SQUARE EYE

Panel beaters ... from left, <em>The Voice's</em> Keith Urban, Delta Goodrem, Joel Madden and Seal.

Panel beaters ... from left, The Voice's Keith Urban, Delta Goodrem, Joel Madden and Seal.

It is the show that has received an enormous marketing push from Channel Nine and now it is time to see if it lives up to the hype.

The Voice, starring Delta Goodrem, Keith Urban, Seal and Joel Madden as ''coaches'', airs tonight for the first time and the level of anticipation for the program is high.

Madden is adamant The Voice is going to be different from other talent shows because of the panel's real-life experience (and phenomenal success, it must be said) in the music industry.

<em>Australia's Got Talent's</em> Dannii Minogue, Kyle Sandilands and Brian McFadden.

Australia's Got Talent's Dannii Minogue, Kyle Sandilands and Brian McFadden.

''We are all full-time working musicians,'' he says. ''The last thing I want to hear is a guy tell someone else they shouldn't be on stage, when he's never been on stage himself.''

Madden says there is a difference with the contestants, too. ''A lot of these artists have had false starts or missed chances. They're not coming off the street to see if they can get their 15 minutes [of fame], they want careers.''

Fellow coach Seal says the show represents a big ''paradigm shift'' because it is not about ridiculing people or putting them down.

Making his mark ... Mark Boruis.

Making his mark ... Mark Boruis.

''I absolutely believe there is a shift, not just in music but socially, for people who are sick and tired of taking pleasure at other people sensationalising the flaws in people,'' he says.

''What this is actually doing is celebrating talent - it's bringing us back to the golden age of the music industry.

''If you have a great song - and it is sung with integrity - it will always strike a chord with people.''

The Voice airs tonight from 6.30pm, ahead of the Logies, on Nine.

 

Celebrity status

Mark Bouris might be making his mark as one of the most assured men on national television but don't expect him to walk the red carpet at the Logie Awards.

''Nah, I'm not going to go - it's not my thing,'' he says. ''I'm not a TV person like all the others are; that's what they do for a career. So good luck to them.''

But just because he is not a red-carpet man does not mean Bouris is not proud of his show, Celebrity Apprentice Australia.

''We see how they perform when it's all very measured and managed,'' he says. ''But when you take them out of that comfort zone, I think that's really very interesting socially.''

The contestants this year include David Hasselhoff, Ian ''Dicko'' Dickson, Patti Newton, comedian Fiona O'Loughlin and television host Charlotte Dawson.

''They take a couple of weeks to warm up,'' Bouris says. ''They think they know all the tricks but there's always a new trick. This group was very cocky, much more experienced in terms of celebrity environments than the last group and they had watched the last show.''

He says the presence of the Hoff had an effect on many of the contestants.

''The others all sort of bow to [Hasselhoff] a little bit, except for Dicko. Dicko's a pretty strong character … he starts off really, really cocky but, you know, he eats a bit of humble pie throughout the process.''

Celebrity Apprentice airs from 8pm on Wednesday on Nine.

 

Adding some spice

Sonia Kruger gained a reputation for her bold and sometimes cutting humour on Dancing with the Stars. The word is the new female host, Mel B, makes Kruger look like a pussycat. Expect plenty of lip from the former Spice Girl when the show airs tonight live from 6.30pm on Seven.

 

Healthy competition

It is great to hear Craig McLachlan has been cast as the lead character in The Dr Blake Mysteries, an ABC series set in 1959 about a quirky and clever GP in Ballarat, who also works as a police surgeon. There are obvious differences between the shows, particularly the crime plots, but is it just me who keeps making comparisons to Martin Clunes in Doc Martin?

 

Spotlight on judges

The loudmouth bloke on the verge of losing his job, the beautiful woman who is now a single mum, plus the foreigner with an ex on one rival show and a fiancee on the other. Pity the contestants on Australia's Got Talent - the judges are stealing the attention.