I feel like at some point on Team Kylie‘s London adventure, a nervous Robbie might have asked “are you trying to seduce me, Miss Minogue?”, to which Kylie herself twirled one of her legs around a full 360 degrees in response, while maintaining eye contact the whole time. How I would love to have been a fly on the wall in that room.
The Live Finals of The Voice Australia kick off tonight, and I’m racking my brains to think of who I’m rooting for. There’s handsome, bearded Robbie, of course – oh Robbie, how you melt my heart with your indie rock earnestness. Then there’s Disney Princess Elly, The Ghost Of Tilda Swinton and The Guy Whose Mum Really Quite Fancies Ricky Martin.
None of these people have made a hell of an impression, have they?
7:35: Right, no fucking around tonight. The Voice isn’t making us wait until the end to see what Chris Martin and friends are serving up – it’s right into Coldplay‘s live performance. Chris Martin is flashing that panty-dampening and ever so slightly smug grin of his as he does his trademark Chris Martin bouncy dance. It seems The Voice‘s audience have been starved for anything resembling a stirring performance these past few weeks, because the crowd are going fucking mental for ‘A Sky Full Of Stars’. Ricky is up out of his chair and dancing like SIr Les Patterson. Kylie, not to be outdone, is flailing around like a lunatic. Aaaaaaaaaand here comes the star-shaped confetti. The look on Joel‘s face suggests he’s never seen confetti before.
7:43: Gabriel and Cecelia were grounded from will.i.am‘s Los Angeles trip due to “an injury” – I love the way that’s phrased, because obviously, they are the same person. In a clip package, will takes the rest of his team to his studio and shows them some dumb robot he made. Musical Theatre Mat looks impressed, having donned one of his dress beanies for the occasion.
7:45: First to sing tonight is trail bike-riding Anja, singing ‘I’ll Be There’ by The Jackson 5. She hits a high note that sends everyone on the judging panel all wibbly. will, dressed in some kind of futuristic Steve Irwin jacket and a pair of comedy-sized hipster specs that I know don’t have lenses in them, gives a standing ovation.
7:53: will.i.am has a magic robot toilet that lights up. He calls it R2-Shitzu. Wow.
7:55: Musical Theatre Mat is up next, singing Chris Brown‘s ‘Fine China’, and wow, the band have really thrown him under the bus. This is a way harder song than you would think, and has a lithe, funky bass line that their arrangement is not capturing. They sound sloppy, and Mat’s falsetto is also pretty wobbly. The stars aren’t really lining up. The big finish involves him standing behind a white grand piano, and he’s sweating like he knows he blew it.
7:55: Kylie Minogue Deniers ZK are third up for Team will, performing a duet of U2‘s ‘With Or Without You’. Ross called a radio station to dedicate this song to Rachel one time, so it’s kind of a big deal, and ZK don’t bring the necessary gravity to it. Their harmonies are way off, the Z half of the duo sounds timid while the K half can’t find the high notes. Can we write the whole of tonight off and start again?
8:05: Gabriel and Cecelia didn’t make it to L.A. but they checked in with Team R2-Shitzu on Skype to rehearse their version of Empire Of The Sun‘s ‘Walking On A Dream’. Their live performance is … really something. They’ve Angus & Julia-ified the song by about 400%, substituting the beats for wistful acoustic strumming, harmonies and runs. So many runs. Like everyone tonight, they’re a little bit off, but they get an A for effort and a K for kooky as fuck.
8:14: In our next clip package, Kylie takes her team out to an intimidate candlelit dinner in London, which is just classic Kylie. Kat is wearing her ears at the table, which I think is probably a bit of a faux pas. I’m pretty sure Kylie slipped the waiter a hundred pound note and told him to keep Robbie‘s wine glass full.
8:20: The perpetually-happy Johnny is first to perform for Team Kylie, and has gone the singing drummer route. It’s a bit of a novelty seeing him perched behind his drum kit, but sitting down has restricted his voice a bit and he’s not really bringing a lot of energy to Pharrell‘s ‘Happy’. Then he stands up and it turns out that it’s not the drums, he’s just not that exciting a performer. Seems like a lovely dude, though.
8:31: Kylie fixes Kat in her gaze and asks, pointedly, if there’s anything she’d like to upgrade about her look. Yup, those ears are going, but will they prove to be the source of her power, like Lenny Kravitz‘s lustrous hair? Her live performance comes around, and it turns out the ears were holding her back. She songs ‘Brave’, aka the song that’s not Katy Perry‘s ‘Roar’, and kinda kills it. She looks and sounds like a grown-up, and her vocals are surprisingly powerful. Well, this is an interesting twist.
8:34: Robbie Balmer-Minogue is up next, looking adorable in his scarf in the London clip package. Kylie‘s chosen an INXS song for him, and when his live performance comes around, it turns out that he too has had a makeover. They’ve given him Adam Levine hair and it looks somehow … wrong, but he perseveres and his performance of ‘By My Side’ is pretty solid. Talent-wise, tonight, I’m calling this for Kat, but cutie pie whose hair I wanna muss up-wise, I’m going Robbie.
8:37: Feedback time. Joel wants to hang out with Johnny and “do stuff”. Ricky misses Kat‘s ears. will also misses the ears, aparently. The fuck, guys? It’s Kylie whose opinion counts here, and as usual, she looks devastated that she has to cut three people loose, because she just wants everyone to be happy. The Voice is going to make us wait through an ad break before we get to see who she picks.
8:44: Everyone has forgotten that Sensitive John is a person. He’s smiling tightly like he knows he’s going home soon, and Kylie reassures him that he wasn’t as boring as he probably thought, which is not a great sign. Kylie somehow, improbably picks Johnny to go through. BRB, voting to save Robbie a million times.
8:49: Team Joel are chilling on a big balcony, looking out at the Los Angeles skyline and talking sadly about how so many dreams have been made (and I guess broken) in the City of Angels. Back at Voice HQ, Isaac is the first to perform, and I like the guy, but for all his smiling and pointing, his take on ‘Best Day Of My Life’ is a bit listless.
8:53: Holly, who may or may not be smuggling one of the aliens from Mars Atacks under her enormous hair, is up next. She sings ‘Bang Bang’ and does that quirky, kinda sex kitten-y thing she always does with her vocals. Overall, it’s pretty solid, but I don’t see her going that much further.
9:01: Frank, who I kinda can’t hate even though he’s this year’s token boring rocker, has some mad banger with Joel in the studio. He just seems so happy to be there, and he has a tiger on his t-shirt … who am I to begrudge him his moment of happiness? When his live performance comes around, he takes to the stage in an actual fucking Count Dracula cape and leather pants to sing Kiss‘s ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’. He hams it up like crazy, and vocally, he’s solid. Okay, fine. That was fun, he can stay.
9:05: Finally, it’s Taila, who tonight was styled by Arial from The Little Mermaid. Joel picked a P!nk song for her, and the fact that she projects powerfully, stays in key and doesn’t rely on a crazy gimmick to make it through her performance means that she’s the strongest performer from Team Joel tonight. Who will he save? Can you stand to wait through the ad break?
9:16: Joel is sending Frank through to the finals. Awww, Frank is the happiest vampire in the world right now.
9:17: “I’ve always wanted to come to New York ever since I was 17 years old,” says Elly, in yet another of her incredibly specific and oddly endearing coinages. The other members of Team Ricky are seen dancing and twirling around Times Square and Central Park like they’re in a mobile phone commercial, because of course they are. Ricky is convinced that New York will change Elly and make a woman of her. I have no way of knowing what that means.
9:33: Sabrina missed the plane to New York, which is classic Sabrina, so she has a Skype rehearsal session with Ricky, and will be singing Sia‘s ‘Chandelier’. I forgot about her before (sorry Sabrina), but based on her Whitney Houston performance last week, she’s now one of my favourites on the show. She gives a great, powerful, controlled performance of ‘Chandelier’ and really, really kills it. Scratch that, I think she might actually be my favourite person in the contest at this point. If Ricky doesn’t let her through, I’m burning my laptop to the ground.
9:44: Ricky Martin has a guru. Of course he does.
9:46: Jackson and his thousand-yard stare are going through to the finals. Australia, I’m going to be very unhappy with you if I don’t see Sabrina back here next week.
9:47: Coldplay are back to close things out with ‘Magic’. I wonder if Chris Martin has been doing his bouncy dance backstage this whole time.