He looked so bewildered. Forcing a benign grin during the opening plod of I Gotta Feeling as Jessie J draped herself over him and prowled the stage looking like she was auditioning for Cats Innit? (The urban musical), a human Christmas cracker sounding as though she thought Fergie’s vocal performance was just a tad too subtle. Tom just stood there in his quilted waistcoat like a cloud trapped in a leather couch or the man in the boat painting in Goodfellas. A giant presence of booming charisma whose shaky-legged, over-enunciated performance managed to obliterate the presence of Lego-headed irritant WILL.I.AM and excitable I’m-Irish-Me! Danny Script.
Over 10 years ago he stopped Cerys Catatonia from killing the bloke from Space (sadly) and now Tom Jones is back in his superhuman mode to inject some ridiculous Saturday night magic into the studied seriousness of The Voice.
As Danny Script tries earnestly to be the rogue with the heart of gold, rolling out sympathy standing ovations and Colin Farrellisms, begging to be chosen by contestants on the merit that he’s Irish (he is one step short of doing the Phil Lynott joke.) he’s an embarrassing modern-Ireland-on- holiday cliché. His syrupy suggestions, terribly uncool song mouthing and that parody- of -ego chest thumping that disappeared with Robbie Williams, coupled with his ‘look’ (like someone who was nearly Danny Zuko in a Clacton-on-Sea performance of Grease) makes him difficult viewing.
Possibly, just as difficult as caterwauling Grange Hill gremlin Jessie J, who managed to further humiliate poor rejected Sean from 5ive by bellowing that they were the ‘First concert I evah sawwwweeerrr!’ and with her own brand of shit spouting logic stated that she could listen to him ‘all day’ even though she didn’t bother choosing him for her team…She then went on to praise a contestant for having ‘clean lips’ (?!) and generally interrupted people to listen to the sound of her own clanging bell of a voice saying nothing repeatedly and loudly.
Thus leaving WILL.I.AM desperately trying to be the boring elder statesman imparting his ‘wisdom’ in a smug self congratulatory manner oozing ego all over the shop but doing little else by way of personality, his one attempt at a jokey anecdote was greeted like a silent fart.
Thank God for Sir Tom, he doesn’t care about your sob stories, he just wants to tell his rambling, old man tales like a whisky-soaked version of the Werther’s Original Grandad, who didn’t want to hear the real ending of that Elvis in Hawaii story where they both probably got pissed and danced around in make-shift coconut bras. He has no truck with the young ‘uns and on various occasions looked as though he was suffering from selective hearing when Jessie was imparting some ‘advice’. He appears generally unmoved or unimpressed (professional!) upon hearing people sing when his judging counterparts are faux-tearing up, looking like he’s an aging Bond villain or a confused OAP on a Waltzer when his chair turns around, Tom’s got it all.
From now on Saturday nights will be all about ‘in my day’ bingo, low level hip-swinging, growling and Popeye’s with perma-tans, Britain has got all the talent it needs in Sir Tom.