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The Voice UK - everyone seems very nice. That's all, really.

Will.i.am and Tom Jones' 10 acts start the live shows off as The Voice UK gets properly under way. If you recorded it you may want to fast forward through a terrible performance by the four judges at the start. However brilliant they may be in their own right, they were not very good together at all. In fact you could run right through and see the summaries at the end and you will not have missed a great deal. Generally, yes, a far higher standard of vocal ability than the Top 20 of X Factor or American Idol give you at this stage but there's something missing.

Joelle

The very last bit was good. Maybe she'll do Roberta Flack next. Reliable performer to start the show but not very inspiring. Dated, 90s sub-Beyonce style. One of the few 'normal' contestants, though, which is in her favour and she'll stay a while.

Sam

The BGT entry, grandmas will love this odd fellow. Oh isn't he a dear, I can hear them saying. Hilarious to watch, initially, but that'll soon wear off. He does have a great voice in the higher range and an Erasure track sounded pretty good. He's entertaining, I suppose. Well, for some.

Frances

More today than the first two with a nice Lulu-esque raunchy sound. If the show is about a talent for today's market then she could do well. The oldies won't get her, though.

Adam

Another odd chap. He has a disturbing manner and vacant look. Does a Foo Fighter's rock track which was rubbish to start but ended in some style. The very strange persona, though, makes strange television and he won't last unless someone sorts him out or ends up as the only young male and gets the girlie vote, if his mannerisms don't put them off too.

Jazz

With a name like Jazz Ellington he's off to a good start. Everyone says how brilliant he is but I thought he was off key. Clearly I have a lot to learn. We'll see more of this guy for sure - with so many accolades he'll get plenty of votes and is, at least vaguely normal.

Leanne

A superb singer and Tom did well by getting her to do a Pink number instead of some anthem. Excellent performance, maybe one of the most natural and, although still middle-of-the-road and hardly likely to hit big time in the charts after Christmas is over, she is in the right genre to attract a good number of votes across the board.

Sophie

This youngster suddenly seemed to wake up after a dodgy start and produced a pretty cool performance. She deserves to get through but, once again, much depends on the audience and how she appeals to it.

Matt & Sueleen

Choosing Tom as their mentor by flipping a coin was bad manners and plain wrong in the audition round. However, he still chose them in the battle round so I guess that's been forgiven. An odd couple - seems to be the norm though for this show at the moment! The old bloke with the Gandalf hair and beard did an good job and, together, they produced a good cover of the Fleetwood Mac number. That's about it, though. No-one's going to rush to their gigs.

Tyler

Amy Winehouse's friend, we get told each week. Looks like he's been sleeping rough for months and yet another weirdo. Vaguely reasonable track and he puts his own interpretation on things well but a future successful big name artist? I doubt it.

Ruth

I don't know what they put in her hair but it made this teenager look about 85. She also wore a ridiculously silly short yellow dress which, bearing in mind her pretty massive size, made her look like a cartoon character and bending down was definitely not a decent possibility. Luckily she didn't. What she did do was warble away amazingly well, totally naturally and believably too. The audience went mad which, assuming that it didn't comprise solely her relatives, is a fair indication that she'll be way ahead in the votes this week. To be honest, the others are pretty forgettable already.

I think Danny and Jessie's contestants have more interesting talents which we'll discover next week. First, though, all eyes will be on the votes for this lot which might provide a guide to the Voice electorate and thus what chance the few potential stars may have.

All in all, now that the perverse selection process is over, this is not much different to the other programmes I  review, more BGT than X Factor so far and whereas X Factor and Idol have a clear aim - to produce a new chart act that will sell, for better or worse, and entertain us in the meantime - I can't quite put my finger on what The Voice UK is meant to do. I suspect that might depend very much on who reaches the final stages.



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