A mate of mine pointed out that last night’s shocking twist, in which a POWERFUL voice came from an unlikely source and BLEW EVERYBODY THE HELL AWAY, actually represented The Voice shooting itself in the foot a bit. The whole bloody point of the show is that oddballs and weirdos and, shall we say, less conventionally good-looking folks can sometimes be great singers. Jess‘s audition last night represented The Voice doing exactly what The Voice is meant to do. Shouldn’t the show be doing that every night?
People seem pretty split on Jess – I personally am not a fan, because excessive volume is a poor substitute for timbre and texture – but Kylie, Joel, Ricky and even will.i.am squealed their little hearts out over her, and for the next few weeks, we’re going to be hearing a LOT more of her plucky underdog tale. Good on her for emerging, seemingly unscathed, as a proud gay woman from an environment that maybe wasn’t the most welcoming, but wow, I’m already dreading the number of ‘inspiring’ Jess clip packages we’ll see before the season is out.
Follow along with our live blog from 7.30pm on Channel 9 to find out who’ll be inspiring you tonight!
7:28: “There are not many performers whose looks and whose vocals are more in contrast.” Right, A Current Affair is staying on top of the breaking stories as always with their exclusive item about Jess. You guys, did you know Jess has a mohawk and sings very loudly in a high soprano voice? I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit sick and my dearly beloved has not yet returned home with my cold & flu tabs, so I’m going to be a very grumpy bear until that happens.
7:39: “I press the button because I love the voice and I’m feeling something,” says Kylie in the introductory clip package, and it’s vaguely heartening to know that the judges at least vaguely understand the concept behind the show. Tonight’s first auditioner is a bit of a gimmick – Doug is 63, and if he’s to be believed, is close personal friends with Ray Charles. Right, I once stood behind Ricki-Lee at Maccas, but you don’t hear me bragging about it.
7:53: I just referred to Sabrina as ‘Samantha’ on Twitter. Whoops. Sorry Sabrina. I guess if someone was home with the cold & flu already I’d be more on top of this.
7:56: Doug finally gets to sing, and much like the other old dudes in the competition, like Jerry Gergich from a few nights ago, sounds exactly like the kind of guy who’s been doing this for years and is all over his craft. “It’s nice to see a musician up there singing as well as you sing,” says Joel. will.i.am chimes in to tell him that he has a lot of soul. Goddammit, will.i.am, stop being so reasonable and even-handed and go back to bragging about how you’re close personal friends with Kim Jong-un or whatever you do. In summary, Doug is a seasoned pro and there’s no way in hell he’s going to win.
8:18: Lucie is a singing teacher whose dad built her a recording studio in the shed at home. Her mum’s nickname for her is “little ray of sunshine.” Luckily, the cold and flu tabs are kicking in, so I’m able to come at all this relentless positivity with fairly little cynicism. She’s dressed a little like a Veronica, in polka dots and a bow, but her take on Jessie J‘s ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ is a bit shaky, and nobody turns. ‘How did you feel about your performance as a singing teacher?’ asks will.i.am as diplomatically as possible, noting that there were some “wobbly” parts in the performance. Goddammit, will.am, stop making sense.
8:53: It’s finally time for Jayde, who plays Marilyn Monroe at Movie World, and when in costume, she has the manic, slightly homicidal look of Jenna Maroney when she’s out for blood. Unfortunately, after the clip package is done, Jayde shows up sans blonde wig and make-up, rocking a fairly restrained white lacy dress. She sings Tom Petty‘s ‘Freefallin’ while strumming away at an acoustic guitar, and her vocals have a very sweet, lilting quality. You could very easily imagine hearing her voice coming from a gentle indie pop ballad somewhere in the middle of the triple j Hottest 100. She chooses will.i.am and I no longer know what to think or how to feel about that.
9:05: Last of all tonight, it’s duo ZK, otherwise known as Zaachariaha and Kristal. Kristal is Eddie Mabo‘s granddaughter, which is a pretty damn big deal. The pair of close friends sing Justin Bieber‘s ‘As Long As You Love Me’, and their harmonies make the song about as tolerable as it’s ever going to get. “You guys have way more soul than that song,” says Joel, not inaccurately. will.i.am is the only one to turn, and so now they’re on his team. They seem super sweet, and so does Kristal’s grandmother, who is busily crying backstage. In an intimate backstage interview, will asks them if there are clubs in central Australia. THERE’s the will we’ve been missing tonight.