They control Saturday night TV and make us hate ourselves when we inevitably watch them, but which one is the worst?
Britain’s Got Talent: When it was announced that Cowell had managed to lure Alesha Dixon away from the BBC the tabloids made out like it was a pretty big deal. It wasn’t. Alesha Dixon has blended so far into the background that you can barely see her silhouette, with her only contribution to the show being her occasionally laughing at her own jokes whilst dishing out opinions that no one cares about.
Amanda Holden is still tolerable, Simon Cowell is still brutally informing members of the public just how unattractive and untalented they are, and new addition David Walliams is like a camp bookend, sitting on the end of the judging panel trying to keep the whole shit-show tethered together with a smile and a twinkle in his eye.
The Voice: “Tom Jones and wil.i.am; together at last!” – No one ever.
The Voice judging panel is so thrown together that it’s almost – almost – brilliant. On one hand you’ve got the aforementioned gravelly-voiced Welshman Tom Jones and wil.i.am, the man voted “Most Likely To Wear Sunglasses Indoors” in his school yearbook. On the other you’ve got Danny from The Script who, just like The Script, is instantly forgettable (aside from that ROCK ‘N’ ROLL knee-slide he did), and Jessie J, who spends the majority of her time on the panel gurning like your nan trying to chew a cough sweet without her dentures.
Verdict: While Britain’s Got Talent’s panel is composed of a collection of people who you’d probably never want to be stuck in an elevator with, The Voice is what happens when you take musicians from the past, present and future of music, tell them to fuck off and hire Danny O’Donoghue instead.
Britain’s Got Talent: Wheel a bunch of oddballs, singers, street dancers, dogs, archers, jugglers, musicians, comedians, impersonators and strippers onto a stage to be ruthlessly judged by the rapper from Mis-Teeq.
The Voice: Place 4 judges in overblown armchairs with their backs to the stage,then send out singers to perform to said judges whilst their backs are turned. If the judges like what they hear, they swivel their chairs around. If they don’t, their backs remain facing the stage. Ironically, The Voice is just as much fun to watch if you are not facing your television.
Verdict: While it’s good fun to watch Simon Cowell deconstruct another emotionally vulnerable contestant, the image of wil.i.am and his silly jacket swivelling around in his armchair will never, ever cease to be funny.
Britain’s Got Talent: FACT: There are more street dancers in Britain’s Got Talent than there are actual streets in the whole of the United Kingdom.
Aside from the wealth of dancers there are also dog acts, which largely revolve around a dog standing on its hind legs for an extended period of time, singers, magicians and stand-up comedians, who are about as funny as bowel cancer and almost as painful.
The Voice: The Voice’s main selling point is that it judges contestants based on their actual talent rather than their beauty/ugliness, which is more a statement about our society than anything else.
It started out promisingly, with talented singers belting their hearts out while wil.i.am spun around in his armchair to tell them about how big of a star he could make them. But then came the ‘battle rounds’, wherein singers would sing at each other like they were auditioning for a Butlin’s version of 8 Mile, and by that point most contestants had lost about as much credibility as your average BGT cast-off.
Verdict: We’re all for talent shows actually trying to find the most talented individual rather than the most marketable, but Britain’s Got Talent has dogs that can walk on their hind legs. It’s a no contest.
And the worst show is…
Sorry Jessie J; sorry Danny from The Script; sorry Tom Jones; sorry William. Still, there's always next year. And the year after that. And the year after that…
Photo: Tellymix.co.uk / Guardian