'I Can See Your Voice': Amanda Holden and Paddy McGuinness flip the talent show format on its head

Brian McIver
·Contributor
·4 min read
I Can See Your Voice - L-R Host (Paddy) and Celebrity Investigators Jimmy Carr, Alison Hammond, Paddy McGuinness, Amanda Holden (Thames/Ray Burmiston)
I Can See Your Voice - L-R Host (Paddy) and Celebrity Investigators Jimmy Carr, Alison Hammond, Paddy McGuinness, Amanda Holden (Thames/Ray Burmiston)

With a sense of style that has sparked Ofcom complaints, Amanda Holden knows how important public image is.

And as a former musical star, she also knows a good voice when she hears one. But can she see one?

In a reverse of most talent shows, Holden stars in new BBC talent spotting series I Can See Your Voice. She and her fellow experts have to spot the contestants who can actually sing, from the posers who can’t carry a tune.

She stars with Alison Hammond, Jimmy Carr and host Paddy McGuinness in the new entertainment show where two contestants try to win £10,000 by guessing who the real singers are from the mystery hopefuls.

I Can See Your Voice - Celebrity Investigators (l-r) Alison Hammond, Amanda Holden, Danny Jones, Jimmy Carr (Thames/Tom Dymond)
I Can See Your Voice - Celebrity Investigators (l-r) Alison Hammond, Amanda Holden, Danny Jones, Jimmy Carr (Thames/Tom Dymond)

The result will only be known after the last person standing has to perform with a musical guest for a live performance. it could be a dream duet or a comedy disaster.

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Holden, who recently turned 50, loved the reversed format of the new show.

She admitted: “It kind of goes against everything that we’ve been taught as human beings, as essentially we’re looking at a group of six people and judging them completely on how they look.

I Can See Your Voice - Celebrity Investigator Amanda Holden (Thames/Ray Burmiston)
I Can See Your Voice - Celebrity Investigator Amanda Holden (Thames/Ray Burmiston)

“We’re looking at them and deciding, just from how we perceive them, whether we think they can sing or not. As the show goes on and on, we might get a couple of clues, a couple of nuggets of truth. We get to see them lip sync, which gives all kinds of hints, but really, we have got absolutely no clue if they can sing or not.”

And as both a professional singer, nominated for an Olivier award for her musical hit Thoroughly Modern Millie, and an experienced Britain’s Got Talent judge herself, she hopes she’ll have an insight into the mechanics.

“I sing, I have been on the West End, I’ve had an album out, I feel like I have a lot of experience, I have been in the industry a long time, so I feel like I know what I am looking for. I know the right way to breathe, the right way to hold yourself, I know how to position yourself on stage, mic, technique, all the stuff that you would think would lend itself to telling you that that person is a good singer.

I Can See Your Voice - Host Paddy with players Lee and John (L-R). Paddy McGuinness - (Thames/Tom Dymond)
I Can See Your Voice - Host Paddy with players Lee and John (L-R). Paddy McGuinness - (Thames/Tom Dymond)

“But really, I am looking at someone and if they’ve got sparkly boots on and a nice hair style, I’m like ‘yeah they’re a singer!’ I am literally like everyone at home, except I have some lip-gloss and a lash on, not sitting on my sofa.”

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The format of the show invites audience members to play along at home, and Holden has plenty of tips for amateur talent sleuths.

There are quite a few tell tale signs. The good singers always strike a pose that is very out there, very performance led, and then the bad singers genuinely look awkward and everything’s a bit stiffer and they look terrified!

 Mystery Singers on the set of I Can See Your Voice (Photographer/Tom Dymond)
Mystery Singers on the set of I Can See Your Voice (Photographer/Tom Dymond)

“There’s another thing that everyone keeps doing now, good singers and bad singers are doing it and they all touch their ear, I mean I do it too! Like, ‘how do these ear things stay in? 1,2,1,2’.”

I Can See Your Voice starts on Saturday, 10 April on BBC One and will also be available on iPlayer.

WATCH: Amanda Holden celebrate her 50th birthday.