‘The Voice’ UK review: Tyler James, Jaz Ellington’s risks pay off

Will and Tom's teams performed.

We’ve been spending much of the past week talking about “Britain’s Got Talent” courtesy of all of the show’s live performances, we are now back to the UK’s other popular talent competition — “The Voice” UK.

This week, the focus was again on Sir Tom Jones and will.i.am as their teams not only performed individually, but in a group alongside their coaches. Since we try to focus just on individual performances, though, that’s what we are taking a look at here.

Team Tom Jones

Leanne Mitchell – If you judge this performance of “I Put a Spell on You” based on vocals alone, it was stellar. Leanne hit all sorts of crazy notes, went up a couple of octaves, and brought down the house in the process. Really, it’s hard to see a performance that opens the show that is that good.

With that being said, we do have a little issue in personal preference — mostly because we enjoy this song more with a little bit of grit to it. It may actually be that Leanne’s voice is too big for the song.

Matt and Sueleen – Is it too much for this duo to sing “Falling Slowly”? Please, Tom — make that happen. When it comes specifically to this performance, we’re torn. The staging here was absolutely brilliant with them sitting on separate benches facing away from each other — but Sueleen’s voice overpowered her partnered, who is unfortunately the better singer of the two.

We want to see a duo go far in this competition, but in this case they are going to likely be heading home.

Ruth Brown – What a smart move by Ruth here — she took on a song by Emeli Sande, who was on the show last week, and she could get some advice from her in the process. Way to take advantage!

While we feel like Ruth’s voice is like a car always on the verge of swerving off the road, there was a ton of power here. Overall, it may be Ruth’s strongest and most-emotional performance of the entire night so far.

Adam Isaac – After watching Adam lean in like a velociraptor two weeks ago whenever the judges had anything to say, Adam was much more reserved this time around in his post-show banter.

While this performance was not necessarily the most vocally-stunning thing we have ever heard, we did love it far more than his all-flash-but-no-flavor Foo Fighters performance.

Team will.i.am

Frances Wood – Could it be more obvious that will.i.am designed this performance? In between the staging, the techno beats, and Frances’ dress, this could be more cool and current if it tried. While Frances’ voice was not front and center in the way that it could have been, we actually think that this sort of performance is more effective than some better singers who just stand in one place — after all, the best touring artists are the ones who do more than just sing.

Joelle Moses – Thank you again, will.i.am — rather than allowing her to sing a dated Celine Dion number that would not get her any votes at all, he pushed her into a current hit in Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” that will get voters excited and mobilize young people. After all, she was in the bottom two — and she needs every vote she can get.

With that being said, Joelle probably is the most inconsistent vocalist still on this team, mostly because she tries too hard rather than letting the notes come to her.

Tyler James – It’s really surprising to see that Tyler is as nervous as he is during some of his performances, mostly because he does such a natural job of performing on stage and making every song “his own,” to use the cliche phrase.

The only thing more entertaining than Tyler’s actual performance was seeing Jessie J awkwardly ask him to dinner afterwards. (We’re sure the tabloids will be writing about this any second now…)

Jaz Ellington – What a brilliant mash-up this was between Billy Joel and Bruno Mars’ two songs with the same name — “Just the Way You Are.” It was part soul, part current — and while the old-school Jaz fared a bit better with the Joel portion of the song, this was the most exciting thing that he has done on the show yet.

Can anyone scream “favorite”? Get ready to see Jaz stay on the show for a long time.

Who is your favorite act from the show this weekend, and who do you think is at danger of going home? Be sure to answer in the poll below!

Photo: BBC One

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