Fresh Voice set to go, go, go

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

KEITH Ur­ban’s shock de­par­ture from The Voice has ended up be­ing a bless­ing in dis­guise for the re­al­ity singing se­ries.

Host Dar­ren McMullen says there was a moment of dis­be­lief and to­tal dis­ap­point­ment when Ur­ban an­nounced he was not re­turn­ing for sea­son two.

The coun­try singer cited tour­ing, record­ing and pro­mo­tional com­mit­ments for leav­ing the Nine Net­work se­ries but soon af­ter­wards Ur­ban ac­cepted a judg­ing role on Amer­i­can Idol.

McMullen ini­tially thought the loss of Ur­ban was a ma­jor blow for The Voice but that changed the minute en­er­getic Puerto Ri­can Amer­i­can Ricky Martin set foot on stage.

‘‘We all thought Keith was ir­re­place­able,’’ McMullen says.

‘‘He was great for The Voice but Ricky has added a new di­men­sion to the show. It’s fresh­ened up the show with­out mean­ing to.’’

First sea­son judges Joel Mad­den, Seal and Delta Goodrem re­turn but this time around they have four new men­tors.

Prolific US singer song­writer Ryan Ted­der will work with Goodrem, Sneaky Sound Sys­tem lead singer Con­nie Mitchell as­sists Seal, Ben Lee is Mad­den’s right-hand man and Jes­sica Mauboy joins Martin.

McMullen is guarded about what he can re­veal about the sec­ond sea­son of the 2012 rat­ings jug­ger­naut.

He says Seal and Delta still have their dis­agree­ments and there are a lot more mind games be­tween the four coaches.

The for­mat has a few new twists with more ‘‘op­por­tu­ni­ties’’ for the artists but again McMullen wouldn’t elab­o­rate.

As for his own role on the se­ries, The Voice host says ob­vi­ously me­dia re­ports in 2012 sug­gest­ing he was go­ing to be axed were wrong.

Mc­Mul­lan says he was in con­stant con­tact with Nine about the gossip sur­round­ing his pos­si­ble demise and says it could not have been fur­ther from the truth.

‘‘My re­la­tion­ship with Nine is good and I was told I was al­ways coming back.’’

De­buts Sun­day, April 7, 7.30pm, Nine, NBN Dar­ren McMullen

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