The Voice Kids. Lights, camera, patronising action. Make it stop

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The Voice Kids. Lights, camera, patronising action. Make it stop

June 13, 2017 - 18:44
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Having failed miserably to discover a grown-up star, TV’s epically pointless The Voice has moved on to not discovering a child star. No one knows why.

The Voice Kids

Having failed miserably to discover a grown-up star, TV’s epically pointless The Voice has moved on to not discovering a child star. No one knows why.

Welcome to The Voice Kids, your golden opportunity to endure youthful show-offs singing tunelessly shortly before they experience the heartbreak of devastating rejection. Brilliant. That’s entertainment. Or is it a form of cruelty? You decide.

Whenever cute youngsters take their turn on The X Factor or BGT it’s time to make a cup of tea. Because it’s only too drearily obvious what’s going to happen. Despite not being much cop, the alleged infant prodigies will be wildly overpraised to the hilt as the patronising panellists embark on the obligatory orgy of condescension.

Brat-based interlude mercifully over, we return to the slightly less excruciating awful adults. Phew. But no such respite on ITV’s latest life-sapping contribution to the reality circus that treats us to a non-stop procession of junior wannabes and their pushy parents. Close to unbearable, it’s a 75-minute nightmare.

No one wants to criticise children for their musical shortcomings. Hence the understandable reluctance to tell them they’re useless. In fairness, some are clearly talented. Others not so much. But is it healthy to subject any of them to potential crashing disappointment on national television? More to the point, is it remotely interesting? Not in my book, where this dubious programme is listed in the couldn’t-give-a-damn section.

Given the shocking ratings decline of The Voice, it’s hard to work out why ITV bosses concluded that what bored viewers really wanted was more of the same only with age limits. But there it was clogging up the Saturday schedules, the uneagerly awaited kiddie version.

Setting the tone, first up was 13 year-old Jessica from Essex who slaughtered Queen’s Somebody To Love but was immediately hailed by the unholy trinity of judges as a stunning pop sensation. Seven words into the song, Pixie Lott span round in her chair. From the enraptured look on her face you’d have thought she’d just witnessed the second coming.

“I’m like speechless at how good that was,” she like gushed. Not to be outdone, McFly guy Danny Jones boomed: “You just made everyone’s life better.” OTT or what? Desperate Dan went on to reveal that he’d worked with One Direction, which might explain why they split up. Anyway, Jessica opted to join Danny’s team. Great.

After a little eight year-old girl sailed through because she was eight, Irish teen Adam set a new record when Pixie and Danny pressed their buttons just five seconds into his ditty. A restrained left it until the last note. Nevertheless, Adam picked Will. Inexplicably, he thinks Mr Geek is cool.

But over to warbling Ryan, 13, from Southampton: “I’ve got a paper round but it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Unusual. Most paper boys carry on until they’re at least 70. But maybe Ryan should reconsider his future. No one turned. Tough luck kid… you didn’t make the grade, now go home.

Same distressing story for crestfallen Charlotte as she got her marching orders and, realising how harshly they’d treated a vulnerable 11 year-old, the squirming judges launched a protracted bid to lessen her pain.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” insisted Danny. If so, he really needs to get out a bit more. After due consideration, original thinker Pixie added: “That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” Do you see a pattern emerging?

Then it was gobbledegook specialist’s go. Great to see that his ongoing battle with the English language continues apace. And he’s off: “I should have had the Charlotte zone in my team. I feel like a doofus.” Charlotte: “You are!” Agreed.

But memorable moments as 12 year-old Courtney from Hartlepool delivered her spirited if rather strange impression of Tina Turner belting out Nutbush City Limits. Danny and Pixie registered their approval by breaking into a spontaneous bout of dire dancing. Will went into abject apology mode and announced that it was his fault for not turning. And I felt like I was stuck in Groundhog Day.

Throughout the rigidly repetitive proceedings, the cameras kept switching to backstage where the friends and relatives of the prepubescent hopefuls were all shouting: “Push!” It sounded like the mums were in the process of giving birth to yet more of tomorrow’s chartbusters. Stand by for The Voice Babies…