‘The Voice’ UK review: Tyler James, Sam Buttery rock first live show

Who stood out?

“The Voice” UK live shows are here, and we are pleased to report that the British show is actually blowing the American one out of the water. Despite a few bad vocals here and there, we saw some genuine talent Saturday from some of the artists.

Before we get to the contestants, let’s trace out the ground rules for the live shows for those watching for the first time — three artists from each team will stay in the competition based on the British public vote, but the judges will then decide who from the bottom two is sent home on Sunday’s results show. This week, contestants from will.i.am and Tom Jones’ team each hit the stage.

Team will.i.am

Joelle Moses – Really? Another rendition of “I’m Goin’ Down” on a reality show? We’re tired of the song choice, and that may hurt how we felt about the song. There just wasn’t anything particularly special about it, even if Joelle is a good singer.

Frances Wood – She’s a little bit Cheryl Cole, a little bit Cher Lloyd, and a little bit fantastic. We didn’t really expect much out of Frances out of giving a mediocre performance in the battle rounds, but this was actually rather fantastic and perfectly on pitch.

Jaz Ellington – We don’t necessarily get the hype for Jaz, mostly because his pitch is nowhere on the level of other soul singers we’ve heard lately like Joshua Ledet on “Idol” this season. His “At Least” was great, but not necessarily “perfect” as Sir Tom described.

Sophie Griffin – She’s the youngest female singer int he competition, but she still managed to deliver a strong vocal. The problem? If you put her up against Frances Wood, there’s really no hope of remembering her at all.

Tyler James – It’s really pretty amazing to see where Tyler has come from in the past year — a man who was once deep in depression following the death of his close friend Amy Winehouse is now a favorite to win this show.

We felt every note of this performance — not only does Tyler deserve to go far in the competition, he has to be considered a threat to win.

Team Tom Jones

Sam Buttery – Whenever we hear the song “A Little Respect,” we think about the episode of “Scrubs” that features all the characters rocking out to a few lines. It’s a pleasant memory, and this probably helped our perception of Sam even more.

Was this performance perfect? Far from it when it comes to him staying on the beat with the vocal — however, he had so much fun that we really didn’t care and we want to see more. Could he go far? Definitely.

Adam Isaac – No thank you. We love rock music, but he didn’t really sing “All My Life” by the Foo Fighters — instead, he shouted it. We’re also a little annoyed that he had to personally debate with every single one of the coaches … but with that, he’s a good looking guy and will probably stay safe thanks to it.

Leanne Mitchell – We liked what Sir Tom Jones did here in trying to take someone who is more of a big ballad singer and try to give them a pop twist here. After all, do we need yet another singer in the vein of Melanie Amaro or Leona Lewis? It’s always better when we can see what else they can do.

Thanks to this song choice, this was our favorite performance of Leanne’s from this season so far.

Matt and Sueleen – The only duo left in the competition, these two had a Jekyll and Hyde sort of performance as a whole to Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” The versus were slightly off and out of tune, but the chorus was stellar and full of great harmonies. We’re not sure that they will advance, but they are at least interesting to watch.

Ruth Brown – Ruth closed out the show Saturday with a soulful performance, and we have to say that she did a rather stellar job. Is her “Get Here If You Can” something that we would listen to multiple times? Definitely. What a way to close the show, and potentially keep herself in the show for a while.

What did you think about this week’s show, and who was your favorite? Be sure to answer in the poll below, and as always check back for more “Voice” UK news!

Photo: BBC One

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