It was my great pleasure to have been invited by giffgaff to attend the live broadcast of The Voice UK Semi-Finals. I had a friend come along with me, and we arrived at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood at 5pm sharp. Our tickets stated that we were ‘production guests’ so we were welcomed in ahead of everyone else - no queuing for us! It was at this point that our phones were securely locked away, as no phones are allowed in the studios. Sadly that means that this selfie is the last photo I took before we went in.
We had an amazing view of the stage from our seats, we were around two thirds up on the raised seating, behind the four Coaches - Olly Murs, Sir Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson and Will.i.am. This time, however, the Coaches would be facing the performances for the entire show because the Semi-Finals are up to a public vote.
Once everyone was in and seated (or not, in the case of those who had standing tickets), we were greeted by our host whose job it was to keep the audience entertained and animated for the cameras. The first job was to pre-record a performance from Donel, last year’s winner. His performance was really fantastic, it got the entire audience moving and that’s always a sure sign of a catchy song. This pre-recording was to be played while the viewers at home submitted their votes.
The live show
As 8pm grew ever closer, we prepared ourselves for the live show. We were instructed to clap at every opportunity, including clapping into and out of every ad break. There were 5 ad breaks spaced evenly throughout the 1h45m show, which gave us ample opportunity to stretch our legs and relax - albeit temporarily. While we were live, the cameras could land on us at any moment. This is very exciting, but it meant we had to stay animated throughout the show.
What did I enjoy?
The performances were, of course, absolutely brilliant. This was the Semi-Finals, so we were down to the 8 best performers of the entire series! In addition to this, The Voice UK introduced their ‘Lifeline’ performer - someone who was eliminated in a previous round but given a 2nd chance in the Semi-Finals, so in total we had 9 live performances to enjoy.
During the ad breaks, the host entertained us by throwing packets of Haribos into the crowd while reminding us of our duties to clap enthusiastically. Besides the show itself, I found it very interesting to experience a live production. There were constantly cameras moving around the room with huge teams of crew keeping the show going smoothly. In particular, I was really impressed by the light show, clearly, a lot of work had gone into it.
Once the show ended, we proceed to the exit to collect our beloved smartphones and head to McDonald’s for some much-deserved dinner. As we travelled home, we discussed and agreed that we really enjoyed the show - it’s something you don’t get the opportunity to experience very often and we’re grateful to giffgaff for the tickets. Being smartphone-less for 5 hours was borderline traumatizing! Luckily, I had my friend and we kept each other entertained with endless chatter.