Things have moved on from the Battle Rounds. Delta Goodrem has a new haircut and most of the judges have changed their clothes. This is the first round in which the public gets to vote. But as I understand it, our input is limited, determining only one of each four that goes through.
Tonight’s Showdowns featured singers from Team Ricky and Team Seal. Delta and Joel Madden’s teams got to sit it out.
Simon Meli, who is always promoted as The Rocker, was first up. Ricky Martin asked him to sing Hold On I’m Coming from Sam and Dave. This is a classic song from the golden age of soul music. It’s also the second soul/funk song that Ricky has asked Simon to sing. So the boundaries between rock and real soul are maybe not that wide. I didn’t like his movements too much, but his vocal was good and he was enthusiastic. There was much reference to the “White Dude Dancing” term that Joel Madden had coined for Simon. He was praised all around from the judges.
Imogen Brough was next, also from Ricky Martin’s team. There seems to be no alternating this year. It was hard to see, in the rehearsal footage, who was wearing more eye make up Ricky or Imogen. She Sang The Voice a very Celtic song, well in her wheel house. There were definitely some pitch problems. I like Imogen and think that she has something worth pursuing, but before seeing anyone else I would say that she’s not yet ready for prime time and she needs to put in more work and practice. The judges gave her mooted praise
Nick Kingswell sang Olly Murs’ Army of Two. Ricky has picked some terrible songs for this guy. What with this and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun in the battles. Not that there is anything wrong with the Cyndi Lauper song, but not good for a guy battling against a girl. Nick showed good range, but I felt he lost it a bit when he was walking around shaking hands with people. But that is the sort of thing that Ricky and the other judges seem to want him to do. All of the judges seemed to think the opposite to me and they all gave him high praise.
Miss Murphy, otherwise known as Karen Andrews. This dual personality thing does not sit easy with me, it reeks of being fake. She sang Elton John’s Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word. It was sad, so sad, I did not really enjoy it at all, but it has never been one of my favourite songs. She gave it the big ending and the crowd responded. Once again the judge’s opinions were at odds with mine and they all gave her heavy praise.
On the whole I was not impressed with Ricky‘s team and I would only put one of them through and that would be Simon Meli.
Michelle Martinez sang Dedication To My Ex, an up tempo dance worthy number, I didn’t know the song. Michelle had a different look tonight with her hair down and some sexy moves. She is a pro and gave a great performance. That’s what I’m talking about. The judges once again gave her heavy praise, but that is nothing to go by, based on earlier performances tonight.
Alex Gibson was asked by Seal to perform The Sound of Silence from Simon and Garfunkel, that’s a big song to take on. His guitar playing was really nice, but I thought the vocal was a bit shaky at times. It’s a great song and it was a nice performance. Once again I thought most of the judges over praised him, even though he was pretty good. But Seal was more realistic saying it was not his best vocal performance.
Hannah Darling the lady with the tatts and red hair, which has now turned pink, was next up. Seal mentioned in the rehearsal footage that she hadn’t returned his phone calls after the Battle Rounds. That’s pretty much throwing away the opportunity that she worked and cried for. She sang Linger from The Cranberries. I think this was a bad song choice, for anyone really. It is so linked to Dolores O’Riordan, the original singer’s unique style that anyone that covers it is going to pale by comparison and Hannah was no exception. Delta mentioned the fact that she did not return Seal’s calls and thinks that she may have blown her chance. Ricky and Seal said much the same. By the way Seal, there are no degrees of unique, it is either unique or it isn’t.
Harrison Craig sang Home by Michael Bublé. It wasn’t Michael Bublé but it was pretty damn close. This boy could go all the way, he’ll get the sympathy vote because of his stutter, but he is a great singer too. Ricky Martin‘s mum loves him. Joel Madden says he is winning. Seal asked “Why do you even need me?” Harrison said “To be coached by you Seal and in the presence of you all is absolutely breathtaking for me”. As Joel Madden said, he is wise and experienced beyond his years.
Seal‘s team were much better than Ricky’s, the only one I wouldn’t put through is Hannah Darling and even she was better for me than some of Ricky‘s team.
There are more Showdowns tonight on Channel 9, this time from Team Delta and Team Joel.
The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au