Seven days of TV viewing
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.