Given that our usual viewing fodder stretches to Grand Designs and Monster Moves, The Builder and I have been somewhat surprised at the level of our interest in The Voice. I thought we’d lose interest after the blind auditions, but the Battle Rounds are drawing us in.
There’s a certain pattern in the battles, I’ve noticed. Generally, one of the competitors is an old-stager, someone who’s been round the traps, learnt the techniques, done the training. The other is a raw newbie. Someone who’s been keen, but never followed through. In most instances, the rawness wins. Not the polish, the training, the technique, the traps. The raw.
The training and experience seems to put a ceiling on the Voice. If you’ve had all that, and you still haven’t cracked it, what more can be done with you? The conversation between Keith Urban and Megan Washington about the two ‘pub rockers’ summed it up. One would need to be constructed. The other deconstructed. Interestingly, Keith went against the trend and chose to ‘crumble’ rather than ‘build’ with his choice. In almost every other battle, the ‘build’ has won.
A writer’s voice can be trained. Techniques can be learnt. Polish can be acquired. But at what cost? I know that when I started blogging I had to take a step back, deconstruct a little, crumble. Years of professional writing had put a particular veneer on my writing. It didn’t work in this environment. Maybe my vulnerability didn’t show through? (Hi Seal!).
It has helped my fiction writing immensely. When I read fiction I wrote five or so years ago, I can see the writing. When I read things I write now – well, let’s just say that, to use another word thrown around a lot on The Voice (Hi Joel!), I believe the voice wins.
I’m glad that, so far, The Voice doesn’t look as though it will simply come down to a ‘belt-off’ between the biggest voices. The biggest voices have never really interested me that much. The Dolly Parton of ‘I will always love you’ has always done more for me than Whitney’s vocal gymnastics.
But that’s not to say that training and technique don’t make a difference. I can’t wait to see what a few weeks of polish and performance do to some of those raw voices. Rawness will capture our attention, but it’s consistency that holds it.
Here’s to next week’s battles.
Have you been watching The Voice? Your thoughts? Do you think about technique when you write?