Still a lot to sing about

Herald Sun - Switched On - - The Voice -

IT’S the fi­nal count­down un­til a new win­ner of The Voice Aus­tralia is crowned. In a sea­son which has had its ups and downs, we look at what made us leap to our feet or turn the dial.

COACHES

Step­ping into Keith Ur­ban’s shoes was never go­ing to be an easy task, but rookie Ricky Martin was the stand­out coach of se­ries two thanks to his heady mix of Latin charm and sur­pris­ing mu­si­cal ver­sa­til­ity.

Mov­ing down the line of big red chairs, Delta Goodrem was again the tar­get of at­tacks over ev­ery­thing from her hair to her Ste­vie Nicksstyle dance moves. But Goodrem’s con­fi­dent push­back against her crit­ics, in­clud­ing ri­val coach Seal, won her ma­jor ku­dos and many new fans.

Joel Mad­den’s sea­son got off to a stel­lar start af­ter he won the Lo­gie award for best new tal­ent.

Mad­den made it clear on The Voice just what has won him favour with lo­cal view­ers: he’s a lar­rikin, great for a clever grab, and a spon­ta­neous show­man who’s not afraid to speak from the heart.

Seal’s pow­ers of per­sua­sion seemed to be over­shad­owed by his Puerto Ri­can ri­val, best on show in their bull-fight­ing bat­tle for Luke Kennedy.

MEN­TORS

One part of the show that should be ex­tended is the in­ter­ac­tion with each team’s men­tors.

This year’s line-up fea­tured some ex­tra­or­di­nary artists, with phe­nom­e­nal tal­ent to share, but for the most part was wasted on air, with the men­tors look­ing like nod­ding dash­board dogs be­hind their re­spec­tive coaches.

BLIND AU­DI­TIONS

At the end of such a hugely suc­cess­ful de­but sea­son, the de­ci­sion to add more of the blind au­di­tions was about giv­ing the au­di­ence what they asked for.

The strength of this ex­tended, more per­sonal part of the for­mat was how the coaches re­sponded in kind, shar­ing in­ti­mate, hon­est sto­ries about their lives and ca­reer ex­pe­ri­ences.

BAT­TLE ROUNDS ANDSHOWDOWNS

This part of the se­ries sat un­com­fort­ably with a lot of view­ers. Adding to the drama this year was the first use of the coach’s save. Al­though how and when it could be used was not ex­plained well, those saved — Emma Pask, Michael Stan­gel, Han­nah Dar­ling and Steve Clisby — stayed on to de­liver some of the most mem­o­rable per­for­mances of this sea­son.

LIVE FI­NALS

As much as set se­lec­tion was ma­ligned, the re­sponse to per­for­mances was still re­flected in the im­pact of the show on mu­sic charts.

Per­for­mances by Har­ri­son Craig and Luke Kennedy claimed the No.1 spot on iTunes, with many oth­ers hold­ing spots in the top 20.

And Goodrem’s mov­ing duet with Gur­ru­mul was rewarded with a No.1 on iTunes and gave the in­dige­nous artist his first top 10 song on the ARIA chart.

GRAND FI­NAL

With the fi­nal four de­cided by au­di­ence vote, it’s is still any­body’s game. Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke and One Repub­lic are set to per­form. The Voice Fi­nale, Chan­nel 9, Mon­day, 7.30pm

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