‘The Voice Australia’: Episode 03 Live Blog

Wow, what a roller coaster these last two days have been. We’re deep into the agony and ecstasy of Voice blind auditions at this point, and after a poor showing on Sunday evening, last night’s episode offered a last-minute turn around more dramatic than … I dunno, a guy kicking a ball through a thing at a place. I don’t really do sporting analogies, that’s why I’m live blogging The Voice.

What does tonight’s episode have in store? What lies will Joel Madden tell to get on Kylie Minogue‘s good side? Will Ricky Martin smile his way to a full-blown aneurysm? Will the producers finally respond to my request that they replace will.i.am with the disembodied face from Mulligrubs, effective immediately?

Join the fun from 7.30pm AEST on Channel 9.

7:21: A side-effect of these Voice recaps is that I now get to watch the last 10 glorious minutes of A Current Affair. After a very depressing item about police collaring drunks at a train station, the final item is all about Elly Oh. “From shy suburban singing teacher to front-runner in The Voice.” Thank Christ ACA‘s here to report on the stories that matter. “Elly only learned to speak English four years ago, and now she’s even better than most of us!” the voice-over lady says enthusiastically. Wow. You’ve really out-ACA‘d yourselves, guys. Somebody get me another cider.

7:31: Soooooooo … According to the Woman’s Day commercial I just saw, Joel and Kylie have been going on secret dates. Joel and Kylie sitting in a tree, something something mediocrity. Sorry, I promise to lift my game from here on out.

7:35: Right, and we’re off and running. Reece & Tino are our first hopefuls for the night. We’re introduced to this pair of lanky dudes via a clip of them playing basketball together. They’re both adamant that they love their mums, even though Reece or Tino, I’m not paying attention of which is which, is worried that his mum might cry tonight. They seem like such nice boys. They bust out a version of Blackstreet‘s ‘No Diggity’ that frankly has nothing on the Pitch Perfect riff off scene, but they’re good enough that Kylie pushes the button, and her chair starts spinning wildly. will.i.am definitely sabotaged that shit, right? 

7:41: “I’m so happy that you came to The Voice and educated people to this style of music,” says will.i.am, lowering the bar for his platitudes even further. God, I can’t even with this guy. Reece & Tino choose Kylie as their mentor. I like that she’s asserting her tiny little self a lot more tonight.

7:45: There’s a new wrinkle in tonight’s show – the audience will get to hear a contestant singing before we see them, just like the judges do. We’ll get to experience what it’s actually like to be Ricky Martin, minus the standing in front of the mirror for four hours each day practicing how to smile like a human being would smile.

7:49: Frankly, I hope nobody turns their chairs around for our next contestant Brittanie, because the prospect of typing that name out for the next however many weeks fills me with dread. Brittanie brings her grandpa, scores some major points with a sob story about a dead grandma, and seals the deal by announcing she’ll be singing ‘On My Own’ from Les Mis. Sadly, she’s really, really good. She wrings every drop of pathos from the show tune. Joel assumes a pose like Leo on the deck of the Titanic as his chair spins. The judges all want her. Dammit, now I’m going to have to learn how to spell Brittanie.

7:56: Brittanie’s giving off some pretty strong Lea Michele energy, with her show tunes and girl next door-ishness and that hint of mania lurking behind her eyes. She’s all sweetness and smiles for now, but I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen when she flips the fuck out and eviscerates a production assistant for bringing her the wrong type of coconut water. She chooses Team Kylie. Kylie better watch her back.

8:04: We’re back from the break, and going in blind. Wait for it, wait for it … The unseen singer opens with a super smooth rendition of Nat King Cole‘s ‘Nature Boy’. His voice is honey sweet and a bit androgynous, and when he’s finally revealed, he’s a curly-haired surfer dude named Scott from Newcastle. Scott from Newie! He looks like he should be singing in a Screaming Jets cover band at the seediest pub ever, but he fucking kills it as a jazz singer, and then, to add more confusion to the evening, chooses Team Ricky. Okay, that was actually a pretty great moment, and an all-too-rare example of when The Voice has actually made good on the conceit that it’s all about how you sound.

8:15: We’re half way through of blind auditions, and thus far, everyone has been depressingly competent. No screamers, no warblers, no off-key speak-rapping. Thankfully, young India is here to up the crazy. India went to Kylie’s old high school in Camberwell, and her purple lipsick / floral overalls combo means business. I’m not saying she’s a crazed stalker, but I’m about 90% sure that this spunky ginger will be wearing Kylie’s skin as a suit before this season of The Voice is done. She sings ‘Kissing You’ from Romeo & Juliet, and may or may not be picturing Kylie’s severed head. None of the judges turns. “How did you think it went?” Kylie asks. OUCH.

8:26: 56-year-old Harry from Melbourne is here to remind us that youth is fleeting and old age and decrepitude will one day claim us all. He describes himself as an “old rocker” and I would fucking hate to be cornered by him at a grown-up party. He’s not singing just yet, so we stil have that to look forward to.

8:29: Jhoanna moved here from the Phillipines when she was three or four, so ACA is probably checking her bona fides as we speak. She’s wearing a white lacy floral thing and sings ‘You Got The Love’ and frankly seems very fresh and fun. She’s giving off a Jess Mauboy vibe and vocally, she’s very strong. Her parents are positively losing their shit backstage, and her mum is jumping up and down adorably. Will.I.Am tries to win her over by telling her that his best friend is Filipino, because Will.I.Am has no shame. “I’m a lot more diverse than you think I am,” insists Joel as he vies for her affection. Kylie seems the most excited by her, and because she’s the most interesting person so far tonight, we have to wait until after the break to see who she picks. 

8:39: Jhoanna chooses will.i.am, who shouts ‘FILIPINO! FILIPINO!’ at her and tells her he knows the president of her country. will.i.am must be stopped. 

8:41: Harry’s up, and he serenades the judges with Dire Straits‘ ‘Romeo And Juliet’. He looks like that rumpled friend of your parents’ that peaked in the ’80s the night his band opened for The Go-Betweens, then they graduated uni and went their separate ways but he just kept on rockin’. His vocals are very seasoned and I’ll stop giving him shit now because in fairness, he’s a good performer. I don’t quite know where he fits on a youth-oriented show like The Voice, and I suspect that tween panty-dropper and mediocre YouTube star Lij is going to wipe the floor with him, but for now, he’s having his moment. 

8:47: Harry chooses Team Joel. Ugh. If C Major is The Voice‘s Tom Haverford, Harry is its Jerry Gergich.

8:54: Drummer-turned-singer Johnny looks a bit faded and a bit dazed, like it’s the Sunday morning of Splendour and he can’t remember where the fuck his tent or his phone are. Actually, scratch that, he looks like the hippest kid from his branch of Hillsong, who wants to tell you all about the lord by way of chill tunes. He sings Emeli Sandi‘s ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’, and his voice is a little sandpapery, but in an sort of appealing way. He may be the thinking woman’s panty dropper this season, a more mature contrast to Lij. 

9:02: Single mum Candice from Queensland fills the last audition slot of the night. A keen karaoke singer, she has a look of fixed determination in her eye. She WILL impress the judges tonight and turn things around for her family. She’s a little terrifying, and reminds me a bit of of Lady Margeary from Game Of Thrones if she was a blustering Gold Coast Amazon. It’s a few minutes since she sang and I remember next to nothing about her performance, but it must have been pretty good, because all the judges want her, but she goes with Kylie, because Kylie’s is the one concert she’s ever been to.

Just like that, we’re done, and I think my brain might be a little bit broken after an hour and a half of that, because I’m finding myself weirdly engrossed by Anna Faris in Mom. See you tomorrow, everyone, unless India murders me in my bed tonight, which is a definite possibility.


Photo: Mark Metcalfe via Getty Images