‘The Voice Australia’: Live Blog Episode 20

I’m not angry at Kylie, I’m just very disappointed. Last week, when faced with the choice of several strong competitors to send through to the next round – including handsome bearded indie sex fellow Robbie, and Kat, whose transformation when whipping off her dumb cat ears was akin to Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries – she somehow chose bland old Johnny.

You think singing drummers, you think Animal from The Muppets, but Johnny is here to disprove the theory that guys who howl from behind their kits have any sort of charisma. Ugh, this is all way too much to deal with. Australia, if you didn’t spend the last week voting to save Robbie and the Team Ricky contestant whose name I will forever hear as Sabrina Batshit, I’ll be EXTREMELY unhappy with you.

If you want to see how painfully real tonight’s going to get, then follow along with our Voice Australia Live Blog from 7.30pm on Nine

7:35: Kylie‘s opening tonight’s show with a song called ‘Sexy Love’, one of several similarly-titled sexxx jams from her last, slightly disappointing album. She’s flanked by backing dancers straight out of a Robert Palmer video and is giving her all. She’s so tired that at one point, she stops for a rest on one of the Robert Palmer backing dancers’ rear ends. A giant, neon love heart descends onto the stage, and Kylie segues into the vastly superior ‘Love At First Sight’. Fuck me, Fever came out 13 years ago and I am not okay with that. I’m pretty sure that album got me through the aftermath of 9/11. 

7:41: Right, so I presume you’re all downloading the Home Coach app and are poised to save Robbie‘s beautiful beard should the worst happen.

7:43: Looks like Johnny is doing his singing drummer thing again tonight. He’s paired a black leopard print shirt with one of his dress beanies, and is singing some post-grunge song as Kylie dances a circle around his drum kit like she’s in the fucking Wicker Man. If tonight’s show is The Wicker Man, then I’m Leelee Sobieski and The Voice is Nicolas Cage and right now, it’s karate kicking me in the tits.

7:48: It’s time to announce the results of Team Kylie‘s vote. It looks like you all saved Kat. I’m mildly disappointed in you, but there’s still a chance for you to save Robbie. He and Hipster Colonel Sanders will be performing after the break, and then we’ll all be voting to save him. I know I’m repeating myself here, but I can not stress the importance of this enough.
7:55: Oh dear. Robbie almost looks convincing when he says that Kylie‘s choice for him, Coldplay‘s ‘The Scientist’, is one of his “favourite songs”. Having said that, I challenge anyone to beat my Singstar high score on this particular number. Robbie’s performance, if we’re being honest, is a little flat. His falsetto is a little off, and overall, he just sounds a bit uninspired.

7:58: John, the crafty fucker, has chosen to forego Kylie‘s original choice for him, and instead sing an old song of hers, to prove that a genuine fan he is. He takes the stage, his Colonel Sanders tie looking spiffy, to perform his acoustic-ified version ‘Hand On Your Heart’, and goddammit, he’s actually really good. He nails all the falsetto bits and has really nice tone, and okay, I guess he can have your save if you really want to give it to him.

8:04: Kylie clears the air during the vote, making sure we know that she loves everyone and everything. Australia votes to save Robbie‘s handsome face. John is very gracious, and I think he has found the twelfth secret herb and/or spice: humility in the face of defeat. All of a sudden I really like him. The Voice is tearing me apart, Lisa.

8:12: I’m interested to see how many of the Voice Kids kids actually get rejected in the blind auditions, and have their little spirits crushed, but that would mean watching The Voice Kids, which is a bridge too far, even for me. Meanwhile, Kat is singing ‘Dark Horse’, because she’s the dark horse of Team Kylie. DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE? She’s projecting raw sensuality, as backing dancers writhe behind her in black leotards. I don’t know whether she’s wearing that feathered dress or if she grew it herself to complete her transformation into Black Swan-era Natalie Portman, but that happened really fast. If her eyes turn yellow and her toenails start falling off, Kylie best watch her back. 

8:20: Joel took his team to a Madden Brothers album listening party to learn what it means to be a rock star, which is classic Joel.
8:21: Don’t hate me, but I kind of like Frank now. He’s so innocent and unassuming, he comes across like something you’d get out of a rock star-themed Happy Meal. He’s singing ‘American Woman’, and vocally, he’s shredding it and sounds very confident. He has the look and the posture, but I dunno, he just seems too damned sweet to really sell the sleaziness of this song. There are pole dancers on stage, for fuck’s sake. He looks like he wants to convert them to Mormonism when the show’s over.

8:25: Australia, this week, from the rejects of Team Joel, you voted to save Holly. She seems nice. Has she been on the show before?

8:28: KFC commercials are getting mad fucking existential.

8:32: Sweet, silly Isaac is up first, singing the Goo Goo Dolls‘ ‘Iris’. His mum started crying when she heard he’d be singing it, because it’s a recently-deceased family member’s favourite song. It’s interesting to see a resurgence of dear, departed family members at this late stage of the competition. That’s more of a blind auditions gambit, but sure. Anyway, yeah, Isaac’s hair is impossibly shiny, as are the tears forming in his beautiful brown eyes, and he pours a lot of heart into the song, which I guess is kind of required if you’re going to be singing ‘Iris’. Everybody is feeling all the feelings right now.

8:35: In the clip package, we learn that 17-year-old Taila had never been to a bar before Joel took her to one. Jesus, I’m sorry, Taila. She’s singing a Paramore song tonight. She’s fun and bouncy, but when she’s done, the judges all favour Isaac, and 53% of you agree. He’s staying to make you feel all the feelings another day.

8:43: Taila‘s concession speech is longer than most Meryl Streep Oscar speeches.

8:46: Well, everyone on The Block this year looks awful. I’m excited. 

8:48: Guys, I don’t want to alarm you, but there’s a shonky landlord out there. Don’t worry, ACA is on the case. Holly, who cruised through to safety this week, is singing the Sara Bareilles version of ‘Single Ladies’. The laid-back arrangement actually really plays to her vocal strengths, and performance-wise, she’s channeling Madonna‘s ‘Material Girl’ video pretty hard, something with which I can definitely get on board.

8:54: Joel‘s new video dropped tonight. The producers are bravely ignoring the fact the show is running so far behind that it will probably wrap up around 11.00 at this point and giving it a plug. Gabriel and Cecelia are waiting backstage, trying to solve the mystery of who killed their son Joffrey

8:59: Team will go and visit Adam Goodes while he’s training, for an inspiring pep talk. Cecelia says she’s now a huge fan; Gabe broods because he’s highly likely that dudes Adam Goodes‘ size and larger used to beat the crap out of him in high school. Awww. Tonight, they’re singing ‘I Dreamed A Motherfucking Dream’ from Motherfucking Les Miserables, and it’s really, really surreal. Gabe is doing some mad, atonal chanting behind the piano, hair swishing all around the place like David Helfgott, and as fucking weird as this is turning out to be, I’m kind of glad this level of gonzo performance art has made it onto The Voice this year. 
9:07: Musical Theatre Mat is so tiny when you see him next to the rest of Team will. From his reject pile, Australia voted to save Kylie-deniers ZK this week, and they seem dazed and a bit stunned, so nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

9:15: Mat is so serious about singing for his life that he’s not even wearing a beanie or any other form of questionable headgear tonight. He’s pouring a lot of emotion into his performance of ‘Rocket Man’, and is practically weeping by the end, but his vocals are pretty strong. I kind of want to give him a hug and tell him everything will be okay, but that’s up to you, Australia, isn’t it?

9:20: Ajna‘s take on Bey‘s ‘Irreplacable’ is also pretty strong, but my heart is with teeny tiny Mat. will hugs Mat very tightly while the nation votes. Unfortunately, only 44% of the nation were dazzled by his silver jacket, because Anja’s going through. Poor Mat. This blog is predominantly snark and Game Of Thrones references, but I do wish the guy all the best.

9:30: ZK are taking on John Lennon‘s ‘Imagine’ tonight, with members of the Bangarra Dance Theatre backing them up. It’s a heartfelt performance and makes me wish I wasn’t utterly dead inside. The judges are all very impressed.
9:38: Ricky is wearing a dark coat and sunglasses while he sits by the beach with Jackson, reflecting sadly on his long life and Jackson’s youthful vigor and promise. I don’t know at what point The Voice became Death In Venice, but I’m on board. Jackson does his usual trick of staring right into the camera and/or your soul as he performs ‘Kiss From A Rose’. I fucking love ‘Kiss From A Rose’ and two hours ago, I would’ve been crapping myself with excitement, but this has been a long night. 
9:44: C Major, Sabrina Batshit and Elly are on stage, waiting to hear who’s saved. Because we’re running drastically overtime, we get right to it. Justice is done, and Sabrina is saved. Whew. Her Sia last week really killed it, and she totally deserves to stay. It will be interesting to see what happens from here. A few weeks back, Elly was one of my favourites, and I kind of thought miniature Tom Haverford C Major was the devil, but now they’re kind of on par with each-other.

9:50: C Major is debating whether to sit at his piano or stand up during his Justin Timberlake cover, and Ricky has never been more deeply lost in thought than at this moment. The guy has his own name appliqued onto the sleeve of his shirt, which is a classlc C Major dick move. I love/hate him so much. His hair is impeccably sharp and he sounds like the most enthusiastic wedding singer ever, and when he’s done, he does the classic pray-and-nod to thank the audience for their applause. This guy.

9:55: Elly is singing Pixie Lott‘s ‘Mama Do’, and she certainly has a pretty large chunk of her mojo back after the ‘Let It Go’ debacle of a few weeks ago. She vamps it up a lot, with a baseline intensity level of around 11, and she’s not quite comfortable in the pop music paradigm just yet, but this is a good start. I’m sorry for using the word ‘paradigm’ this late at night, my grasp on reality is slipping.

9:58: Australia votes, and Elly Oh is staying on. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually going to miss C Major. In his farewell speech, he busts out some sexy Spanish to thank Ricky.  

10:05: I’m hoping that Sabrina gets a fair shake tonight. The show has run on for so long that all but the most dedicated Voice fans have probably tuned out and/or fallen asleep on the couch dreaming of Ricky softly cooing to them in Spanish. “It’s like a dream come true that people are appreciating me,” she says backstage, and as a life-long people pleaser, I totally understand where she’s coming from. She’s dressed as some kind of giant bird, but as usual, she utterly kills it. Her performance of Shakira‘s ‘Empire’ is really, really strong. The vocals, the movements, the perfectly mussed-up hair, the Jenna Maroney-ish way she projects her sexuality … Sabrina’s my favourite person on The Voice and possibly in the whole world. I think I want to buy her a diamond.

Photo: Stefania D’Alessandro via Getty Images