Reality Rocks (New)

‘The Voice U.K.’ Just May Boast the Most Awesome Judging Panel Yet

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

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We may all enjoy watching "The X Factor USA's" Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid bicker, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler dote and gush and overpraise on "American Idol," or Adam Levine and Blake Shelton carry on their bromance  on "The Voice USA." But the judging lineup for the British version of "The Voice, which premiered this weekend,  just may be the most awesomely chemistry-filled yet. "The Voice U.K." cast consists of the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, Jessie J, Danny O'Donoghue of the Script, and--here's the real kicker--SIR TOM JONES.

Yes, the Tom Jones. And here he is, upstaging all his castmates during their group performance of BEP's "I Got A Feeling":

Bloody brilliant.

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Perhaps it's no surprise that will.i.am signed on to be a full-time reality-show judge, since he was clearly gunning for such a position throughout "Idol" Season 10, when he was superglued to Jimmy Iovine's side and made so many unbilled, unexpected experiences during various mentoring sessions, I was beginning to wonder if he just refused to leave the set. (And he's already made one appearance on "Idol" Season 11!) But all kidding aside, this MVPea often offered solid advice to the aspiring Idols, with a dose of humor, and the guy is a showbiz veteran who for the most part knows his stuff. I expect he will easily settle into the straight-shooting "Adam Levine" role on the judging panel of "The Voice U.K."

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Filling the "Xtina" role is sole female judge Jessie, a real belter if there ever was one, not to mention a current and relevant hitmaker. The woman can sang; this cannot be denied. I assume Jessie will also in some ways fill the maverick "Cee Lo" role by getting people to tune in just to see what wacky outfits she wears. Bring on the purple wigs, animal-print temporary lip tattoos, pimp canes, and spandex bodysuits!

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And then there's Danny, whose band the Script has become a go-to artist for many reality contestants, whether it's Kris Allen covering "Live Like We're Dying" or "Idol's" Chris Medina and "The Voice USA's" Xenia doing "Breakeven." Danny will also be great cougar bait for Britain's lady viewers, I imagine.

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And then there's TOM. FRIGGIN'. JONES, who'll surely serve as bait for the English cougars' mummies and grannies. Come on, do I really need to explain why it is awesome that TOM JONES IS NOW A REALITY TV JUDGE? The guy is certain to be pure television gold. He's a legend; he is, at age 71, the kind of icon who will still inspire audience members to toss panties onto the "Voice" soundstage; and he's still cool enough to collaborate with the likes of Robbie Williams, Stereophonics, the Divine Comedy, the Pretenders, Portishead, and Manic Street Preachers. Team Tom!

"The Voice U.K." went head-to-head with Simon Cowell's "Britain's Got Talent" premiere this weekend, and on April 15, "The Voice" will continue carrying out its seemingly unstoppable plan for global domination with an Australian version that will be judged by Keith Urban, Seal, Good Charlotte's Joel Madden, and Australian superstar diva Delta Goodrem. Guess I better get myself an international cable box ASAP, huh?

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