Remember two weeks ago when Ruth Brown, Jaz Ellington, Bo Bruce and Vince Kidd were the runaway favourites on The Voice UK and Leanne Mitchell was a 100/1 outsider? Well, everyone loves an underdog, and the big-voiced beauty stormed last night’s final and unexpectedly took home the six-figure prize AND a recording contract with Universal.
The good things about this result are as follows:
- The public have proven that they understand the whole ‘it’s all about the voice’ thing more than the producers. The showmakers may have harped on about how ‘it’s not about the gimmicks and all about the singing’, but the amount of “sob story” chucked in to the VTs of Ruth, Tyler, Bo et al was enough to make The X Factor look tame. But Leanne? They may have mentioned in passing that she nearly had a record deal once, but other than that there was no big “story” around her. She was just, simply, the most powerful singer. And she won on that basis and that basis alone.
- Everyone loves an underdog. Especially an underdog who doesn’t expect anything more than a last-place finish. Becky Hill said after her elimination last week that Leanne was all packed up and ready to go. She knew she was going into her face-off with Ruth as the likely loser, and she certainly went into yesterday’s final knowing she was favourite to be booted off first. Leanne’s voice was what won her the title, but the fact she was so humble made it that extra bit sweeter.
- Given that she only really appeared on the general radar last week, all we really know about Leanne as an artist is “she can sing good”. She’s not like Bo or Vince who already have a very specific style pinned down for themselves. Who knows what kind of thing Leanne will do next? We look forward to finding out.
The bad things about this result are as follows:
- Basically the above third point, but in a bad way. She’s probably the least immediately marketable of the four finalists.The difference between Being A Leona or Being A Michelle McManus all rests precariously on her first proper single.
- She kind of made the first billion weeks of the series irrelevant, like last year when Little Mix winning X Factor made everything up to Judges’ Houses a waste of time. Jaz and Ruth, and Bo later on, were forced down our throats so forcefully that few other contestants really got a look-in. The climax of the whole season was the sudden emergence and victory of a girl who hadn’t really registered on many people’s radars until seven days before the end.
- Sir Tom Jones probably still wishes it was Ruth Brown.
We love Leanne, and are chuffed she won. We just hope Universal Republic have the good sense to avoid rush-releasing a covers album and let her release music that someone with her quality of voice deserves to sing.
We also quite like Bo Bruce and Tyler James, so if anyone fancies signing those two as well that’d be great. Cheers.