It's been three episodes, so I know I've given it a fair chance and it pleases me to admit that for once, RTE1 have produced a Sunday evening entertainment/reality TV series that hasn't made want to write an angry letter to Montrose/head for the sick bucket.
I was delighted when I heard that The All Ireland Talent Show was getting the boot in favour of The Voice Of Ireland. It might have been a nice little ratings earner for RTE1 but it was the type of show that seemed horrendously behind the times and with 60% of that judging panel just being personalities, rather than experts, I was delighted to see the back of it. But at the same time, I didn't know if the replacement they had lined up would be any better.
Thankfully, The Voice Of Ireland has been good viewing in the three episodes that have aired so far. Presenters like Kathryn Thomas and Eoghan McDermott have been entertaining without being cringe worthy and the coaches in question - Niall 'Bressie' Breslin, Sharon Corr, Kian Egan and Brian Kennedy have actually been fun to watch as coaches, probably because they actually know what they're talking about, which always helps with these sort of shows.
I think the bigger question remains to be asked - why did it take RTE1 this long to actually air something this enjoyable? Have they only started doing effective market research because a lot of the stuff that they've been commissioning over the last few years has been horrible to watch but The Voice Of Ireland has been their best effort in a while (apart from Raw and Love/Hate, naturally) and it's been a nice success for them.
I'm just wondering though when the BBC version kicks off in March and turns out to be a success, will that be a nail in The X Factor's coffin? Any thoughts?
The Voice Of Ireland airs Sundays at 6.30pm on RTE1.