The Voice Australia: Sing no evil, Lionel… you blubbering mess, you.
If you still had a little bit of faith that we might find a half-decent winner on this year’s season of The Voice Australia following several unbearable moments in the first half of the battles, well, you can hold onto it for now.
While there is yet to be a contestant who has emerged as a standout favourite or captured widespread rave reviews, the second half of the battles this week provided a few quality performances and far less obvious song butchering that produced an outbreak of aural and visual diahorrea last week.
Producing the best remedy was Team Ricky’s Lionel Cole and Sabrina Batshon, who joined forces for a brilliant cover of the theme song from old-school Disney flick Beauty and the Beast.
Tellingly, a track that was recorded as a male/female duet, both contestants rose to the occasion and delivered their parts with gusto. In a way, it was a shame they both had to go up against each other – and in the end, Ricky chose to take Sabrina forward.
But the mutual admiration was obvious when all three remaining judges hit their button to save Lionel, reducing him to tears. Lionel chose to join Team Kylie – which may prove to be a huge coup for her given she had arguably the weakest collection of team members up until now.
Although Sabrina and Lionel were on song, there were still quite a few classic track calamities; namely Team Joel’s Harry Healy and Frank Lakoudis’s cringe-worthy take on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Under The Bridge’. Harry’s bits reeked of RSL-lite country twang, while rocker Frank was a bit out of sorts too, until he saved the whole thing with his huge high notes at the end. Coupled with Joel’s remarks that he felt he could get more out of him and guide him better as an artist, Frank lived to fight another day.
Saves soon became an over-riding theme of the night – whether it was the judges using them up or persuading one another to give another chance to their newly rejected team member whom they had a soft spot for. There were some quality uses – namely the previously mentioned scramble for Lionel Cole, and Joel caving in (but also being very smart) to save Team Will’s Soli Tesema after she was overlooked for Matt Verevis, despite arguably a slightly better performance.
The same can’t be said for will.i.am giving Team Ricky’s Carly Yelayotis a second chance after she was trounced by C Major in their battle.
Sounding severely under-par and lacking flair in her cover of Rhianna’s ‘Where Have You Been?’, some trademark charm and campaigning from Ricky convinced Will to hit the save button.
It meant a couple of other quality battle losers couldn’t get a reprieve, such as ex-Australian Idol star Hayley Jensen, who was unlucky to have gone down to super-snorter Kat Jade. Both girls did a pretty good rendition of Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ – which they delivered after getting to meet the girl herself during their rehearsals (you can tell it was filmed a while ago. Urgh). Ms. Perry looked just a tad disinterested during their pow-wow, and when the girls informed her they were singing her song – well, her reaction looked nice on the inside, but secretly outraged on the inside!
The Voice Australia: To be honest, Katy doesn’t look all that enthused to be chatting to Kylie either!
And adding to the random guest spots, original Voice Australia judge from Season 1 Keith Urban also turned up to perform one of his tracks – and chat to host Darren McMullen about his upcoming tour. Lack of ticket sales anyone?
We’re now up to the next stage of the competition – the Showdowns. Quite frankly, I don’t know what they’re all about or why they’re there – except that it’s maybe just an extra round to cut off a few more contestants and pad out the show for a bit longer. The promos claim the contestants will receive special in-depth training from the coaches and their assistants – and by golly, some of them need it if they want to have any chance of winning The Voice Australia, let alone having a career that the public will be mildly interested in after the show.
will.i.am: Matt Verevis, Anja Nissen, Louise Van Veenendaal, Chita Henneberry, Jacob Lee, ZK, Julian Simonsz. New Members: Carly Yelayotis (Ricky), Gabriel and Cecelia (Ricky)
Kylie: Robbie Balmer, Kat Jade, Johnny Rollins, Candice Sjkonnemand, Rosie Henshaw, John Lingard, Megan Longhurst. New Members: Lionel Cole (Ricky), Jhoanna Aguila (will.i.am)
Joel: Frank Lakoudis, Issac McGovern, Holly Tapp, Talia Gouge, Doug Williams, Blake Leggett, Laura-Leigh Smith. New Members: Soli Tesema (will.i.am), Jess Verney (Ricky).
Ricky: C Major, Elly Oh, Fely Irvine, Brandon Duff, Sabrina Batshon, Josh McDonald, Matthew Garwood. New Members: Thando Sikwila (Kylie), Jackson Thomas (Kylie).
Images and video courtesy Channel 9
Each week, KIEL EGGING will be dissecting the best and worst of The Voice Australia 2014 for readers at home and abroad with THE VOICEbox, exclusively on AustralianTimes.co.uk
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