‘The Voice Australia’ Episode 20: Live Blog

The Voice Australia sunk into an entertainment black hole last week, a byproduct of the too-hastily timed live Results Show format, however tonight we have arrived at the high stakes poker game that is Live Finals! Every contestant will perform and attempt to win the home viewer’s favour and vote. Let’s get started…

7:42pm: Okay, I’m off to a late start which isn’t ideal. Michael Paynter from Team Joel was first up performing “Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars and he hasn’t set the bar high. The pitch was all over the place. “That was so pitchy that guy should be renamed the MCG,” lamely attempts my boyfriend. Next?

7:47pm: It seems like we might be running through all the Team Joel contenders in one live television chunk, because next we have Michael Stangel, the rocking old guy with moustache that everyone on the show seems to love. Joel tasked him with “Four Walls” by Cold Chisel, a tough selection because Joel knows it’s impossible to compete with the sick vocals of one Jimmy Barnesy Barnes. Joel advises Michael Stangel to show a vulnerable side of himself and his performance succeeds in being charming and believable. His voice sounds great too. He definitely wins the battle of the Michaels, sorry Michael Paynter.

7:55pm: First minor Live TV cock up, courtesy of Darren McMullen whose brain confused Team Joel and Team Seal and he ended up introducing the next contestant from “Team Jeal”. Good times.

7:57pm: Danny Ross, the pretty boy tripper who speaks in riddles, is next. Joel picks “The Joker” by the Steve Miller band. He wears a lace edge aqua pirate coat and a head scarf. That’s all you’re going to get from me about whatever just happened on stage just now, but let me leave you in the wise words of regular Voice viewer, Karl Stefanovic:

8:00pm: Gold-plated quirk-bag Kiyomi is next to perform from Team Joel. Dressed in a flared dress rendered in golden taffeta, Kiyomi fully commits to the performance element in her song, Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” – a well. The whole childlike female vocalist thing isn’t my idea of a good time, but there is something beguiling about this gal. And, as I’m sure I’ve said before, this show needs a wacky babe who looks like Anime to keep things entertaining.

8:10pm: Darren McMullen leads the foursome who’ve just performed back onstage where Joel has the option to give one contestant a free pass straight through to next week. He picks Danny because he is obsessed with Danny. I’m kind of obsessed with him, because his outfit is absurd and he definitely just went on live television while high on marijuana/unicorn urine/life/something.

8:17pm: Okay guys, it is time for Team Seal to do their thing. I already missed wild and wooly old mate Mitchell Anderson who sang “Dear Prudence” by The Beatles, but my boyfriend tells me it was a “strong performance. He owns it when he’s up there.” Nicely done Mitch.

8:20pm: Can we talk fashion for a minute? Joel is wearing a red shirt covered in black leopard print, a bolo tie with a large silver buckle, and hair spray painted in a print appropriated from Kenzo’s menswear line for Fall 2013. For some reason I’m into it? Delta is looking great tonight in some black and white lace Alex Perry situation with some seriously tight midriff on display – something I’m usually pretty opposed to unless you’re a performer in Cirque de Soleil. Seal is wearing a normal nice suit. It looks fucking weird.

8:24pm: Next for Team Seal is Alex Gibson who did a bang up job of “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, armed with a guitar, the adoration of the studio audience, and a jazzy new haircut! “That was fantastic” says Seal, and I agree. Alex is the kind of chap who could have a real career in Australia after this thing is done.

8:28pm: Time for Team Seal chanteuse Jac Stone to sing “Uninvited” by Alanis Morrissette. BRB, gotta go tweet something about Jagged Little Pill to the universe.

8:30pm: “You had FIRE in your eyes!” exclaims Ricky following Jac’s emotive performance. “You were spectacular,” says Seal. “You’ll look back on this performance and you’re going to be really proud of yourself,” he says. Next?

8:37pm: Now it’s time for Harrison, the former stutterer and Buble-styled crooner who has the mum vote on lock. Seal chose “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis, a terrific song choice. Harrison does a pretty terrific job of it, although he needs to go easy on the eye shadow. “That performance was worthy of The King himself,” says Seal in another classic display of the ludicrous jive talk that’s been gazumping me all season.

8:45pm: That’s a wrap for Team Seal and now the man himself has to select which singer he’ll send through to next week… It’s Alex Gibson! Interesting save! He obviously trusts the Australian public with keeping Harrison in contention. On to Team Delta

8:53pm: First up is Tim Morrison singing “Something” by The Beatles. It’s very underwhelming and I’m not sure why this guy is even still here. Seal notes that at this stage in the competition “the good are separated from the great”, but praises Tim for his “fight”. I have a feeling that tonight was Tim’s last fight on The Voice stage.

8:57pm: Celia Pavey is next singing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. She’s all vampy tonight, dressed in a stretchy black lace dress with matching choker, and kudos to Delta who chose the the perfect song for Celia’s voice. Angelic and haunting. You can’t spell ‘celestial’ without these letters: c-e-l-i-a.

9:10pm: After stumbling over a simple line of autocue scripting, Darren McMullen introduces one of my favourite contestants, Jackie Sannia, who was nervous to be singing Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper” because Demi Lovato is amazing. You’re amazing too, Jackie Sannia you brilliant idiot. She obviously gets psyched out because it’s definitely not her best performance. Her pitch is a little flat tonight. It’s the first time her vocals have been anything less than fantastic. Nevertheless: “I’m bawling. That was my fave.” I read in a message from my (admittedly, highly cry-prone) friend, Katie. The judges seem to love Jackie’s effort too – but what else is new. They’d probably sing the praises of the honking sound 9-year-old boys can make with their armpits.

9:21pm: Now is the time for Delta to select which singer she’ll take through to next week. It’s a great responsibility and the person she wants to take is Steve Clisby! The old guy who, not three minutes ago, was pulling out a frankly boring version of “Just The Two Of Us” which I didn’t get a chance to write more about because I was trying to think of a dreadful sound the judges would compliment. Steve was on while I was like “ah yeah… That armpit trumpet… Good times…” and then it was over.

9:28pm: Simon Meli opens for Team Ricky with the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil”, and between the bongos and multiple silk scarves and wild hand movements and painted on pants and his stellar vocal performance, I think Simon Meli just pulled out my favourite performance of tonight so far.

9:34pm: Next for Team Ricky is Caterina Torres. She’s singing “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” by Jennifer Lopez. It’s a terrible song choice, a dreadful song and not an amazing performance from Caterina who is by far Ricky’s pet contestant. He loved it. *armpit honking*

9:41pm: Darren McMullen introduces “the magical Miss Murphy!” as the next performer for Team Ricky doing “1+1” by Beyonce. Okay that was magical by god. Miss Murphy was decked out in a floor-length sequin-covered formal gown and knocked that elegant soulful performance out of the park like the pro that she is. “You took that song and you healed it,” says Ricky in another quote for my Excel Spreadsheet.

9:52pm: And finally: Luke Kennedy attempting John Farnham’s “Please Don’t Ask Me”. I may cry…

9:55pm: Guys, this episode is going way too quickly for my typing level, which is SECRETARIAL STANDARD, so basically it’s flying. Luke sold me on his John Farnham vibes – and clearly won over Ricky too, because Luke got chosen to go directly through to next week’s live finals.

9:59pm: Okay everyone that’s it. It’s only taken TWO AND A HALF HOURS to reach the end of another episode of The Voice. Who has thoughts?