It was the TV event of the year. In a spectacle watched by literally tens of people, The Voice 2017 came to a close. Up and down the country, middle-aged women named Janet eagerly awaited the announcement of the winner. This year’s lucky contestant was Mo Adeniran who covered ‘Unsteady’ by X Ambassadors. Then, through the miracle of iTunes, he unleashed it on the world, like the Chimera virus in Mission Impossible 2.
Mo Adeniran can sing. I think that’s clear. If I heard him in a pub singing I’d probably say he was really good. However, only one type of singer ever does well in these awful telathons. Mo has that voice: hammering out every single note like those training machines that fire tennis balls.
There is no nuance, no style, no edge, nothing at all that separates him from the hundreds of other talent show winners that have come and gone. There is a name for this style of singing: it’s called Jessie J.
It’s for all these reasons that tackling a song as kitschy, odd-ball and special as ‘Unsteady’ is totally inappropriate. A complex song it is not, but the baseness of the structure is buffed-up by the heartache of vocalist Sam Harris.
This iteration strips all of the heart out of the track, leaving repetitive, weepy, watered down gristle. Hearing Mo belt out a song that’s supposed to be intimate with all the guile of a clapped-out Zamboni was aggravating. It’s like watching James Arthur recite Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
The Las Vegas band actually congratulated Mo on Twitter, at the urging of their label, one assumes. “Thanks for the exposure, now f**k the f**k off.”
I have a good history with Mos. Little Mo was my favourite character on Eastenders. And we all remember Mo Farah from those memorable adverts for Quorn mince.
This Mo isn’t nearly as good. For one thing, his winning performance didn’t allude to meat-free bangers. He’s just the latest in a long line of singers wanting to be famous whist avoiding the considerable legwork.
Joining a conga-line of music-execs and soulless corporate hacks straight into the mainstream charts and televised performance, whilst thousands of talented youngsters trudge along in the queue.
Though considering how little anyone seems to care, it’s hard to get too flustered. Seems the well of talent shows may finally be running dry, even though the format has been creatively bankrupt since about 2010.
We’ll never forget you Donna.