The last round of vocal Showdowns are happening on The Voice tonight, and after an alienating display of mediocrity from Team Seal in last night’s episode, the pressure really is on for tonight’s performers not to suck. Four contenders from Team Joel and another four from Team Delta will be vying for our attention and subsequent home viewer votes with a selection of songs that includes Bob Marley’s infamous ode to heroin “Waiting In Vein”.

‘The Voice Australia’ Episode 18: Live Blog

The live blog starts at 7.30pm. See you then – figuratively speaking that is. I’m in my living room so if I CAN see you it means you are (a) the dude I live with or (b) the person I’m peering at through a telescope from that tree outside your kitchen window. Hi!

7:39pm: Our favourite sister wife/Sansa Stark lookalike Celia Pavey is performing first for Team Delta. She’s singing “Woodstock” by Joni Mitchell. No presh.

7:44pm: Celia was keening like a folky celtic angel. Joel wishes Celia was on his team but unfortunately no good singers wanted to get on the Joelercoaster this year. He offers to produce her record, to which Celia responds with a smile that’s clearly masking her fear of Joel’s increasingly multi-coloured head stubble. Delta couldn’t be more smug. “We were destined to be together and I just want to protect you from the world,” she says maternally, glittering in a heavily embellished Collette Dinnigan top.

7:51pm: Next for Team Delta is former Trial Kennedy band member Tim Morrison. Delta believes in him but it’s time to step up and be a solo artist. Will he? He’s singing “Learn To Fly” by Foo Fighters.

7:55pm: Well… before you “Learn To Fly” you should really learn to sing in tune. Sorry to be an asshole but Tim’s vocals were really flat in that performance – especially during the chorus where it was particularly grating. His stage presence and general ‘rock front man’ style of mic wrangling was solid, but his voice didn’t cut it tonight. All the judges preen over him anyway because they have lost the ability to critically comment on performances – i.e. DO THEIR JOB.

8:04pm: Next we’ll see Nathan Allgood taking on “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars. Delta says Nathan has “an innate ability to tap into the emotion of a song.” Tonight we’re seeing he also has the innate ability to wear black and white leopard print without looking like a complete jackass.

8:07pm: Nathan does a nice job on the vocals and puts in a believable effort in selling the song. It might have something to do with his dimples which are goddamn adorable. Ricky and Seal loved it, while Joel thinks Nathan has consistently performed well but is yet to show Joel that he’s “a star” like Bruno Mars. At this stage I should point out that Seal said he thinks Nathan has a better voice than Bruno Mars, so if a tiny man in a pork pie hat can do it why can’t Nath? NEXT.

8:14pm: Time for the final contestant from Team Delta is the man Deltro describes as a “cool Bondi dude” [full body cringe] Ben Goldstein, for whom she has selected the Bob Marley song “Waiting in VAIN”. This suits old Ben to a tee because Bob Marley represents everything he stands for: peace, love, understanding and equality.

-_-

8:18pm: Even though, in theory, that whole situation was naff as heck, snaps to Ben for sounding very good. Seal was impressed. And even though Joel was concerned that people singing Bob Marley songs can risk coming across a little “camp” he really dug it. He dug it so much he starts saying “yeah mon” in a Jamaican accent. This no-censor version of Joel is by far the best.

8:28pm: Team Delta is done, now it’s on to Team Joel, beginning with guitar-strumming old guy (relatively speaking) Michael Stangel.

8:31pm: Michael sang a song called “Home” by Phillip Phillips, and Seal thanks him from the bottom of his heart for being such an inspiration to all, an amazing man, incredible father, brilliant survivor and blah blah for about three minutes, saying zero about Michael’s singing (which I should mention was perfectly acceptable but nothing earth shattering). Joel says “your entire country should be so proud of you because of the way you treat your family and the man that you are” and continues along that line for a while, doing nothing to convince me that the male judges on the panel haven’t taken ecstasy tonight.

8:40pm: Next from Team Joel is a gal named Kathy Hinch who is singing “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis, an amazing banger pop ballad. Good luck babe!

8:42pm: Hm. Okay, so I know we are going to hear some wild fanning out by Joel shortly, but Ricky didn’t feel like Kathy connected tonight. “I wish you the best,” he says, dismissing her like a plate of undercooked veal. Delta agrees that the vulnerability wasn’t there, however Seal thought she was “wonderful”. He says “I couldn’t take my eyes off you which means you were using your voice in the right way” which is ludicrous. Joel is proud. Kathy needs to go. No amount of shoulder flapping and open mouth smiling and sexy blue dress-wearing can forgive a half-assed “Bleeding Love”. Next?

8:52pm: It’s our girl Lyric who is singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”. Joel wants her to “finesse it”.

8:54pm: Lyric doesn’t have the strongest voice but her delivery is terrific. She pulls out the ‘stank face’ a few times in the more sexual moments in the song’s LYRICS. On the whole it was fine. Ricky describes it as “perfection”. Seal “goes one better” and says Lyric is “Aretha Franklin-esque”. I mean for fuck’s sake people. Really? Aretha freaking Franklin? At this point the judges have zero credibility.

9:02pm: Alright we’ve finally reached the final performance for the night and it feels like we’ve been through a marathon. Closing the show for Team Joel is Danny Ross who’ll be singing the Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along The Watch Tower”.

9:05pm: Danny Ross was dressed in leather pants and a black felt hat and 100% earnestness. I admit I don’t mind him. He takes himself pretty seriously but he does have a compelling front man appeal. I was too busy trying to work out his outfit to listen to the song but the judges enjoyed it, especially Joel who’s all “yeah Danny! You talk about shit and I’m all “what are you talking about? I love it!”” Joel is killing it tonight! When he comes off stage Danny casually turns to Seal and says “Thanks for soundtracking my dream last night, man. You were in my dream. There was an eclipse and…” Guys, I can’t even continue. All I know is, if Danny continues to play the weird zen-bro card and sharing his dreams of Seal/eclipses with the entire nation I might have to drop the keyboard and slowly back away from this television show.

See you tomorrow night. Maybe.