Don your favourite Ricky Martin-inspired tight black t-shirt and hoist your gin/milk/white-flag-surrendering-all-dignity toward the sky: tonight the second lot of Battle Rounds will feature on tonight’s episode of The Voice Australia. Join us here for the Live Blog from 6.30pm for a running commentary on the episode (except for the point where I check if the cake I just put in the oven is baked to perfection).
6:32pm: It’s Battle Time, you guys. To open the night is a duo from Team Ricky: opera tenor Luke, who suffers from a “depressive illness”, and singing cop Belinda who says “I have lived this song before” – specifically, “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables. They are definitely chasing a Susan Boyle moment here, which is a mistake. Neither of these two are missing teeth or wearing curtains. Sorry, SuBo.
6:38pm: Props to both singers, they’ve turned it out tonight. Luke is dashing in a blue suit and Belinda is wearing a gown and a fab red manicure. The harmonies were tight and the individual performances (in terms of vocals and expressiveness and so forth) were solid.
6:41pm: In the end Ricky chooses to take Luke through to the next round. You can’t help but feel sorry for Belinda. None of the judges were prepared to opt for the ‘Save’ button so she will go back to leading the police choir. At ease, Belinda.*
*I’m almost positive cops do not say ‘at ease’ and I’m just pulling life quotes from The Sound Of Music again.
6:47pm: Next to battle will be belter Maya and the quirky wearer-of-prints Kiyomi from Team Joel. They’re singing “Human” by The Killers. During rehearsal Ben Lee uses his powers as Team Joel mentor to advise the pending battlers, “You both come from your planets. Be proud of your planets.” Of course.
6:52pm: This is a truly awful cover of the song. There are a lot of higher notes that are under-sung or really off pitch. Even forever-Zen Ben Lee looks a little perturbed sitting in his chair. I think he might even be sweating. Neither or these girls are great singers and for me I’d put Kiyomi through because she’s prettier and more interesting. Sorry for being a shallow dick.
6:54pm: During the adjudication all the judges seem to agree with me, however Joel is struggling to make a decision and calls a ‘Time Out’ to weigh up his options with Ben Lee who says “they’ve both really stepped up tonight” in an uncharacteristic baldfaced lie.
7:00pm: In the end Joel chooses Kiyomi for reasons mentioned above. Poor Maya (who, I should add, was introduced by Darren McMullen as “the 19-year-old with no backup plan”) is in tears.
7:02pm: Next to battle will be Sarah and Sean repping Team Seal. Seal is quick to remind the crutches-dependent Sean that he is not mobile and beautiful Sarah will have a big advantage. Way to coach, Seal you jerk.
7:07pm: The song choice – “Love Rears Its Ugly Head” by Living Colour – is what commercial radio DJs would spell ‘rawk’ and is perfect for both voices. In fact, both singers did a pretty great job at ‘rawking’ it. In the end Seal takes Sean through to the next round because – and you can attack me in the comment section for my cynicism – his back story is better.
7:13pm: For the next battle round, Ricky Martin has selected “Semi Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind – one of my favourite Third Eye Blind songs.
7:16pm: James Walker and the “Macedonian Twins” get on stage and start doing the do-do-do bit with enthusiasm that translates to complete idiocy on the small screen. Immediately the audience, me and everyone else realises what a godawful song choice this is. Everyone, that is, except Joel Madden who bleats along, accenting the beats with mini fist-pumps, and Delta who claps with splayed hands and bare feet crossed in her chair. Bless, she looks like a little girl draped in a gold cloak for liturgical dancing.
7:23pm: Jazz scat-freak Emma and soul mom Lyric are battling for Team Joel. They’re song is “What A Wonderful World” and both sound pretty dang terrific. Each brings their own sound and feel to the performance, and knock it out of the park. I love both these gals. Joel can choose only one… and he goes with Lyric, but there has to be a fair chance Emma will be saved by another judge.
7:29pm: RICKY SAVES EMMA. God help me but I just got goosebumps. Good save, Ricky. Good save. *Mops brow*
7:34pm: Next is 16-year-old Katie Dunsdan battling Nick Kingswell (who is armed with an acoustic guitar – yikes!) from Team Ricky. For some mad reason, Ricky has chosen “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” for the song. Firstly, on the whole it is terrible. Nick is fine – he’s just a nice looking guy with a strumming-guitar-by-the-campfire voice, but Katie (Kaity?) is weirding out all over this track. She’s got that Joanna Newsom style to her voice and tonight it sounds exactly like Elmo. Thankfully, Ricky goes with Nick.
7:39pm: Quick personal-update-that-you-aren’t-interested in: My oven is shithouse and the cake is still raw after an hour and fifteen on 160. Update to follow!
7:45pm: Two young girls from Team Delta are next. Opera-singing youth Jackie and piano-playing songwriter Jenna hit the boxing ring to sing one of those Evanescence songs. Both these girls sound lovely, though I can barely hear them through the whiny rock-opera Evanescence bullshit that is breaking my spirit. I suppose Evanescence would be proud of that…
7:53pm: It’s a huge decision for Delta because they both sang beautifully but she goes with Jackie. Good choice Deltron – bearer of the flayed skin of C3PO.
7:58pm: Team Joel‘s Danni and Hannah Darling with the pink hair and possibly fake last name are up next. Also coming up soon? My cake, fellas! Just got that bad boy out of the oven and it’s done. Shout out to electricity and my shitty oven for stepping up! #Journey
8:04pm: The song that Joel has challenged the girls with is “Some Nights” by Fun., and, after a few issues with lyrics and confidence in rehearsals, they seem to be struggling in their individual parts. The sound was a lot stronger when the voices joined in chorus, but truth be told this was a weak effort when it should have been anthemic and joyous. I’m pretty into Hannah’s blue spandex unitard with pink hair and shoes, I guess?
8:08pm: After both performers cop some stern words from the other judges, Joel picks Danni because her vocals were stronger. Hannah Darling starts weeping immediately the poor Cosplay fantasy… – until Seal steps in with the save! Phew. All is good in the world of girls who look like easter egg wrappings again!
8:10pm: And with that another episode is done. Who was your favourite performer? Who was robbed? Which was the finest song choice? What fabric is Delta’s crushed-gold draped cloak made from [asking for a friend]? Hit the comment section and let me know. Rhubarb and cinnamon cake for all. Good night!