The Voice

Thi­nus Fer­reira takes a turn to spin around on one of The Voice SA’s red chairs. It turns out that watch­ing the show is an equally smooth ride

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there are the care­fully crafted, of­ten soppy, back­sto­ries to frame a con­tes­tant as an as­pir­ing, de­serv­ing “un­der­dog”, and then there’s the “this per­son can sing!” money shot.

But if you look closely, it’s not the con­tes­tant who makes this work; it’s the coaches with their al­most over-the-top re­ac­tions. Some­how they keep man­ag­ing to come across as charm­ingly nat­u­ral (de­spite their show­biz back­ground, where all four know how to “act” for the crowd).

View­ers will see sev­eral Paul Potts, Su­san Boyle and Karin Kortje mo­ments dur­ing the blind au­di­tions.

You want to keep watch­ing th­ese quick­fix, con­densed, fairy tales for the feel­good in­jec­tions that play a psy­cho­log­i­cal game: ev­ery­body is back in pri­mary school and the cool kids are all fight­ing over you – lit­er­ally climb­ing over each other for the op­por­tu­nity to be able to play with you. Be­sides the lucky con­tes­tants, The Voice also makes the viewer feel spe­cial.

Al­though the stu­dio au­di­ence is no­tice­ably smaller than on in­ter­na­tional ver­sions, the pro­duc­tion qual­ity is higher than most lo­cal tal­ent show adap­ta­tions, so The Voice doesn’t feel cheap.

A bonus is that the coaches don’t stick to “their” gen­res – view­ers will see them, as the show goes on, choos­ing con­tes­tants who sing the type of songs you’ll never find on their own CDs.

De­spite all this prom­ise, though, The Voice SA isn’t per­fect. As a for­mat show, it fol­lows the cookie-cut­ter mould of the global tem­plate.

It’s much closer to the US and in­ter­na­tional ver­sions – and there­fore looks bet­ter – than other shows, such as Sur­vivor SA, The Ap­pren­tice SA, The X Fac­tor SA and oth­ers man­gled by lo­cal chan­nels and their small pro­duc­tion bud­gets.

But, un­like Goldilocks, where it took a few tries, The Voice SA im­me­di­ately sits just right for great fam­ily view­ing that ev­ery­one can watch to­gether.

The red chairs are turn­ing smoothly and view­ers can tune in for a charm­ing Sun­day evening spin cy­cle.

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