‘The Voice’ UK premiere review: Leo Ihenacho, Anna McLuckie, Sally Barker shine

The latest -If there is a part of “The Voice” UK that is meant to be magnetic, it is the Blind Auditions. This is where you get a chance to see a variety of different singers, some great performances, and some fun little banter between the coaches that can be edited together to look awesome.

There were good moments throughout the lengthy first episode of the show this weekend, and as for new additions Kylie Minogue and Ricky Wilson, they were both pretty strong. It took a while to get Kylie’s energy going, but by the end she was just as fun as Jessie J was.

Rather than just rattle off all of the names, we’re going to organize this review based on what coaches each one of the acts selected … if they even got an act at all.

Team Kylie Minogue

Lee Glasson, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” – Really? All four chairs? The great thing about Lee is that his performance had a lot of interesting stuff going on with his voice. The bad thing is that we can’t get some of those tuning issues out of our head, here. Big shocker in that the guy who performs a Kylie Minogue song picks her as her coach.

Leo Ihenacho, “Holding Back the Years” – He’s been around the block for a while, and he also has this sort of super-soulful voice with a killer falsetto. He excited Kylie so much that she didn’t even want to look at him! He closed the night, and has us pretty excited about where the rest of the show could go.

Team Ricky Wilson

Christina Marie, “I Have Nothing” – Singing shows have forced us to hate this song. The reason why is because people go out there and think that just singing this is enough to get them to the next round, with no regard for actually playing to an audience. Christina actually did that, and there was a little bit of energy and presence to go with the voice. The coaches’ feedback of “you’re going to be in the final” was just INFURIATING. Really? You haven’t heard anyone else yet! Everyone other than will.i.am turned around, and Christina went with a guy who really fought for her.

Beth McCarthy, “Sexy and I Know It” – We got ourselves a competition here! Both Ricky and Kylie turned around for a teenage singer who actually seems to be much more experienced on stage than her age would show. She’s clearly confident, and while her voice isn’t perfect yet, this is someone who knows how to perform. Despite their awkward conversations about toilets (?), Ricky was the right choice for the sort of performer that Beth is.

Team Tom Jones

Sally Barker, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” – We haven’t rooted for a contestant on this show in the way that we rooted for Sally in quite a long time. Her story was powerful to us even as someone who has grown rather cynical to these shows. She has performed for more than 30 years, performed with big stars, but felt like her time had gone by. She has struggled, lost her husband, but now has another chance to sing in a competition like this. Tom’s the right fit, since they know most of the same music.

Team will.i.am

Anna McLuckie, “Get Lucky” – This may be overall our favorite audition of the night, and for so many reasons. First of all, a harp player!?!? We never get that. Her voice was subtle, she has a pretty awesome last name, and the performance was completely unique. Plus, the editing here was wonderful in that you could feel a battle between Ricky and will.i.am stewing the entire song, before Will challenged him at the end. The reason that she didn’t pick Ricky despite him basically being ready to give her a ticket deep into the competition was mostly because she seemed set on Will going in.

No team

Danielle, “L-O-V-E” – Love the song choice, hate that she thinks that going by her first name only is a good idea. How many other people named “Danielle” are there out there? Answer: A ton. There were two major reasons why she didn’t do well here: Inexperience, and just not knowing how her voice carried across the stage. It felt somewhat amateur and forced.

Tara Lewis, “You Make My Dreams Come True” – Cheesy song, and we probably wouldn’t turn around just for how dated she sounded. No offense to Tara, but this was one of the easier ones for us to call.

Ryan Green, “Don’t Go” – This was surprising, especially since it followed someone else in Tara with no turn. The show rarely does that, and the audience loved him much more than the coaches did. At least he’s still sixteen, and this is a guy who can come back next season and make it a lot further now that he knows what to work on.

Who was your favorite act from the premiere of “The Voice” UK this weekend? Share your thoughts below, and click here if you want to get some more news from our official CarterMatt Newsletter.

Photo: BBC

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