‘The Voice’ UK review: Rachel O’Connor, Jessica Steele, Gemyni, and Jai rule audition show #4

The latest -The fourth episode of “The Voice” UK came to us via the BBC Saturday, and it brought us probably more of a melting pot than anything that past episodes have this season. Were there surprising genres? Sure, since there were also twins, bands, and a few moments that has us genuinely excited.

At the same time, we are still wrestling with the same issue that we have almost all season: There have been good artists, but not really anyone who we instantly want to root for, and would want to buy music from after the fact.

Team Kylie Minogue

Gemyni (a.k.a. Lauren and Kimberly) – This blind audition felt like it was about four seconds long, and that was a shame. Neither one of these ladies were necessarily vocal superstars, but they were fun! Plus, their entire performance was a big slice of 1990s camp that suits this show so very well. They are tailor-made for Kylie, and are so much better than the other duo that we’ll talk about a little bit later.

Jai, “Never Forget You” – The one-name strategy here is a little interesting, given that this is hardly the only person named Jai that we have ever seen on the show. The moment that she busted out that quirky voice of hers, though, it felt obvious that Will was going to beg and plead to get her. But, then EVERYONE wanted her. The only thing that probably got Kylie over the top was her (as seen in the video here) trying to bribe her with stuff out of her bag.

Rachel O’Connor, “Clown” – This is not a song that we love, especially since we wonder if a 16-year old really gets the lyrical content in the way that someone who is 25 or 30 would. With that being said, Rachel is probably the crown jewel of this episode. She has a very strong voice, she’ll be well-liked with the public, and she is also young enough that she can be molded into something amazing. Everyone probably saw her choice of coaches in Kylie coming … but it is certainly hard to argue it, since she knows what it takes to be young, female pop star.

Team Ricky Wilson

Tina & Tavelah, “Just Can’t Get Enough” – If you are going to have two people on stage together, they have to sing together with tight harmonies to be interesting. These two are very lucky to have Ricky Wilson on the show, since we just felt like energy aside, they were a vocal mess.

Team Tom Jones

Melissa, “Love Is a Losing Game” – There’s no doubt that there is talent here, but we feel almost like Melissa is really just trying to be Amy Winehouse more so than actually wanting to go on the show and do something interesting for herself. She did still get turns from everyone other than Will, so hopefully they can steer her in a different direction. Tom was a great choice … but what is with the one name? Why is everyone so afraid of last names these days?

Team will.i.am

Jessica Steele, “She Said” – If you are a returning contestant to the show, one of the things that almost always seems to come your way is the turning of a chair or two. But getting all four chairs? We don’t agree with that. There’s a unique sound here and some solid notes, but the vibrato at times tilted into goat territory. Will probably was the right choice for her, though we wish she wouldn’t have taken so long to make up her mind. We prefer confidence when it comes to picking your team!

Sarah Eden-Winn, “One Night Only” – Let it be known that we feel somewhat bad for Sarah’s boyfriend, who looked miserable about the fact that his flat is overrun with four cats. There’s a good voice here, but we don’t like this cheesy / overly campy song choice. It does nothing to really get us interested about how she could fit in the modern music scene. This may have been one of the more bizarre deliberations since it felt almost like Will was trying to sell Tom more so than himself.

No chairs

Bunny, “Rocket Man” – We suppose that any guy secure enough in his masculinity to go by the name of Bunny probably has to be commended for something. He did sing one of our favorites … but he wasn’t very good. Weird spacing, and there were tuning issues almost from start to finish that suggest that Mr. Singing Accountant is better off just singing at the workplace. If nothing else, he’s at least funny enough to try comedy.

Vela, “Homeward Bound” – A very lovely audition, but it was easy to see why they didn’t get any coach to turn around. Their voices sound extremely limited to just a couple of octaves, and they probably wouldn’t have done well in some of the more competitive rounds.

Milly J, “Summertime” – There are some songs that you can turn into opera. “Summertime” is not one of them. This song is beautiful because of the passion and soul within it.

Charlie Wood, “I Can’t Stand the Rain” – The sort of guy you would actually expect on the American version of the show … and in part because he is from Tennessee. We didn’t really see a whole lot of him, but we actually thought he was really good.

John Quinn, “Lightning Bolt” – Brilliant style, and a very different sort of rock performance than we’ve seen on the season so far. While there weren’t necessarily any big notes in here, there didn’t need to be. He was a genuine entertainer who wasn’t on the show to mess around.

Leanne Jones, “Skyfall” – Stars of “Hairspray” for whatever reason have struggled with trying to get some more work elsewhere. Just as Leanne, or Nikki Blonsky from the movie version in America. Leanne has a voice that rivals another “Voice” UK alum in Leanne Mitchell, but was probably a little theatrical and didn’t get a turn from that. Even still, we bet that she will still get some opportunities from this.

Episode grade: B

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Photo: BBC One

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