The Voice France All Stars semi final in Paris, France 16/10/2021

I was able to see The Voice France All Stars semi final at the Lendit Studio in Saint Dennis and it felt absolutely fantastic to be finally able to follow Mika’s television work after such a long break. He has done several talent shows during the pandemic but because of the situation I haven’t been able to follow any of them from close distance and that has made me, well maybe not sad but a little bit melancholic. It has been another thing we lost and now it was finally possible to have it back and I really enjoyed it. I have so many good memories from the past The Voice seasons. 

 I don’t watch regular television channels, I haven’t done that in more than 20 years and most television show concepts are not familiar to me. However, after years of watching The Voice recordings I know the concept well and it’s also my favourite of the talent shows Mika has worked with and it was interesting to see the new changes made for the All Stars edition. 

 When we follow television work on social media we see mainly promotion, funny reactions and interaction that looks carefully planned. The most genuine parts of the process are not visible but I know there’s a lot of genuineness as well. After working for hours everyone is genuinely tired. There’s a lot of genuine laugh. Not everything is planned, things can happen in that situation and it can be genuinely quite funny. There’s huge genuine development in talents. Even when the contestants are a part of another team every coach and the audience is genuinely proud to see their success. There’s genuine joy of learning and every time I see Mika with his talents I know he genuinely wants to help them. 

 During live shows we see genuinely entertaining performances, the show elements can be massive and the songs are carefully considered. It felt enjoyable to be back in the audience and to be able to experience the live excitement once again. It took only a moment for my body to recognise the situation and it started to feel familiar. I almost forgot that everything was filmed and showed live on television and occasionally I totally forgot to be careful with my facial expressions. That way the black mask everyone in the audience had to wear was a blessing! 

 The All Stars edition has five coaches and the fifth one, Patrick Fiori, wasn’t familiar to me at all. I can’t tell how he is as an artist or a person but the quick first impression he gave was warm and that’s all I can say. The other three coaches, Florent Pagny, Zazie and Jenifer have worked with Mika at the Voice years already and it’s always a pleasure to see them all together.

 This time the rules were new and 15 talents were divided in five groups with three singers in each. After each group had performed the public voted only one candidate to continue in the final. The results looked quite random to me and I’m sure the level during the final would have been much, much better if the coaches had chosen the finalists. With new rules the public voted. 

 The first group had Louis Delort from Team Patrick, MB14 from Team Florent and Paul from Team Mika. MB14 was clearly a favourite and won the group and will definitely be strong in the final as well. I was really pleasantly surprised by Paul’s performance. He was sweet and the song he performed was well chosen and he did generally well, next to MB14 he just wasn’t strong enough to win the group.

The second group had Amalya from Team Jenifer, Dominique Magloire from Team Florent and Victoria Adamo from Team Mika. This group wasn’t my personal favorite, I found their style boring and it was hard to keep focused on the songs and performances. I thought Jenifer’s candidate might win with her energy and she did indeed. In the third group we saw Flo Malley from Patrick, Anne Sila from Florent and Gjon’s Tears from Zazie. Anne Sila is very, very strong and won the group so one of my all time favourite candidates Gjon’s Tears didn’t go to the final. 

 Gjon’s Tears was earlier in Mika’s team but apparently had always dreamt of being in Zazie’s team and now seemed happy to be able to do that. I think he’s very talented, I’ve liked him since his first audition, but also feel I would personally like his style more if it was influenced by Mika, for me the song he performed wasn’t as moving as it was to the French audience. Obviously, he needs to go with the style he feels is most his own and I would have loved to see him in the final but as said, Anne Sila is very, very strong and probably even bigger favourite in the final than MB14. 

 The fourth group had Anthony Touma from Team Mika, Demi Mondaine from Team Zazie and Manon from Team Florent. For me Anthony who had a good energy and who did really well even though he had some technical issues (and had to for that reason perform twice) was the obvious winner, I didn’t see any other option. Demi Mondaine is great and I have always liked her strong and sensual personal style and know she has done well but this time her performance didn’t offer anything new, I felt I had seen everything years ago and that’s not enough for the final and - as Mika has taught us - not how it should be. To my and also to Mika’s surprise Manon won the group and it didn’t make any sense, Anthony felt such a clear winner in this group. After the winner was announced Mika spontaneously and immediately jumped up and run to comfort both Anthony and Demi and I loved his reaction. 

 Now Florent had already three candidates waiting for the final and Jenifer one. It started to look Mika might not have any talents in the final and he made some suitable facial expressions to show his situation. We all felt for him and probably looked a bit depressed to offer him sympathy and Bruno who keeps up the energy in the audience run to us and reminded we need to look enthusiastic and we quickly started to clap again. 

 In the last group Terence from Team Mika did well with quite a unique version of I Will Always Love You. However, with rock style Antoine from Team Patrick and raspy Will Barber from Team Zazie the competition was really, really hard. To our huge joy Terence won the group and Mika has his candidate in the final! Hurray for that! After that Louis from Team Patrick was saved by the audience and became the sixth finalist. Again, it was totally unexpected it was him and not Anthony or Gjon’s Tears. 

 The studio was the one that is usually used for auditions and battles and the space was compact compared to the usual live studio and the effect was cozy, I think, so cozy it was genuinely difficult to remember we were actually on television. It was so lovely to see Mika’s face again. He looked quite tense when he appeared from backstage for the first time but relaxed soon after the show started. Everyone in the audience had to wear a black mask and I wished several times he could have seen our faces and reactions to understand how much it meant to be able to observe his work again. It warmed my heart to see him, it’s surreal how drastically our life was changed by the pandemic.

 Everything went well for Mika and his team in the end but surprisingly Zazie who actually had a very good quality team got no talents for the final. It felt wrong to me but she didn’t seem to mind and said supportive words to the candidates who will be there. At the moment it would be a huge surprise if Team Florent didn’t win but with carefully chosen songs who knows what will happen, hoping for the best and keeping fingers crossed for Mika’s team. The pictures are from my mobile, this time we could keep our phones, of course only hidden during the filming. 

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