‘The Voice Australia’: Live Blog Episode 17

The Voice continues to be a monumentally huge ratings winner for Channel 9, coming first overall on Sundays, and trailing just behind the sexy tradies of home renovation show House Rules on Mondays, so they’ve decided to give Australia even more – this time, with an added dose of creepy, singing children.

The Voice Kids
begins its reign of terror next Sunday 22nd, before the final rounds of The Voice proper kick off. A collection of precocious performers aged between 8 and 14, none of whom have ever heard the words “no” or “give it a rest dear”, will be singing for Australia’s love and validation. Knowing Channel 9, there will be a lot of tears before bedtime.

Some people who should be thinking long and hard about the career choices that brought them to this point – namely Mel B, Delta Goodrem and the sentient pile of trucker caps and old chewin’ tobacky that is Joel and Benji Madden – will be on hand as coaches for the new series.

It makes The Voice itself seem all growed up, don’t it? The coaches have been making so many surprisingly sensible calls these past few weeks, it almost seems like will, Ricky, Kylie and friends are almost ready to sit at the adults’ table.

Follow our Voice Australia live blog from 6.30pm on Channel 9 for the last night of the showdowns, before the losers are made to sing for the lives.

6:36: will
just said “whoah dot com dot au” to somebody in the opening clip package. When the fuck did Diablo Cody start writing for The Voice Australia?

Musical theatre twink Mat, Kylie-deniers and awful people ZK and the coulourful Chita (I have no idea who she is and she’s wearing a colourful outfit, so I’m going with that as her adjective for the evening) are competing for Team will. It’s still not clear what the mentors actually do this season, and in the rehearsal studio, apl.de.ap stars off blankly into space while Mat emotes his way through a Stevie Wonder song. He may just be dazzled by Mat’s purple sea captain’s cap, and so am I. I only catch the tail end of wil’s advice to Mat, but I think he says “take it up to a falsetto and then end it on a high”, which doesn’t sound like it’s going to end well. ZK have chosen the “say something I’m giving up on you” song and ugh, I’m sorry, every time I look at them I just see the brutal Kylie snub and I think they might be dead to me.

The coaches are introduced, to the screaming of the crowd. Joel dances the robot, Ricky looks like the world’s most upbeat middle manager, will shuffles like Bieber and Kylie is waving a pair of black lace panties at Joel because of course she is. Mat is up first, somewhat improbably in his third shit hat of the evening. I think Craig Bierko may have worn the same one on Sex & The City. For those playing at home, that’s the second shoehorned-in Craig Bierko reference in this year’s live blogs – I hope you’re enjoying them! Mat practically bursts a vein in his forehead emoting his way through his Stevie Wonder song, but he’s a powerful singer, and in spite the fact that he insists on opening his mouth wider than Kirby and threatening to suck up the grand piano and the whole audience, he deserves to go through.

6:53: Chita
, who is literally about 75% hair and 25% expansive hand gestures, belts her way through Alicia Keys‘ ‘Girl On Fire’. ZK are up next, and Kylie has NOT forgotten what the Z half of the duo did to her. She stares daggers at him and throws him right of his game – he’s flat for the first few bars but recovers, and starts haromonising with the K half. Mat is positively weeping at the side of the stage, which might be an overly generous response to this performance, but I don’t think Mat quite knows how to modulate his emotions just yet. will starts spouting a bunch of nonsense about how ZK are a haunted house, or their song was a haunted house or something, I don’t know. He sends them through to the finals (boo) and saves Mat (who actually deserved to go through to the finals). will seems fairly uninterested in the whole deal. I think he’s just waiting to shed his skin, unhinge his jaw and devour Chita after the show.

Did anyone else get a really creepy vibe from that talking squirrel in the ad break? Something was really messed up about him.

Kylie‘s last battle team is up next, featuring “barefoot songstress” and person who looks like she probably knows entirely too much about crystals Rosie, ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ singer and rock solid sob story-haver Megan and person who also exists until proven otherwise Johnny. Mentor Kirk Pengilly is characteristically baffled in the rehearsal room, and is looking a little stunned while throwing around adjectives like “good” and “cool” and “great” like someone’s dad who really wants to be supportive even though he’d probably rather be doing a crossword on his iPad or masturbating to tentacle porn. Megan will be singing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ tonight, because she just fucking gets me, y’know?

7:13: Megan
is up first, with her rendition of ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’, and all I can say is I hope my neighbours don’t mind me cranking the volume and cry-singing along to it. Actually, fuck’em, no I don’t. Megan is up next, and there’s some slap bass and there’s a vest and there’s a huge pile of blonde hair but I can’t really comment beyond that. “She’s SO funky” says cat-ears Kat backstage, which is actually the best possible summary of how funky Megan just was. Johnny sings some boring John Legend song. Boo. “Aww Johnny, you big softie you!” says cat-ears Kat backstage, once again perfectly summing up what’s happening. Kylie purses her lips like Miranda Priestly, then sends Johnny through to the finals. Dammit, Kylie. She sends Megan through to the sing-offs because there is a small amount of justice left in the world.

7:29: Team Joel
is up next, meaning it’s time for Megan Washington watch! Taila is feeling nervous in the rehearsal studio, and Megan says “just imagine us in our underwear” so disdainfully that Taila almost melts. “That was not perfect,” she says in the privacy of the booth, and then out in the studio, she lies right to Taila’s face and says “that was really good.” God, Washington is so nasty. I love her. Something something Doug blah blah blah. I can’t even, sorry, he’s just so boring. Holly is up last in the rehearsal studio, and Washington lights up somewhat. Holly has a certain alt-country twang in her voice, and it seems like Megan likes it. Her advice to Holly is to put a bit more “dynamism” in her performance, which is defintely the most syllables a Voice mentor has ever uttered at the one time.

7:35: Holly
‘s live performance is up first, but something has been lost between rehearsal studio and stage, because she’s sounding more than a little cutesy. Doug sings ‘The Way We Were’ next, and if you heard him in a fancy hotel bar while drinking there with Bill Murray you’d think “that’s nice”. Last up is Taila, singing some song about being a redneck woman while dressed like a double denim version of Rosie the Riveter. Sadly, not all of these people can go home. Joel sense Taila’s double denim ensemble through to the finals, and says “I like both of you” to the remaining two with so little enthusiasm, it’s like some of Washington has rubbed off on him. Holly goes through to the sing-offs. Blah.

7:53: ELLY IS SINGING ‘LET IT GO’. THIS IS NOT A GODDAMN DRILL. THIS IS FINALLY HAPPENING. “My mum is a very srong woman who didn’t like me showing off to people, especially on the stage,” she says, as her justification for why she’s singing it, as if she needed one. Ricky and Australia’s Number One DJ Havana Brown are concerned because she’s not giving enough of herself to the song. Ricky actually calls it a “trainwreck.” Shut your beautiful, stupid mouth Ricky. Handsome person Joel is up next, but Havana isn’t biting. Finally, person I want to get shiftaced drunk and share my secrets with Sabrina is singing Whitney Houston‘s ‘Queen Of The Night’. That’s classic Sabrina right there. Sabirina reminds me of a lady I recently sat next to on a plane who showed me pictures of her grandkids all the way from Melbourne to Brisbane (that’s not a burn on her, she was a super young, hot grandmother) and I wonder if Sabrina’s nails would sound the same clicking on an iPad’s touchscreen.

7:58: I need to brace for the very real possibility that Elly might be terrible.

8:00: Sabrina‘s ‘Queen Of The Night’ is sassy as all fuck, and she’s really on it, thrusting and pointing with her fingerless gloves. Vocally, she’s doing a very solid job of channeling Whitney, and at this point, I really want her to win the whole thing. Up next is very handsome person Josh, who assumes a squatting position and fist-pumps his way through Aviici’s ‘Wake Me Up’. I’m not hating the glimpse of hairy arm poking out of the arm of his jacket, but this is a mediocre rendition of a mediocre song and he does not deserve the applause he gets.

8:08: Finally, it’s Elly singing ‘Let It Go’, and she’s not very good. Sabrina is making a concerned face backstage and clearly wants her to do well, which is very nice of her. I fucking love Elly and I want to love this performance. The Voice‘s wind machines are pulling triple duty blowing her hair around, and she’s simultaneously amazing and terrible, if that makes sense. Elly is technically a very good vocalist, but she over-sang the hell out of that, and I hope she gets a second chance.

8:11: Sabrina goes through to the finals, and deserves it. The coaches all look really tense – will, Kylie and Joel are all huddled, and the emotion doesn’t feel at all contrived. Ricky considers it for a while, then sends Elly through to the sing-offs for a second chance. Looks like the only person retreating to a castle of ice in her kingdom of isolation tonight will be Kylie.

Picture: Thomas Niedermueller via Getty Images