By Dean Ashton
Former contestant on the UK version of The Voice, J Marie Cooper, 27, claims her rejection was down to one factor, age discrimination.
Now known as ageism, Cooper claims the BBC, broadcasting The Voice, favoured her competition in the form of 18 year old Sophie Griffin.
Vocal coach Will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas, chose the 18 year old over J Marie in a decision that was relevant to him at 18 years instead of when he made it at 28.
While Cooper states the BBC were ageist on this, it is in my belief that the BBC did not neglect her for age. Though it played a slight part in the choice, it wasn’t the full reason.
The reason J Marie lost out on her opportunity was Will.i.am choosing Sophie for the decision that the teen is just starting out and will have a ‘better’ chance at being a star at a fresh faced 18 than classed by the music industry as ‘over the hill.’
At 27 years myself, 28 on Tuesday, I fully understand that for a professional in an industry with exceptional talent unrecognised is deemed too old, yet preferring younger talent, they craft them to lose their identity and become a ‘junior’ on a lower pay scale, J Marie clearly blew everyone out of the water and was strong competition to possibly win the contest.
The decision was mainly based on Will.i.am’s preference to younger girls with good looks to mould into ‘potentials.’
J Marie expressed her upset in an article with The Sun newspaper on April 24th 2012.
Sophie beat her in the battle rounds of the competition.
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