‘The Voice Australia’: Episode 09 Live Blog

While it feels odd to even type these words, the blind auditions for The Voice are starting to get very interesting. Ricky, Kylie, Joel and the vaguely human-shaped collection of platitudes that is will.i.am only have a few spots left on their teams, which means they have to be somewhat selective when choosing their remaining singers. Suddenly, there are real stakes, and they find themselves forced to pay real attention to the singers behind them. The change in Kylie has been the most pronounced over the last few nights – instead of squirming in her chair and swinging her leg around like the minute hand of a clock, she actually seems to be concentrating, or at least engaging in some Joey Tribbiani-style smell-the-fart acting.
Join our live blog from 7.30pm on Channel 9, as we take in the parade of confused grandparents, wheelchair-bound siblings, Ricky Martin-obsessed mums (it’s always the mums) and tearful rejects on the second-to-last night of Voice blind auditions.
7:27: Ahhh, I’ve missed these A Current Affair puff pieces. Tonight, they’re blowing smoke up the arse of Julian, who wowed the judges last night with his fairly decent Justin Timberlake impression. Right after his blind audition, Julian jetted off to Sri Lanka for his wedding, and he leafs through the album with ACA‘s roving reporter, then shows the cameras into his studio for the world’s nerdiest R&B jam session. You know, I sort of like Julian. He’s the only Voice hopeful who’s managed to go a whole ACA appearance without leaning on a ridiculous sob story about a dead grandparent or other sundry family tragedy.  

7:36: Tonight’s opening clip package features the judges talking seriously about the need to fill up the last spots on their teams. It’s all a bit dull until a shot of Kylie sipping a cup of tea with such utter seriousness, it’s like she’s planning the invasion of Normandy. Laura-Leigh, our first hopeful for the night, is a bright, bubbly surfer who is all blonde hair and mixed metaphors, and is hoping to catch the perfect wave in tonight’s auditions … or something? We don’t get to hear her sing, though, because first, it’s choir-boy-gone-bad Brodi.

7:40: Brodi is a bad boy straight out of Puberty Blues, and if I was wearing panties, they’d be drenched, but I’m not wearing any. I mean, because I’m wearing boxer briefs. Because I’m a dude. Look, bottom line, Brodi’s the best/worst thing ever. He’s all lank blonde hair and piercings and is dressed like he just stopped in on his way to Future Music Festival. He speaks in a broad Aussie accent and growl-sings Panic! At The Disco‘s ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’, and sadly, is not that great, and it’s also not a Fall Out Boy song as I originally thought. Nobody turns and he looks sadly at his feet. will.i.am makes him shout out the name of his band so everyone can hear it, and this is it. Do not go gentle into that good night, Brodi. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
7:50: Laura‘s up, singing Christina Aguilera‘s wrist-cutting after school special of a ballad, ‘Reflection’. She’s a little sharp, and hits the runs very hard, but Joel was just saying how mad keen he is for another girl on his team, and he decides to go all-in. “I’m so glad Joel turned around for you,” Kylie says, possibly passive-aggressively. 

7:55: Jackson has the kind of blue eyes you could get lost in, and works as a railway electrician alongside his dad. Aww. He comes across as a bit shy, and his key trait, according to the voice-over, is that he’s “softly-spoken”. I guess that’s a better trait to have than “sets fires” or “catfishes people on the internet to feel alive.” Not that I do either of those things. We have to wait until after the break to hear him sing.

8:01: Over the ad break, the voice-over guy officially upped the ante on Jackson from “softly-spoken” to “shy”, a bombshell that’s sure to rock The Voice to its very foundations. He takes the stage and sings Lorde‘s ‘Royals’, and it’s interesting, because he doesn’t change the arrangement at all, but brings a distinctive interpretation to the melody. He hits it very, very hard, and over-enunciates a but at times, but Kylie‘s instantly sold, and spins almost as soon as he’s started singing. Fair call. If Jackson’s shy off-stage demeanor and his over-the-top vocals eventually meet somewhere in the middle, he’ll go far.

8:07: I’m finding it hard to focus on mother-of-two Kylie Stephens because literally all I’m seeing is the lounge singer from Lost In Translation. Here’s hoping she doesn’t sleep with Bill Murray before the episode’s out. Retroactive spoiler alert for a movie that came out 11 years ago, sorry. She sits at a piano and pours her heart into Carole King‘s ‘So Far Away’, but nobody’s buying it. She smiles her way through the rejection, and Kylie Prime praises her “lovely tone” then destroys her in the nicest possible way by saying that the judges are looking for something magical at this point in the competition, and she just doesn’t have it. She’s smiling so wide it seems like her face may actually crack.

8:16: I don’t even know where to start with Courtney. Is it the fact that the top half of her body is covered in glitter? Or the fact that she looks EXACTLY like Krysten Ritter in Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23? I don’t even know. She chooses a gothed-out, Amanda Palmer-like arrangement of Britney‘s ‘Toxic’, with horror movie strings and an affected kitty cat vocal style, and it’s a gambit so insane it actually pays off. Joel and Kylie both turn around, and Kylie tries to win her over by promising her a wealth of experience in the sparkle department. In spite of this pretty solid offer, she picks Joel.

8:28: Ensuring that The Voice goes no more than three episodes without a brutal snub or some sort, there are rumblings on Twitter that Courtney left the stage without shaking Ricky‘s hand. We’ll be heading to YouTube right after this to confirm. Right now, though, it’s time for Nyssa, a piano teacher who met her fiance Beck when they were teacher and student. Drama! She sings ‘Feels Like Home’, and I guess has sort of a subtle country pop inflection, but none of the judges is buying it. The Voice likes its beer cold, its TV loud and its homosexuals flaming.

8:39: Scottie is a pro-wrestler whose alter ego is called ‘The Samoan Warrior’. He keeps talking about himself in the third person and threatening to let The Samoan Warrior out and he has more personality than anybody has for nights and nights, and I’m completely on board. As if he wasn’t already amazing, he sings Hall & Oates, but nobody turns, which is a goddamn travesty. I’m very disappointed in everyone right now. 

8:50: Jazz singer Steven comes from a long line of Melbourne butchers, and in his suit and tie, he looks like the most handsy uncle on the dance floor at a big family wedding. When he opens his mouth to sing ‘Ol’ Man River’, a big, tremulous bass voice comes out. Kylie mouths along while Ricky sits in open-mouthed horror. Nobody turns, because what the hell is The Voice going to do with a dude like this? “You’re 19 years old? I could’ve sworn you were 100!” shouts will.i.am after the big reveal, getting straight to the point as always. “You have everything,” Ricky tells him. Well, everything except a place on The Voice. Burn.

8:56: Up next is heavily-tattooed Matthew from Tasmania. He has an intense, thousand-yard stare, and the phrase ‘All The World’s A Stage’ tattooed across his chest. His description of himself in the introductory clip package sounds like he cribbed it word-for-word from the lyrics to Bobby Brown‘s ‘My Prerogative’. It’s looking like Matthew is going to be the last singer of the night, which means he’s going to be the big, unexpected surprise of the evening.
9:03: Okay, so Matthew sings ‘All I Ask Of You’ from Phantom Of The Opera, a piece of music with which the awkward 13-year-old me was very familiar, and crushes it. Ricky turns around, a series of cartoon love hearts emanating from his head. I don’t know what just happened, but I now believe in the existence of unicorns. Thanks, The Voice.

Image via YouTube