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Should Kerry Ellis have entered The Voice?

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I don’t watch things like the X Factor and The Voice very much, normally a few clips on you tube or the odd episode is on in the background sometimes.  However recently I have been shocked to see genuine theatrical talent, one of them a huge West End star pop up on BBC’s The Voice.... and get rejected at the first round. 

First up was the delightful Twinnie Lee Moore (Flashdance, Desperately Seeking Susan, Chicago), whilst the audition was a little pitchy at times it was still very good -  rejected.  However the latest one was a shock to everyone who loves theatre. Kerry Ellis from Wicked, Les Mis, Oliver, Chess, We Will Rock You etc. etc. decided it would be very exciting to work with superstars (I am sure Brian May her constant collaborator was thrilled with that remark) so off to The Voice she went. 

She sang a big powerful version of "Son of a Preacher Man" only to be rejected.  Kerry herself looked embarrassed when she was sent packing, and so she should be. This is not the first time West End and Broadway talent have turned up on these shows (I remember seeing a few members of the cast of Taboo on one here quite a few years back, and rejected) and it really get’s under my skin.  If you want to be in theatre, train all your life to be in theatre, get to work in theatre and then jump ship and try to become a ‘pop star’ it feels a little like a smack in the face of the theatre world.
Of course this is just my opinion, but the thing I love about working in the theatre is that you can go on stage and feel like a star and then come off stage and just get on with your life. Theatre has never really been about becoming a worldwide name, it’s always been more about enjoying success in what you do. So if these West End performers have decided the pop star life and the celebrity life is for them then I guess I say good luck to them.

Just don’t fail on UK reality TV shows..... you are all far better than that.

- Craig Hepworth

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