The latest series of the Voice UK is now in the history books but for fans of gospel music, this series was of particular interest. But one question remains. After you’ve appeared on a TV talent show, what next?
In part 1 of this two part Faith & Reality series, we talked about the showing that gospel music has had on TV lately. There was Aaron Hill who performed the gospel classic Going Up Yonder by Walter Hawkins. And there was also the appearance of Janine Dyer that got a lot of chatter and support from online gospel music circles. She did well – she got past the chair-turnie bit and got through to the next round.
But as happy as we were about her first round triumph, Janine’s journey ended at the battle stages. She lost out to a very game Mia Sylvester with a fiery rendition of Christina Aguilera’s Ain’t No Other Man. So was it a failure? Not necessarily.
There’s no doubting Janine’s talent. She’s been around for a while, and although her family has taken precedence over the last few years, music has always had a large presence in her life. As a Sheffielder, this writer can attest to the great work she’s done locally as the director of the Sheffield Community Choir. But her appearance on the Voice was her return to the big stage – the platform she last stepped on as part of pioneering gospel group Raymond and Co.
Janine made it clear when she took part in the Voice that the show was an instrument she would use to further impact people and spread the message of hope that she always has. And when you’re able to make people pay attention and sail through the blind auditions on national TV, there’s no bigger stage to do it on. No church, no conference, no concert can deliver that kind of exposure.
So it could be a happy ending after all. After appearing on telly, there are opportunities to capitalise on – so long as you’re able to strike while the iron’s hot. And although Janine’s much better than dining out on the Voice for the rest of her career, it certainly can’t hurt.
Janine won’t be the last gospel artist to appear on a TV talent show. But for anyone in the scene, one measure of success is being able to emerge with integrity. Of course, any gospel artist would probably prefer to go on TV to sing Yolanda Adams than Ms Aguilera but for someone who was already working with secular artists, it wasn’t as much of a stretch as it might have been.
The reality TV route isn’t a path that everyone will take, but many will argue it’s a justifiable means to an end. The end destination in the case of Janine Dyer hasn’t yet been seen but we look forward to seeing the next step. Hopefully it’ll be with a repertoire of her own choosing.
And who knows? The Voice is still yet to produce a real runaway success story. Maybe Janine can be the first.
This was the second of a two-part series called Faith & Reality. You can read part one here.