You hear at counters and negotiating tables that there are no more certainties these days. However, I know at least one: VTM will fill its Fridays with shiny talent shows until the last viewer has turned off the light or Koen Wauters realizes that hoisting Duvels above a top billiard is also a way to start the weekend. That moment is not now: Wauters is just another coach in ‘The Voice of Flanders’. Already in its eighth season, there are still some persistent misunderstandings about the program.
Error number one: winners of ‘The Voice van Vlaanderen’ would usually have been forgotten before the last shred of confetti has popped out of the cannon. Fits well. won last year Grace Khuabic, who immediately raked in 2.5 million streams with her first single ‘Freedom’. Her predecessor Ibe Wuyts meanwhile know what the backstages of Pukkelpop and Werchter look like and the winner before that, Luka Cruysberghsknow you not only as an up-and-coming talent, but also as she-who-with-a-Zoom-meeting-from-Hooverphonic-was-flickered. Do it there Paulien Mathues bij, 2013 laureate and backing vocalist for Arsenal at, and you have four winners out of seven who were able to continue professionally after their win. In times of Spotify and TikTok, that’s not a bad thing.
Furthermore, it’s a myth that all contestants aim for quick fame and canned pop stardom. ‘The Voice’ also lives on candidates like Sophie, the teacher who wanted to stand alone on stage for the first time in 42 years. ‘I’m proud that I dared,’ she reacted bravely after her performance, even if her cover of ‘Nutbush City Limits’ was just a little bit Tina-Turnerian for a new-fangled judge Mathieu Terryn to turn around.
Speaking of Terryn: in advance memden a few members of the community that he and Jan Paternoster somewhat lowered themselves to become a coach of ‘The Voice’. Another big mistake. Paternoster, for example, immediately proved its added value by being the only one to turn his chair for the nervous one josse, who slipped vocal a few times, but did have the inspiration in his throat that made Jan the bluesman happy. Josse’s brother warre was the best singer of the evening: all the coaches were gone after one verse and saw that the source of their delight came from behind a finely sculpted Adam’s apple, surmounted by a waving blond helmet and eyes that no longer needed dredging in terms of depth. Every year that question: can ugly people in this country also sing?
By the way, it was already a misunderstanding that ‘The Voice’ should take place every year, now we are at it twice a week. Sunday is that again: candidate’s story, candidate’s performance, coaches’ commentary, story, song, commentary, story, song, commentary and that into something that feels like eternity, then the battles and the final. Good stories and good songs, but they would be even better if everything around them didn’t feel like band work. No one is scared of the fifth coach Laura Tesoroa trick to keep rejected candidates back in the race in exchange for a tear shed in front of the camera.
Everyone in the blind auditions can sing and those who struggle due to the stress still go home with a motherly mild remark from Natalia or a pat on the back from Mathieu Terryn. That makes ‘The Voice’ warm, but also so improbably kumbayarig that I have a sniff Alex Callier Missed, ex-coach and a man who can break dreams with one well-placed sentence like other people do their morning egg. But the majority of viewers just want to put their cynicism in the drawer during ‘The Voice’. For them, VTM has already completed its Friday assignment.