BBC on the hunt for ‘The Voice’.

Is the BBC looking for 'The Voice' that will save the UK at Eurovision?

‘The Voice’ will be coming to BBC One in the UK adaptation of the Dutch reality singing competition ‘The Voice Of Holland’. America’s own version boasts Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton as its judges. The format has proved to be extremely successful on both sides of the Atlantic, which no doubt enticed the BBC to pick it up as a direct rival to ITV’s ‘The X Factor’.

Basically, the premise of the show is that contestants are judged purely on music/vocal talent. The judges, who are popular recording artists themselves, will select contestants through a series of ‘blind auditions’ where they don’t see who’s singing. If they like what they hear, they will invite them to join their team to contend for victory.

So what does this mean for British aspirations for the Eurovision Song Contest? Now that the BBC has it’s own version of ‘Idol’ and ‘The X Factor’, they will have a ready-made music superstar to put forward as the United Kingdom’s representative. Or they could hand-pick a contestant from the bevy of talent like Italy did at San Remo this year. Eitherway, the BBC would be remiss to find some way to link these two events together as it would be a great way of finally sending some real talent to the Eurovision.

With rumours circulating that Shayne Ward is to present with Robbie Williams, Cheryl Cole, Danni Minouge and Adele all tipped to sit at the judges panel, the BBC is appearing to pull out all the stops. Here’s hoping they do, as I personally find the format of ‘The Voice’ far more enjoyable and creditable as it actually encourages and mentors genuine talent, as opposed to the brutal, catty and shamelessly capitalist farce that is ‘The X Factor’. It’s no secret that ‘X’ actually means ‘$’. As in who can make the most money for Simon Cowell in that partcular year before being tossed aside to make way for the next cash cow. Not that note, perhaps they ought to rename ‘Idol’ as ‘Cash Cow’. Seems more fitting. (OK, so clearly I’m not a big fan of either shows).

But more than all that, I really hope the BBC take this golden opportunity to find ‘The Voice’ and Song to fly the British flag at Eurovision. It seems like a win-win, fool proof plan. Ooooh, or they could have a separate show shortly after called ‘The Song’ (or something) and have the winner of ‘The Voice’ sing a bunch of songs for Eurovision? The possibilities are endless!

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Irish hopes have been ignited.

It would appear that RTÉ has devised a new and interesting selection method for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. The broadcaster has selected five music industry professionals who will then develop and mentor a song entry each. These songs will then be performed live on a Eurosong special on the Late Late Show with the winner being selected by a mix of public televote and regional juries, who will then go on to represent Ireland in Düsseldorf. The mentors have been listed below:

Caroline Downey-Desmond – Director MCD & Event Producer
Ronan Hardiman – Composer (Lord of the Dance)
David Hayes – Musical Director & Arranger (Tommy Fleming & Riverdance)
Willie Kavanagh – Chairman, EMI Music Ireland
Liam Lawton – Composer & Performer

Overall, I’m quite impressed. Both with the selection method and the list of mentors. No doubt they will create some interesting acts. I’m particularly intrigued as to what Ronan Hardiman, David Hayes and Willie Kavanagh will come up with. Lord of the Dance, Riverdance and EMI Music are some of the prolific forces in the Irish music scene so I think we will be in for a real treat.

Has RTÉ finally come to their senses and give Ireland a fighting chance at Eurovision all these years? It’s too early to tell, but at the moment, it looks promising. Really promising.