Still a lot to sing about
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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