers, some of whom can sing and some who very much cannot.
They lip-sync (to their own voice if they can sing or someone else’s if they can’t) and talk a bit about their lives with their voices distorted.
Paddy McGuinness hosts with infectious enthusiasm as Celebrity Investigators Jimmy Carr, Alison Hammond and Amanda Holden (who riff off each other nicely), along with a musical guest (this week McFly’s Danny Jones), help contestants to spot the imposters.
Get it right, they win money. Get it wrong and the last impostor standing wins.
Basically you are trying to figure out if someone has a good voice or not just by looking at them. Which is completely ridiculous. And yet… it’s all actually surprisingly fun and joyful.
Producers have taken those Susan Boyle and Paul Potts TV gold moments and made a whole show out of it.
Remember when The X Factor auditionees appeared before the judges and we all waited on tenterhooks, guessing whether they “looked like” a singer?
Well, that’s the game. We’ve been doing it for years.
But this is made better because the terrible singers are in on the joke and are having a ball. It all feels kinder.
“I came for a laugh,” grinned Rising Star, after murdering a Rihanna hit. Round of applause, everyone’s a winner.
And the good ones? Well, nothing beats that goosebump moment. “Oh my days!” yelled Alison after the nerdy teacher belted out Somewhere to West End stage standard. No one saw it coming.
And in efforts to rival The Masked Singer, there’s even a catchphrase. “Let’s hear your voice!” everyone chants.
By this point, I’m screaming it too. The play-along vibe is strong.
As Danny duetted with the last singer standing, with her dulcet tones winning the contestants their Disneyland money, I realised this premise may be nonsense on paper, but it’s the ultimate feel-good Saturday night belter.
This could be my new guilty pleasure.
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