In tonight’s episode of The Voice we begin the final phase of competition before entering the Live Finals: The Showdowns!! What’s going to happen is the eight contenders remaining for both Team Ricky and Team Seal will be performing, what we can almost certainly assume are knock out power ballads or contemporary R&B, to secure a place through to the next round. Home viewers votes will send one plucky songster through and their respective Coach will choose the other. Expect Joel Madden to be looking crazy swag, as I have it on good authority* the judges will be wearing exciting new outfits tonight.

*Twitter.

This live blog kicks off at 6.30pm. In the meantime I suggest you prepare yourself for Ricky Martin with whatever anti-hypnosis measures you can implement. Otherwise his hyper-expressive sexiness WILL infiltrate your mind and before you know it you’re doing shoulder shimmying and grinning like a gassy baby and losing control of your finances.

‘The Voice Australia’ Episode 14: Live Blog

6:33pm: MAJOR news tonight: Delta has a new haircut! She has dropped at least 36 pounds off her mane and has a sleek new shoulder-length bob. Darren McMullen has also jumped into new hairitory with a wet-look ‘do.

6:36pm: First to perform is Seventies Rock Guy Simon singing “Hold On I’m Coming” by Sam and Dave. Good rousing song choice. Simon is wearing his tight jeans and his long Jesus hair in cascading layered waves. His hair seems to have undergone some treatment with a few fat hot rollers – ooh la la! There will be much hair chat tonight, friends. Simon did a quality job of the song pulling out some testicle-denying falsetto. Well played. All the judges are psyched on Simon’s performance, including Seal who is wearing a tight black t-shirt and you can see his massive, well-defined rig underneath it.

6:45pm: Continuing the performances for Team Ricky is the lady who sounds like Florence + The Machine, Imogen Brough singing “The Voice” (how apt) by Celtic Woman. There’s a person called CELTIC WOMAN? Don’t pigeonhole yourself or anything, babe.

6:50pm: The song was kind of Celtic-meets-tribal which, to borrow one of Delta’s favourite phrases, should have been right in Imogen’s “laneway”, but her voice was wavering all over the place and the whole song was pretty “pitchy”, particularly the high notes which should have been crystal clear and beautiful. After the song Joel comments to Delta “That was not the performance she wanted to have tonight” and I agree. I actually agree with something Joel Madden just said. If only Imogen had just sung Florence + The Machine like last week and like her voice wanted to – or something with actual bagpipes because that would have been cool no matter how gnarly her pitch was. That might have been the last time we’ll see Imogen on The Voice stage. If that’s the case at least her makeup was flawless and her Carla Zampatti frock looked swell.

6:56pm: Next up for Team Ricky is Nick who I do not recognise at all. How have I been live blogging every episode for weeks and not noticed this guy?

6:59pm: Well, Joel Madden says Nick is “the real deal” and “the whole package” and while the performance was fine and Nick has a nice smile and an okay voice and everything he’s a little vanilla for me and the whole exercise wasn’t engaging. Ricky thinks Nick is a star and the other judges have glowing appraisals for him but I cringed when Nick ran to the front of the stage and did a sweeping high-five of the front row. Ew. That’s so MTV Movie Awards. Next!

7:06pm: One more performance from Team Ricky. It’s husky soul diva Miss Murphy (real name Karen). It’s cool having someone with a legit alias in competition.

7:09pm: Dayum son. Ricky, that sly turtleneck sweater-wearing man-genius, picked “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” by Elton John for Miss Murphy’s performance and it is a tremendous song choice. Woman pulled it out tonight. Her voice – with which she wails effortlessly – sounds like melted something-or-other and chocolatey whatever-it-is – all those kinds of food-related metaphors. “Miss Murphy that was perfection to me” says Ricky proudly.

7:11pm: Simon and Miss Murphy better go through for Team Ricky. Otherwise I’ll egg the Channel Nine studios.

7:19pm: Now we hear from Team Seal. First is backup singer Michelle Martinez who Seal wants to work on stepping out from her backup singing shoes and start owning the stage like a fucking star already. He doesn’t say “fucking”.

7:21pm: The song is “Dedication To My Ex” by Lloyd and sister really put on a show. Michelle looks adorable in a cute little tuxedo jacket and black bolo tie (“That just made me want to be your ex AND your next” says Joel, of course) and she sounded great too. She’s got a cute rasp to her voice that worked nicely for the song, and she really stepped up the performance component as well, pulling a few classic mic tricks like the lean-head-back-and-hold-mic-above-during-cool-high-part-of-the-bridgey-bit. There was nothing ‘backup singer’ about that effort, as Delta says. True.

7:30pm: Next is Team Seal’s busker Alex Gibson singing “Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel. He’s self-conscious about his weight, something Seal is helping him overcome because Seal is not only an adult-contemporary recording superstar and man with arms that can crush melons, but he’s also a life stylist, positivity coach and spiritual advisor.

7:34pm: Alex performed a pretty arrangement of the song on stage with just him and his guitar. It was stripped back and captured my attention. Alex mumbles a little on his diction, but he’s “a musician in the truest sense” says Joel. All the judges were into the performance and seem pretty confident that old Alex has a career in the bag.

7:39pm: PS everyone, Joel has Fendi logos painted all over his hair tonight. Just FYI.

7:43pm: Pink-haired folk babe Hannah Darling is up next with a new paler shade of pink and is singing “Linger” by the Cranberries. Hannah Darling looks super pretty in her sparkly little mini dress and exciting makeup, but her voice just isn’t up to scratch, especially compared to those who’ve sung before her tonight. Seal agrees that she has to work harder, and that although she did a good performance tonight she has to be great. True. It will be interesting to see if Australia saves Hannah Darling because I don’t think Seal can put her through with the others on his team. Poor Hannah Darling is in tears.

LOL:

*Fiance* you mean, Darren. And it’s because all the shit people have been eliminated.

7:54pm: Babyface stutterer Harrison is closing the show with Michael Buble’s “Home”. Look out, middle aged women!

7:57pm: I can’t hear Harrison all that well because my fiance is singing along to this song with great passion and at great volume, but I can tell this dawg will land a recording contract either way because older ladies will buy whatever he’s selling. “Every word you sing has so much meaning,” says Ricky. Joel tells Harrison “You can hear your life experience in your voice, and I remember being young and feeling like I just couldn’t win and then one day everything just turned around and I start winning ALL THE TIME….” Guys, no joke, Joel just talked about himself for about three minutes, which in a show like this is a really long time. Everyone was super into Harrison, but I think they’re overdoing it. He wasn’t THAT amazing. However, his stutter seems to be gone! Such is the mysterious healing power of television’s The Voice.

8:01pm: Based on tonight’s performances and the audience reactions, I’d say that Harrison and Michelle are going through from Team Seal. Tomorrow night performers from Team Delta and Team Joel will get all up in our faces for the next round of The Showdowns. Tune in then. In the meantime hit the comment section with your favourite performances from the night and thoughts about Delta’s new hair. Good night all.