For years Simon Cowell had the monopoly on TV talent shows. But new show The Voice is aiming to end his reign when it goes head to head with Britain's Got Talent this weekend. Welsh singing legend Tom Jones is head judge on the British version of the popular US show.
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And he's certainly not mincing his words when it comes to saying why his show is the perfect vehicle for singers to showcase their talents and be given a fair chance. "I like the fact that there aren't any freaks on this," Sir Tom exclusively tells HELLO! magazine "It's all about the voice, and I like that." He added: "I have been asked a lot in the past to be a judge but the shows never seemed right. There was always a lot of hype before, but this one is good. "The Voice is fresh – it's not about someone coming on stage looking funny or trying to tap dance."
Meanwhile, Britain's Got Talent supremo Simon has accused the producers of "silly rivalry" over the competition between the two shows. Both programmes start on Saturday and go head to head for around 20 minutes in the primetime schedule. Speaking at the press launch for his ITV show, Simon said he would "probably watch about five minutes" of the BBC show, which has Jessie J, Black-Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am and The Script's Danny O'Donoghue joining Tom as judges. Simon also revealed he had tried to sign up former Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon for the X Factor before she quit the ballroom show to join BGT.He said: "The Voice was 100 per cent intended to be a competing show to X Factor so I thought, 'Great, we'll nick Alesha'." Alesha denied her move was motivated by money and said she wanted to do "different things" after several years on the Strictly panel. She said: "It's a different vibe on this show. I have to say in all honesty, on this show I feel like I've come into myself." Simon said the BBC was deliberately ramping up the rivalry and said the corporation should "get their sense of humour back".He said: "When you get to the point with your shows that you mess around with the schedules and it affects the viewers when you go head to head, that to me is silly rivalry." The music mogul said he loved "competition", but added that he would "query" if there was a need for another singing talent show.