The opening episode of The Voice of Ireland has proven to be a great ratings success on RTÉ One, with 708,000 tuning in to see the first group of hopefuls.

Sunday's show saw the four coaches – Bressie, Sharon Corr, Kian Egan and Brian Kennedy – pick the first singers they will mentor on their teams.

The coaches were not allowed see the singers, only to hear them, while they sang.

The big shock on the opening show was that singer Tara Blaise, who has released two albums, was not picked by any of the judges from her rendition of Livin' on a Prayer.

There will be four more 'blind audition shows' - where the coaches are not allowed see the singers, only to hear them - which will be followed by three singing battle rounds and then the live performance shows will begin on March 4.

The live shows will run for nine weeks, with the public helping to decide who stays in the competition.

The final four contestants – one for each coach – will compete in the grand final for a recording contract with Universal Music.

For more on The Voice of Ireland, including interviews with the singers, visit: