Seven days of TV viewing

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - DEB­BIE SCHIPP

TAKE a seat in the au­di­ence of The Voice, and you start to be­lieve the hype.

It opens with a per­for­mance of the four coaches fronting the Nine Net­work’s mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar re­al­ity gam­ble – Bri­tish R& B leg­end Seal, coun­try mu­sic su­per­star Keith Ur­ban, Good Char­lotte rocker Joel Mad­den and home- grown songstress Delta Goodrem. All are big

stars on the in­ter­na­tional stage. Put them to­gether and magic hap­pens. You won­der how the con­tes­tants will stack up.

Two hours later, while the coaches have the cred, it is the voices that are the real stars. Some elicit rap­tur­ous ap­plause from the au­di­ence. Oth­ers are so stun­ning they re­ceive the ul­ti­mate ac­co­lade: si­lence.

For Seal, it’s reaf­fir­ma­tion of why he joined the show.

He came to Australia for the tal­ent show af­ter sep­a­rat­ing from his wife of six years, su­per­model Heidi Klum, and is clearly en­joy­ing throw­ing his en­ergy into The Voice.

‘‘ Here, peo­ple have talked about my nails a lot,’’ he says, flaunt­ing to­day’s choice of bright yel­low. ‘‘ It makes a change from them talk­ing about my mu­sic or my pri­vate life.’’

Seal was a rel­a­tive late­comer to the mu­sic in­dus­try. Through sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion and un­de­ni­able tal­ent, he made his big break­through at the age of 27. Kiss From A Rose is his best­known in­ter­na­tional hit. At 49, he has 20 mil­lion al­bum sales and a slew of Brit and Grammy awards to his credit.

Be­lief made him a star, and it is be­liev­abil­ity and truth he has looked for when as­sem­bling his team of 12 dur­ing blind au­di­tions for The Voice.

‘‘ Ini­tially, I look for some­thing you can’t put into words,’’ he says. ‘‘ It’s some­thing that tran­scends lan­guage and in­tel­lect. It’s in­tra­venous. It goes straight to my soul. It’s some­thing that I be­lieve.’’

His pri­or­ity in work­ing with his charges is not just to de­velop them, but to en­sure they ap­pre­ci­ate the ride.

‘‘ Hope­fully, in their ten­ure with me, whether they make the final or not, they will come out win­ners, un­der­stand­ing that it’s a tough in­dus­try, it’s not about just get­ting a hit sin­gle or 15 min­utes of fame. Any­one can be recog­nised. It’s about hav­ing a ca­reer,’’ he says.

He has learnt to ap­pre­ci­ate that dreaded TV- show catch­phrase – the jour­ney.

‘‘ The process of mak­ing a record is some­times long and ar­du­ous and frus­trat­ing. Equally it can be jubilant. I’ve learnt that the gems are in the process, in the mo­ments,’’ he says.

It’s one of the rea­sons Seal never lis­tens to any of his al­bums once he’s fin­ished them.

‘‘ I am proud of ev­ery­thing I do, the suc­cesses and the fail­ures. I don’t not lis­ten be­cause I’m sick of it, but I have just moved on through the process.’’

Of his 12 charges, Seal says none are sim­i­lar in style to him.

‘‘ I’ve picked peo­ple who don’t sound like me, and don’t sound sim­i­lar to each other. They are unique unto them­selves. I don’t want them to be the next me. I want them to be the first them.’’

He’s also de­lighted in get­ting to know his fel­low men­tors.

‘‘ I knew I would en­joy it, but I just didn’t know I’d love it so much,’’ he says. ‘‘ I knew of Keith, Joel and Delta be­fore, but didn’t know them.’’

Leisure time to­gether off the set has ce­mented those friend­ships, but Seal can’t see the four­some hit­ting a karaoke bar any time soon. ‘‘ I don’t drink and I think one of the pre­req­ui­sites of karaoke is you have to be drunk,’’ he says with a grin. ‘‘ You could see me in there, but I don’t know how much fun I’d be.’’

FAB FOUR: Seal and fel­low coaches Joel Mad­den, Keith Ur­ban and Delta Goodrem.

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