The Voice is back

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - HOLLY BYRNES

CHAR­LIE Sheen ru­ined the word “win­ning” for most peo­ple. The Voice Aus­tralia coach Seal, the man who guided Karise Eden to vic­tory on WIN’s rat­ings block­buster last year, is “weary” of the word for a whole dif­fer­ent rea­son.

While the gravel- throated songstress was the un­de­ni­able find of the se­ries, Seal ar­gues “ev­ery­one that came on the show – the 48 who made it to the bat­tles that year, the coaches, the team [ be­hind the scenes] – won”.

Mak­ing Aus­tralian TV his­tory, with an av­er­age of more than 3.2 mil­lion view­ers tuning in for Eden’s crown­ing, The Voice cap­ti­vated view­ers in a way even the pro­duc­tion’s Dutch cre­ators, Talpa, could not have imag­ined.

So when that win­ning for­mula was threat­ened by the sur­prise exit of coach Keith Ur­ban late last year, the ques­tion was in­evitably asked: can WIN strike gold again with The Voice?

Cue the mata­dor, Ricky Martin, sweep­ing to cen­tre stage with all the Latin flair and charisma that has made him an in­ter­na­tional su­per­star for the past two decades.

Adding Martin and his larger- thanlife per­son­al­ity to the mix of Seal, Joel Mad­den and Delta Goodrem was, of course, a risk, but those who have seen him shake his bon bons in that big red chair are con­vinced it will pay off, big time.

“I like him, he brings it and it’s great for the show,” Seal said.

The di­ver­sity of tal­ent this year cross­ing mu­si­cal gen­res and age groups is proof of the show’s reach and will broaden its ap­peal – if that’s pos­si­ble.

Mad­den jokes his choices in par­tic­u­lar take the Good Char­lotte rocker be­yond the “hot chicks” who pop­u­lated his team last year.

“All the hot chicks last year sang good – lucky me. It’s like I can hear hot through the back of my chair … I can al­ways tell when it’s a pretty girl.”

Laughs aside, the tat­tooed front­man sat his team down this year and set them straight on the hard work it would take to make it on the show.

“I said, ‘ Right now out in the world, on this show and in stu­dios and re­hearsal rooms, there’s an artist that wants to be where you’re at, wants to be where you want to go and they’re work­ing harder than you right now. That’s how I look at my ca­reer and that’s how I want you guys to look at your ca­reers.’”

Seal says he feels the weight of ex­pec­ta­tion too, but be­lieves the op­por­tu­nity to shine maketh the star.

“What you want ev­ery­body to do is come in with this at­ti­tude that you’re not here just to win, but to win be­yond. If you get to work with some great coaches, some great men­tors, if you get the op­por­tu­nity to per­form on a na­tional stage, you really have to see that as win­ning,” he said.

The Kiss From A Rose singer was em­braced by the se­ries and its na­tional fan base at a time when he needed it most, fly­ing over for film­ing last year just as his mar­riage to model Heidi Klum had fallen apart.

He ad­mits the phe­nom­e­nal success of the show and the re­la­tion­ships he built with his co- stars and artists soothed his soul, even in­spir­ing a new sin­gle, Let Your­self.

In the new sea­son, he brings the same philo­soph­i­cal ap­proach to coach­ing but will shock some fans with his vul­ner­a­bil­ity dur­ing the blind au­di­tions. Shar­ing sto­ries of his own angst- rid­den climb to the top, Seal says his hard- bit­ten ex­pe­ri­ence is what he can give back to Voice artists now.

“The artists aren’t look­ing to have a hit, they’re look­ing to have a ca­reer and if you want to have a ca­reer you have to have re­silience. It’s that sim­ple. It’s a hard- knock life, and yes, it’s glam­orous, but it’s tough. You see it all the time, with peo­ple who don’t have the re­silience. Peo­ple like Amy Wine­house, they just didn’t have that for­ti­tude. They crack. I al­most cracked, so I know.”

THE VOICE, WIN, tonight, 6.30pm

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