‘The Voice Australia’: Episode 06 Live Blog

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. 

7:44: First to actually sing tonight is Sabrina, who seems like someone with whom I’d like to get sloppy drunk and sing karaoke. She sings ’90s Celine Dion, which is WAY in my wheelhouse. Ricky turns pretty much instantly for her rendition of ‘The Power Of Love’, and the others follow. will.i.am tells her she has a “powerful, powerful, powerful” voice, and it’s a bit distressing, because yet again, I find myself agreeing with him. Kylie tells her she’s “pretty much good to go” and even Joel‘s suddenly articulate, telling her about all the potential he hears in her big voice. She goes with Ricky, which makes me feel oddly content.

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.

8:01: Scott from W.A. likes skinny ties and bow ties and clashing patterns, and is a self-described “kooky guy” and ’60s throwback who likes to put his own spin on tunes from the Mad Men era. Oh, and he’s a whistler. He sings Del Shannon‘s ‘Runaway’, and if sheer enthusiasm and good vibes translated to singing ability, he’d be the best contestant The Voice has ever seen. Unfortunately, they don’t, and his performance is a bit flat. Aww well. Nobody turns around, and at the end of his performance, Scott gives a pained smile like a character Will Forte would play. 

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.

8:31: Rosie grew up in India, learned to play the sitar at a young age, and has a vibe like a grade seven teacher who just went through a messy divorce and is channeling her inner goddess really, really hard. Her rendition of Moloko‘s ‘Sing It Back’, however, kinda kills it. She doesn’t quite capture the weirdness of Roisin Murphy, but her vocals are simultaneously slinky and breathy, and if you heard her performing this in a beer garden on a Sunday afternoon when you were a few ciders deep, you’d definitely nod your head in appreciation. “I wanna be you on that box,” says Kylie, referring to Rosie’s box drum, and Rosie clearly wants Kylie in or on her box, too, because that’s who she picks.
8:42: Beth‘s brother passed away from cancer at the beginning of 2012, and after milking her tragedy for a while, the producers let her sing. Her rendition of Foo Fighters‘ ‘Times Like These’ has the judges closing their eyes and moving their heads around, simulating people who are deep in thought. She’s solid, but not enough to impress the judges. Nobody turns, and when the judges hear her story, they all feel very guilty. “I don’t think you came here to compete, you came here to shine,” says will.i.am, showing a glimmer of the weaselly opportunist we all love.

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.

Picture via YouTube