The Voice UK – Audition experience

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    The last open auditions for the UK version of “The Voice” came to an end in London yesterday and for those who are interested I thought I would share my experience of it.

    I arrived at the venue about 15 mins before my allocated time. The queue was stretching around the corner but moving relatively quickly.

    At the entrance there were 2 security guards who checked I had a copy of the email sent the week prior and some form of ID. I was then shown to a table where one of the “crew” issued me with a sticker with my application number on it. They then told me that I had to make my way to the back of the room where another crew member would register me.

    After doing this I was told to find a seat and wait for my name to be called. There were rows of chairs all facing towards the registration desk and then an arrangement of chairs set away from the rest. This set of extra chairs was for family members and anyone who had come along but wasn’t taking part in the audition.

    As I was sitting waiting more and more hopefuls were coming in and chairs were starting to run out. The crew had to resort to moving the extra chairs to the auditionee area to accommodate. As a result of this I found that sitting directly behind me was a chap who wasn’t there to audition but was in fact… someone’s manager! Yes manager! I know this because as soon as the guy sat down he got out his phone and I overheard his conversation – “Hi this is (joe bloggs) manager we have arrived at the audition. When would you like to see us?”… and so on, and so on. The conversation then ended quite abruptly.

    Look into this however you want but for me this raised a bit of a suspicion.

    Anyway, eventually (maybe an hour or two of waiting) my name was called and I had to go up to the front and sit with my group which consisted of about 8 other people. One of the crew members then explained that we would all be singing one at a time in front of a member of the production team and a vocal coach (both lovely people I might add). They will then decide who goes on to meet the casting team.

    We were promptly shown to our audition room where we had to all stand in a line in the order we would be singing. The two judges introduced themselves and then the vocal coach went through a few warm up techniques with us. I thought this was a nice touch and put everyone at ease.

    One at a time we stepped forward and sang our hearts out. There were a couple of girls in my group who were absolutely amazing. Some of the best singing I have ever heard live actually.  

    My attempt did not go very well. I was one of the last to sing in my group and whilst waiting for my turn became increasingly aware that I couldn’t remember the lyrics to the song I was going to sing! I couldn’t get the songs I just heard out of my head! It did all come flooding back right before I was about to sing though. Phew!

    The problem for me was that I am suffering from a cold at the moment (blocked nose, cough and a sore throat) and my mouth was so dry. It wasn’t the worst performance but it certainly wasn’t the best either. I knew even before I got to the end of my song that it would take some miracle to be chosen to go through to the next round and well, I don’t believe in miracles.

    Once we had all finished we were told to wait outside whilst they made a decision. This probably took all of 3 minutes before we were called back in the room.

    We were then told something along the lines of – “thank you for your time and effort today. It is clear that you all love and care about singing. You have to remember that this IS a competition and some people are more developed than others. So this time we are not going to put any of you through”.

    So there you go… I have to admit I was very shocked that no-one got through, not even the girl who I had just witnessed perform one of the most amazing 90 seconds of singing I have heard in a long time. No-one was good enough or possibly not what they were looking for.

    We were all lead back down to the exit where most of the group dispersed quite rapidly. I hanged around for a bit and chatted to a few other people who had auditioned and family members of those who had already performed. It would appear that the “no-one goes through” line was actually quite a common occurrence and most people I spoke to said something along the lines of -“They already have everyone they need”.

    This got me thinking back to what I heard whilst I was waiting, is it likely that the contestants you will see on the TV already have agents/managers and were actually scouted and invited by the show before the open auditions started? Are these open auditions simply part of the show’s publicity/advertising? Or even just to make up the numbers? After all there have to be losers as well as winners or you don’t have an entertaining programme.  

    To me this explains why even great singers don’t make it through the audition because it’s likely they already have their finalists and only need average singers to act as competition.

    Although having said all this the experience was actually enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone wishing to make it in the industry. Auditions are a skill set in itself and like anything in life – practice makes perfect.

    The crew at “The Voice” auditions were friendly, helpful and treated us like human beings which is more than can be said for the staff at another popular TV talent show audition.

    My advice to all those considering taking part in auditions like this would be – do it for the experience but don’t see it as a substitute for hard work.

    It seems to me someone has a better chance of getting noticed by doing as many gigs as you can, promoting yourself online, creating a good fan base and finding an agent, producer or indie label who has good industry contacts.

    Because it seems even in the world of TV talent shows… “Who you know” is the key.

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