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Coach Bressie during his former life with The Blizzards Photocall Ireland

Over 700,000 people tune into The Voice

The first episode of the reality singing show has proved a numbers success for RTÉ but will it last?

A BAD THEME tune, semi-famous judges and young dreams being shattered in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers – it sounds just like the X Factor, right?

Well, actually The Voice of Ireland proved last night to be quite a different entity to the Simon Cowell-produced series.

Although the format is widely the same – auditions in front of four celebrities and then the live shows – the judges act less self-obsessed, the production team obviously more sensitive and the show really does seem to be about just “the voice”.

And it seemed to be a hit with viewers too as RTÉ confirmed today that 708,000 people tuned into the first episode to watch Bressie (formerly of The Blizzards), Kian Egan (Westlife), Sharon Corr (The Corrs) and Brian Kennedy (Broadway, Eurovision) pick the first of their “teams”.

So what are the main differences between the X Factor and The Voice?

  • Firstly, Sharon Corr & co. are called coaches – not judges.
  • The coaches sit with their backs to the contestants when they sing so they are not judged on age or appearance.
  • The contestant gets to choose who their coach is if more than one picks them so there is a bit of a Dragon’s Den feel to the ‘blind auditions’.
  • Only (relatively) decent singers get to audition in front of Corr, Bressie, Egan and Kennedy.
  • There are some really, really big red plastic chairs going on.

There was plenty of praise for the show in Twitterland with many admiring the fact that producers did not send through poor singers (with poor judgement) for the sake of a cheap laugh.

Others noted that there was no “sob stories” which added to the authenticity of the series.

However, the theme tune came in for some harsh criticism. Even TodayFM DJ Ian Dempsey weighed in on the argument this morning:

Over 700,000 people tune into The Voice
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  • Theme Tune

  • Theme Tune2

No early favourites appeared last night but there are four more “blind auditions” before the nine live shows kick off. Eventually, the final will feature the last four contestants – one for each coach – who will be competing for a recording contract with Universal Music.