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Jim Parsons Big Bangs Sheldon Cooper Comes Out as Gay



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People magazine reports that Jim Parsons, who stars as Sheldon Cooper in Channel 9‘s thrice nightly comedy The Big Bang, has come out as gay.

Well Derrr!

I was almost as surprised as when I found out that the Pope was a Nazi, or that bears defecate in woodland areas.

JimParsons

Jim Parsons plays for the other side?

We may have hinted at our suspicions of this before on this site, way back when Channel 9 was Channel Charlie, but was showing strong evidence of becoming Channel Big Bang.


Jim Parsons Quietly Comes Out

Jim Parsons has quietly come out of the closet.

In a new profile in the New York Times, The Big Bang Theory star is matter-of-factly described “gay and in a 10-year relationship.”

Parsons never directly addresses his sexuality or elaborates on the remark in the profile, and his rep had no additional comment when reached.

The Times profile couches its revelation in the context of the actor’s most recent Broadway role as Tommy Boatwright in Larry Kramer’s powerful play, The Normal Heart, about gay men dying of AIDS in New York in the ’80s.

According to the profile, “The Normal Heart resonated with him on a few levels: Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment, he said.”

Parsons, 39, has won two Emmys and a Golden Globe Award for his role as Sheldon Cooper on the hit CBS comedy.

He is currently appearing in the comedy Harvey on Broadway. More at Jim Parsons Quietly Comes Out



The truth seems to be that Jim Parsons was never actually in the closet and is regularly seen around Hollywood with his partner of 10 years, even on red carpet openings. But the story has surfaced because of the article in the New York Times.

By Max Power
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Big Bang Theory- Sheldon’s Test Pattern Tshirt

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CLICK HERE to download episodes or entire series of The Big Bang Theory from iTunes

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The Voice – Second Live Elimination Show

The Voice Results and Second Live Elimination


Before we get into the review of last nights show, it was interesting to see a somewhat subtle plug for The Voice on A Current Affair last night. They did a segment on nasty judges on reality shows. Of course all of the nasty judges were on Channel 7 shows. They included Vyle Sandilands, Bryan McFadden and Todd McKenney from Dancing With the D Listers. They basically said that the public are fed up with seeing the judges putting people down and as a result of The Voice the judges are turning nice and they showed clips of all of the nasties mentioned above being nice.

This is of course true in parts. I for one became sick of seeing the put downs and ridicule and did not watch the last series or two of Australian Idol and have since avoided any show that features Vyle Sandilands. The suggestion of one of the Current Affair commentators was that Vyle is now redundant, as a Mr. Nasty is not required and he will be out of a job next year, we can only hope so.

On the other hand The Voice is not completely free of pointless digs at the contestants, which I will discuss further in the review.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

The Voice started with the results of the voting and the elimination of some of the contestants. For Seal‘s team Emma Louise Birdsall was the first to go through via the public vote. I was somewhat relieved to hear this, as I was not sure the public would appreciate her as much as I do. Second through was Karise Eden and I always thought that she would get through on the public vote.

EmmaLouiseBirdsall KariseEden FataiV ChrisSebastian

Seal’s Stayers

Seal chose to save Fatai V and Chris Sebastian, so Sam Ludeman and Michael Duchesne had to leave the show. I was sorry see them both go, but I sort of expected that Michael would. However I would rather have seen Chris leave than Sam.

For Delta Goodrem‘s team Viktoria Bolonina and Rachael Leahcar went through on the public vote. Rachael was always a favourite and after last weeks performance Viktoria deserved to be up there.

ViktoriaBolonina RachaelLeahcar GlennCunningham DanniDaRos

Delta’s Remaining Team

Delta saved Glenn Cunningham and Danni Da Ros, so Matt Hethrington and Ben Bennett were the ones to go. This was what I predicted and hoped for. So my forecast for the leavers was pretty good with 3 right out of 4.

Delta's décolletage

Our first view of the judges revealed Delta‘s décolletage, which was awesome and I am sure would get the public vote, given the opportunity to compete.

Before the show proper, we had the little matter of Carmen Smith’s ousting to deal with. Joel Madden said it was a tough decision blah, blah, blah. I still think this was underhand and can not see how being in a Guy Sebastian video gives someone more advantage than being Guy Sebastian’s brother.

The first competitor up was Darren Percival, he sang Wherever I Lay My Hat which was a big hit for Paul Young in the 80’s but was originally recorded, at a different tempo, by Marvin Gaye in 1963. The song is a favourite of mine and Darren made it his own. It was a great performance, although I think he might have had some throat problems. Which I think is what Seal referred to when he said he had had a difficult week. All of the judges raved over Darren and his performance.

Prinnie Stevens

Prinni Stevens was next she sang Turn Me On. It was really not much of a song. For anyone who does not know what I mean by that. Darren’s song was written 50 years ago and is still remembered today, I can’t see anyone remembering this song in 50 weeks time. But Prinni sings well and really knows how to sell a song. She had dancers backing her, the first time I had seen them on the show. Delta and Joel both said Prinni was out on her own and in her own lane. I have no idea what they meant by this.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Adam Martin sang Lonely Boy from The Black Keys. This was good song and having the band on stage was a good look, there was some great bluesy harmonica. But I think the song needed more oomph in the vocal

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Sarah De Bono was up next but Darren McMullen introduced the wrong artist, calling her Brittany Cairns. Oops!. How hard can it be just to read out peoples names? Sarah sang Listen a Beyonce power ballad and very diva type song. This was not what I expected from her. She sung it well and hit the big notes and showed a good range. As they used to say on Idol big notes win votes. But the song did not appeal to me at all.

Jimmy Cupples

Jimmy Cupples sang the Guns and Roses rock classic Sweet Child of Mine. I liked his version with the slow quiet start, even though he took out Slash’s guitar intro. Jimmy is really an old pro. He can sing and can really perform on the stage, which is why there was no need for Seal to bring up the fact that he missed a rehearsal due to sickness. Jimmy delivered on the night, so it only matters if missing a rehearsal meant that he didn’t and surely resting your voice is sometimes the best thing for it.

Ben Hazlewood was given the Ed Sheeran song Lego House. In rehearsals Ben said it reminded him of losing his brother. Didn’t he do the losing his brother bit before? I don’t want to make little of his loss, but I believe the producers just put these bits in to tug on the heart strings, or even ask people to bring up their sob stories. I really enjoyed this song, especially the staccato vocal part. Ben still sounds like James Blunt in parts, but it was a good performance and he should definitely stay based on that.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Taga Paa sang Fight For You, once again the song was tied in with his youth work. I think the point is getting a bit laboured now. I think Taga is the least technically correct of all the remaining competitors. Sometimes he seems to only just make the notes and he moves a little stiff, but he is a likeable character. He had some male dancers who just climbed onto the stage from the audience and they looked like stage invaders. Seal had another crack at being Mr. Nasty, saying he should not have had the dancers, as this was a singing competition. Strangely he did not say the same for Prinni’s dancers.

Laura Bunting

The new look Laura Bunting

Diana Rouvas

and Diana Rouvas

Laura Bunting appeared on camera several times before her actual performance and I had no idea who she was. Up until now we had always seen her with her hair piled high on top of her head. Now it was flat at the top and long at the sides and she was barely recognizable. But I think it was a better look for her. She sang Somebody That I Used to Know from Gotye. I wasn’t sure about the performance at first, but I enjoyed the last part. Delta rambled, a lot, but in the end said it was not quite there.

Diana Rouvas was also unrecognisable because of a hairstyle change. She seems to have had a whole lot chopped off. But the new style suits her. She sang Love on Top another Beyonce tune. It was a jazzy and funky performance, the best song for her that she has done on the show and probably the best of the night. All the judges were grooving along to the song and she seemed to get the biggest audience response of the night. Delta raved over her, Keith talked about the response. That will definitely keep her in the show.

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Lakyn Heperi was told before the performance that he was well on his way to being a star and if the Internet figures are anything to go by they are right. He already has over 20,000 Facebook fans and is probably the competitor that brings the most searches to this site. He sang Forever Young from Youth Group. The original was a very poppy and up tempo tune. Lakyn’s version was slower and not so bright. His voice sounded a bit strangled at times. Seal said he looked disinterested and Lakyn’s assurance that he loved the song was not very convincing. If the results were based on performance alone I think this should see him out of the competition, but as he already has such a large fan base I am sure he will go through on the public vote.

Brittany Cairns got her second introduction of the night. This time Darren McMullen mentioned her god given gift, obviously a reference to her church going background that we have been told about. But there is something about Brittany’s smile and demeanor that tells me she is a little more worldly and knowledgeable than it seems. She sang Different Worlds a song by Jes Hudak. The song did nothing for me, too many swirling strings. It’s hard for me to make any decision based on that

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

I don’t think it was a great night for performances. In my opinion Adam Martin, Taga Paa and Lakyn Heperi should go, but I am pretty sure that won’t happen in the last case.

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The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au


By Max Power
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Carmen Smith Kicked Off Of The Voice


Ninemsn reports that Carmen Smith, one of our favourite competitors on The Voice has been dumped from the show. Carmen sings with Guy Sebastian on his new single Gold, including a solo spot and features prominently in the video. This was considered an unfair advantage by the shows producers. Strangely being Guy Sebastian's brother, or Jimmy Barnes's daughter was not considered an unfair advantage. 

Carmen Smith

I have read that The Voice put out a call to lots of session singers asking them to compete in the show. It is well known that Glenn Cunningham was one of Delta Goodrem's backing singers. Several other competitors have appeared with Guy Sebastian and other well known Australian artists. So the producers can not be surprised when one of them turns up on a current song. 

The truth is, it is not about unfair advantage, but about the show taking its pound of flesh. It's OK for them to take the profits from all the competitors sales on iTunes, but the singers are not allowed to make their living elsewhere while they are on the show and probably for some considerable time afterwards. 

No doubt the dumping will give Carmen Smith and Guy Sebastian's single great publicity. So I hope that Carmen will profit from that and get the career that she deserves. 

The question is what happens now on The Voice? Does someone get a bye in next Mondays show? Or does Michelle Serret-Cursio, who Carmen beat in the battle round, come back? I guess we will have to wait until Monday to find out.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here


Carmen Smith dumped from The Voice

One of the stars of The Voice will leave the show after it was deemed her performance in a Guy Sebastian video clip gave her an unfair advantage.

Joel Madden's team member Carmen Smith will leave before her anticipated live performances on Monday due to her role in the Sebastian single 'Gold'.

Smith sings on the pop single and features prominently in the video clip of the song.

Nine's Director of Development said it was not a decision the network or Team Joel took lightly.

“Our priority as we move into the voting period toward the finale is that all of the artists are on a level playing field,” Nine Network's Adrian Swift said.

“In our business we are often confronted by these tough decisions and unfortunately at this time it's been decided that it isn't appropriate for her to remain in our competition.

“We wish Carmen well and thank her for a wonderful contribution to the show thus far.”

Smith has sung on Sebastian's albums and been part of his band for many years.

“It saddens me that I am leaving The Voice much earlier than I had hoped,” she said.

“However, I've loved every minute of it and respect the decision that has been made by Joel and his team.”

Smith first impressed the coaches with a soulful rendition of the Prince song 'How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?'….More at Carmen Smith dumped from The Voice

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

If you want to see a great clip of Carmen's solo work check out the bottom of our page The Voice Australia Videos – The Best of Week One

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Guy Sebastian recordings

Gold – Single – Guy Sebastian on iTunes

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The Voice First Live Show

The Voice – The Public Gets A Vote


The first of the live rounds of The Voice aired last night (Monday May 14th 2012) on Channel 9.

The show started with another song from the judges, with Keith Urban on guitar and Delta Goodrem on piano and the competitors chimed in with some backing vocals. I quite enjoyed the performance, but once again I felt that Delta and Seal were overacting. I’m not sure what had happened to Delta since the recorded shows, but she appeared much more brown or orange. Maybe I’ll have the colour contrast on my TV checked.

Keith Urban and Joel Madden

The format for the show was that all of Seal and Delta’s artists would perform. The public will get a chance to vote for their favourites and the top two from each team will stay in the show. The judges will also get the opportunity to save two and two from each team will go home next Monday.

Faustina Agolley

Faustina Agolley, who used to be known as Fuzzy on TV, joined the on air presenting team. She was responsible for hosting “The V Room” where she interviewed the competitors after their performances and promoted the shows social networking and the Ford Focus. She seems a much more worthwhile presenter than Darren McMullen who is yet to justify his presence.

Incidentally the Twitter hash tag for The Voice is #TheVoiceAu and the Facebook Fanpage is https://www.facebook.com/TheVoiceAu where you can vote to save your favourite artist(s) once per day for free.

First up on the stage was Fatai V who has abbreviated her name from Veamatahau, which is a blessing for those of us not from a Tongan background. Fatai appeared in a strange outfit that seemed to couple a business style blouse and hairdo with a grass skirt. She sang the Alicia Keys song New York, which I thought wasn’t really suited to a Tongan girl who lives in Australia. But she sang it really well and all of the judges raved over her performance.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Matt Hetherington was next up and he performed The Living End song White Noise. He sang it OK but it was a very theatrical performance and lacked the raw edged punkiness of The Living End. Matt needed a shave; his beard had gone well beyond designer stubble

Karise Eden

Karise Eden had been given a complete make over. From her normal slightly grungy look she was dressed up in a black evening gown. But she looked good and carried it off well. They also changed her sound a bit and had her performing a slower, mellower ballad, Nothings Real But Love from, runner-up in the British version of The X Factor, Rebecca Ferguson. Karise looked a bit more nervous than when she is belting them out, but she killed it and this was undoubtedly the best performance of the night so far.

Ben Bennett was up next with the One Direction song One Thing. His voice seemed to go in and out volume wise initially. This is a silly poppy song for the tweenies. Ben does all that is required of that kind of performer, but it is so far from my taste it’s hard for me to find anything positive to say about it.

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Michael Duchesne was also made over, he appeared in a black suit and an interesting 60′s style John Lennon hat. They gave him a Beatles song to sing Got To Get You Into My Life. Again I was not really sure of the songs suitability for him. It was quite a poppy arrangement and I didn’t like the backing vocals. Michael did OK but I feel he came up a bit short again and has not matched the potential that I think he has.

Danni Da Ros has been labeled The Diva and I am not a massive fan of diva style music, although I do not mind a bit of Mariah or Whitney sometimes. She sang Alone, a bit of a dramatic tune for my taste, but she sang and performed it really well and if we are judging on the voice she would have to go forward. Danni is alright by me, as long as she avoids any Celine Dion.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Sam Ludeman

Sam Ludeman was another guy who stood too far away from the razor tonight. He sang
Summer Paradise a good happy, poppy song that sounded like one of Bruno Mars’s but I am not sure that it is. Sam sang it really well; it was a more dynamic performance than we’ve seen from him before. But I preferred it when he was standing at the mike stand, rather than running around the stage.

Viktoria Bolonina was given the big 60’s Cher hit Bang Bang. The arrangement really played up her Russian background, with a gypsy style violinist on stage with her. She does remind me very much of an old style cabaret singer and obviously the producers think so too, putting her onstage with the pianist. It was a very dramatic and theatrical performance, but in a good way and amongst the nights best.

Chris Sebastian forgot to put his braces over his shoulders before putting on his jacket and coming on stage, lucky he never lost his pants. You would think someone would have told him. He also seems to be using Donald Trump’s hairstylist, isn’t he a bit young for a comb over? He sang Without You. He started at the piano then got up and started moving around the stage as the tempo increased. Being an old purist I don’t like this playing an instrument for effect, either play it or don’t. I really didn’t like all the vocal sliding around between the verses. Chris is another one that I feel comes up short of his potential.

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Glenn Cunningham is Delta’s former backing singer and amongst my favourites in the competition. He sang Heaven Knows and sang it really well, but the song didn’t do much for me on first hearing. The judges all approved and Glenn thanked Delta for her praise, she said “No thank you”. There was lot of that “Thank you”, “No thank you” going on tonight. It was also quite funny every time the camera cut to Keith Urban during a performance that he was singing along to all the acts, the compere even commented on it.

Emma Louise Birdsall Rachael Leahcar

Loveley Ladies Emma Louise Birdsall and Rachael Leahcar

Emma Louise Birdsall was up next. She ignored my advice from my last review and went with another fancy hair do. This one looked like she was a member of the bridal party. But she looked great, in a full length red dress. She sang Aretha Franklin’s Never Loved A Man, a really big ask. It’s a great song and she sang it great. It was her best performance on the show and one of the best performances of the night.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Rachel Leahcar was last up They always save her until last. She also looked great with a different hairstyle and in a white dress. She sang Hands. She sang it really well, but did not have the drama or sensationalism of her previous performances. Of course she has to stay for the next round.

If I had to pick two to go from each team I would say Ben Bennett and Matt Hetherington from Delta’s team and Chris Sebastian and Michael Duchesne from Seal’s. Michael would be the hardest choice, as I am sure he has something really good to give, but maybe his nerves and song choices are holding him back.

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The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au


By Max Power
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The Voice Videos of the Final Battles

The Voice Videos –


Final Battles and Hidden Gems


The last of the Battle Rounds aired this week on The Voice. I don’t think there were that many great battles, so we have added all the video clips that are available and you can pick the ones that you want to view. Of course we also searched the archives for some of the performers before they appeared on The Voice and found some more gems for you.

Carmen Smith vs Michelle Serret-Cursio
Not a great song in my opinion, it’s one of Rihanna’s I believe. If you want to see a great uncomplicated song by Carmen, take a look at the bottom of the page The Voice Australia Videos – The Best of Week One.

Darren Percival vs Brett Clarke. Now this was much better. Of course it is a better song too. Brett has a really pleasant voice and although I am not a country fan, I would not turn him off if he came on the radio. But Darren has a great voice and I believe he should have been selling records long before now. If you like this check out some of his music on his site Mr Percival

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Kelsie Rimmer vs Brittany Cairns. Another battle where I wasn’t mad on the song and in my opinion Keith Urban picked the wrong girl on the night’s performance. But there is no doubt that Brittany can sing and she may well delight us with something special in the next round.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

I am afraid that is it for actual footage from the show. But Matt Hetherington impressed me this week. So I tracked down this clip of him singing a duet with a talented and attractive lady called Rebecca Jackson Mendoza. This seems to be from the Bert Newton morning show from a few years ago and features John Foreman, the original musical arranger for Australian Idol. Small world isn’t it?

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Talking of a small world, this is an interesting clip, as it features two of this weeks battle winners together Sam Ludeman with Sarah De Bono. They are singing a Jason Mraz song I Won’t Give Up, on a roof in Melbourne. It’s pretty impressive.

OK we’ll finish with one of this site’s favourites, Emma Louise Birdsall singing the jazz standard Misty. Hopefully we’ll get to see her to see her performing some jazz on The Voice, as she does these standards so well. I also think she looks better with this more natural look. I hope she avoids the fussy hair do’s for her next stage performance.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

The Voice live rounds air next Monday on Channel 9.

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Stop the presses, hold the phone, call the Po-lice. I think we have a winner. If Karise Eden ever gets to perform this on The Voice, everyone else may as well go home. This is just an awesome performance of an old favourite song of mine. Originally recorded by the late great Etta James and Rod Stewart made a great cover in the 70′s. I am almost scared to say it, but this could be better than both of them. If you do not watch any other video on this page do yourself a favour and watch this one.

The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au


By Max Power
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The Voice Final Battle Rounds

The Voice Week Four – Final Battle Rounds


First up in the last of the battle rounds on Monday night was Joel Madden’s team.

Carmen Smith and Michelle Serret-Cursio were given the Rhianna song We Found Love. Not a great song in my opinion, but both girls were good in the high notes. Carmen has the timing chops for me. Delta Goodrem went with Michelle, but all the other judges including Joel went with Carmen, so she goes through.

Kieran Fraser and Sam Ludeman

Kieran Fraser and Sam Ludeman

Sam Ludeman and Kieran Fraser were up next for Seal‘s team they sang Coldplay’s Vida la Vida. There was much talk of Kieran’s trackies in rehearsals, but I have read somewhere that he was asked to wear them for the blind audition and a quick check of his YouTube clips proves that he does not wear them all of the time. I thought both these guys sounded like James Blunt in their blind auditions, so it was a very obvious match up. Kieran hammed it up in the on stage battle, pointing to Sam’s eyes while singing the line “see the fear in my enemies eyes”. He was very busy around the stage, but for me Sam sang better and had more stage presence. Once again Delta was the only one who disagreed with me, so Sam goes through as one of Seal’s finalists.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Kelsie Rimmer and Brittany Cairns from Keith Urban’s team sang the Adele song Turning Tables. It was a close battle, but some how Kelsie’s voice sounded clearer and she was more connected. This time only Delta agreed with me and Keith went with Brittany after a chat with Megan Washington.

Matt Hetherington and Jerson Trinidad were Delta Goodrem’s first pairing of the night. They sang Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground. These guys seem to have bonded in The Voice process, so much so they talked of forming a duo in rehearsals and even dressed the same for the onstage rehearsal. Matt rocked it up and he knows how to use the stage. This was the best battle so far tonight, but Jerson did seem to be the support act, so I would have to give it to Matt. Delta picked him, although Seal and Joel picked Jerson. I thought I would have gone with him after the blind auditions, but Matt delivered on the night.

Yianna Stavrou and Sarah De Bono

Battle of the Beauties

Sarah De Bono and Yianna Stavrou were last up for Joel’s team. They were asked to sing Heavy Cross by Gossip, like me neither of the girls knew the song. This was billed as the Battle of the Beauties and it did not disappoint in that respect. Sarah started powerfully, they both looked great and Yianna knows how to perform on stage, but Sarah had it on voice quite easily for me. In fact I found Yianna a bit grating at times. All four judges went with Sarah

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Brett Clarke and Darren Percival were Keith’s last contenders. They say Brett is 26 but he looks younger. Darren is one of the elder statesmen on the show at 40 and has a voice that should have seen him on the charts long before now. Megan Washington even had a tear in rehearsal listening to him. They were given the James Taylor song Shower The People, which was a very good choice and worked for both of them, despite the fact that Brett is very much a country artist. Brett has a really nice voice and sang it well, but Darren had it from his very first line, he has a great voice and very soulful. It was funny to see a shot of one of his kids sleeping in the audience while he was performing; every one’s a critic eh? All the judges but Seal agreed with me about Darren and he goes through.

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Ben Bennett and Jesse and Ashleigh sang Fireflies. I didn’t know the song, but this was total Pop Pap. The song started with a thin tinny synth intro and did not get any better from there. To me this was all fake with no soul or substance. These guys are all teenagers, so I am definitely not the audience they are aimed at. Delta picked Ben to go through which is a blessing, only in as much as it cut the numbers by two thirds.

Emma Louise Birdsall

Emma Louise Birdsall

Emma Louise Birdsall and Casey Withoos were last up. Seal gave them the Etta James classic At Last to sing, which they were both pleased about. It’s a great song and both showed their great voices in rehearsals. There was a big build up to the performance, with an ad break to build the tension.

Now I must declare a bias here, as Emma-Louise has become a favourite of mine. Partly because she has engaged with these reviews via Facebook, but also after seeing some of her clips on YouTube, especially her version of Cry Me a River. You can check it out here if you haven’t seen it. Casey sang the first verse of At Last and it was a bit of a stage musical type performance for me. Emma had the soul and connection. Delta did not base her decision on the performance and chose Casey, but the other three judges did, including Seal, so Emma Louise is through.

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

So the battle rounds are done and we move onto the live performances and we get our chance to vote. Well if you are on the eastern side of the country I guess. As over here in the west we will get the show 2 hours later and it will be too late to vote.

The Voice is back next Monday on Channel 9.

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The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au

By Max Power
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The Voice Australia Videos of the Battle Rounds

The Voice Australia


Battle Round Videos Rounds One and Two


There were some really great battles on The Voice this week. Many were really too close to call and some of the matchings were obviously put together to provide the best entertainment and not to retain the best competitors.

Coaches Applause

The first clip I found was of the bookies favourite Rachael Leahcar battling Adam Hoek with Eva Cassidy’s version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I must admit this was not one of my favourite battles of the week. I always found this song a bit sappy; although I really liked the version by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole. Do you remember that one? Iz played Ukulele and was a genuine Hawaiian native. The track was used in numerous films and TV shows

But Rachael and Adam sang well and like the rest of the country, I think Rachael is gorgeous, so here’s the battle clip.

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Now this was a great battle between Danni Da Ros and Sarah Lloyde singing Hero from Whitney Houston. Keith Urban labeled it the Diva Derby, but if he spent more time in Australia he probably would have said a Diva Off or a Diva-A-thon.

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Another close battle was between Viktoria Bolonina and Peta Jeffress singing PrincesPurple Rain.

Up next, the controversial battle between Prinnie Stevens and Mahalia Barnes, where Mahalia was ousted by her best friend. They sang Tainted Love which was a big hit for Soft Cell in 1981.

Paula Parore and Karise Eden sing Back to Black from Amy Winehouse, can’t really get enough of Karise’s voice.

This was the battle between the two of the youngest contestants. It’s a pity one of them had to go. Mitchell Thompson and Fatai Veamatahau sing I Love The Way You Lie from Rihanna and Eminem

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The Twighlight battle between Jacob and Edward, sorry I mean Lakyn Heperi and Nick Len. They sang Big Jet Plane.

Another of the battles that I really enjoyed was between Glenn Cunningham and Matty Chaps, but I could not find that clip, so here’s the original track from Maroon 5 so you can Move Like Jagger.

And one more original. Anthony Dellamarta and Michael Duchesne sang Stevie Wonder‘s Living For The City. That clip was not available either, but it’s such a great song I had to include it here.

The Voice‘s final battle rounds take place next Monday, then the show changes format again. We will be back with more reviews.

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The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au

By Max Power
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The Voice Battle Rounds – Round Two

The Voice Week 3 – More Battle Rounds


The second battle round of The Voice aired on Tuesday night

Keith Urban’s team were up first

Taga Paa and Cam Tapp

Taga Paa

Keith asked them to sing Eric Clapton’s hit Change the World. Cam was not phased by the competition, believing he had a stronger voice than Taga and he did sound better in rehearsals. Taga was intimidated by Cam, the same as Ben Hazlewood was by Chris Ninni the night before, mainly because of the age difference and Cam having more performing experience. During the live performance Cam worked the crowd including pointing to Delta Goodrem in the line “I’d take you as my Queen; I’d have it no other way”. But to me these seemed like signs of a desperate man. If your performance can not do the talking calling “come on”, especially in a mid tempo song like this, seems a little wrong to me. They both sang it OK. Taga’s performance was a little more restrained, but both of them overdid the ending. All of the judges picked Taga, which I agreed with because of the finish and crowd raising, but I was a little unsure of Taga’s bow tie based outfit.

Viktoria Bolinina and Peta Jeffress

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It was Delta’s Team up next. She picked Peta Jeffress and Viktoria Bolinina to sing Purple Rain by Prince. Peta was confident as she said Prince was her favourite artist and this was her favourite song. Viktoria did not know the song. Viktoria showed much more range in her performance. Peta gave it all in her second part, including calling to the crowd. It was very tough to call between them as they are so different. Delta went with Viktoria as she’s easier to work with; I could have gone either way

The first battlers from Seal’s team were Anthony Dellamarta and Michael Duchesne. They were asked to sing Stevie Wonder‘s Living For The City. It’s a great song and both sang it great. But Anthony edged it for me. Seal went with Michael and I thought he would because of the age thing. I don’t know if you have noticed but in the main they tend to pick the younger contestant.

Nick Len and Lakyn Heperi

Team Jacob or Team Edward? No, Team Joel

Nick Len and Lakyn Heperi were first up for Joel’s team. They were given Angus and Julia Stone’s song Big Jet Plane. After saying in Monday’s review how The Voice song selections were edgier, this was the first newish song of the night. Not that the first three weren’t great songs, I’m just saying. Both the boys had confidence issues in rehearsals, but Lakyn has a quiet confidence. The same confidence issues were evident in their performance, so I had to go with Lakyn, all of the judges agreed, including Joel, so he goes through. But Joel did bring up the elephant in the room, that this was The Twighlight battle, with the two boys resembling the stars of the big movie franchise. I must admit I hadn’t noticed before he brought it up. But I only saw one of the films and was not inclined to seek out the others.

Danni Da Ros and Sarah Lloyde

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Delta Goodrem set up the battle of the divas, between Sarah Lloyde and Danni Da Ros and gave them the diva song Hero, from the late great Whitney Houston, to perform. Both girls sang it really well, especially the harmonies. Marginally, on voice alone, I picked Danni and Delta gave it to her after making the girls beg for it.

Keith’s next battle was between Glenn Whitehall and Jimmy Cupples. This was an obvious pairing of the two older rock guys. But neither of them was really happy with the song selection of Plans from Birds of Tokyo. Again both guys sang it really well and this was another battle that was too close to call really, but I think Jimmy just shaved it. Keith agreed, so he went through.

Mali-Koa Hood and Laura Bunting were next. These girls are quite different. Mali being a soul, R&B type singer, while Laura is schooled in musical theatre and did the excellent Kate Bush impersonation in her blind audition. They were also very unsure of their song allocation of 4 Non Blondes’ What’s Going On. Joel and Benji Madden gave them a demonstration of how to belt it out in rehearsals. Both girls did well in their performance, but Laura was still too musical theatre for me, with perfect diction, which didn’t sound appropriate. So I went with Mali. Keith and Seal went with me, but Joel went with Laura and she went through.

Chris Sebastian and Yshrael Pascual were the last act. Seal picked the Katy Perry song Firework for them, which was a far from great selection. Yshrael showed up in another bow tie, the third of the night, as the presenter, Darren McMullen also wore one. But he was playing the ring announcer and bow ties are de rigueur for them. Both did OK, with some mistakes, but I didn’t like the song, so I did not enjoy it. I especially found the line “even brighter than the moo oo oon” very cheesy. I didn’t really care who won this one. Seal went with Chris.

The Voice‘s final battle rounds take place next Monday, then the show changes format again. We will be back with more reviews.

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The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au


By Max Power
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The Voice Battle Rounds – Round One

The Voice Week 3 – Battle Rounds


This was another very long show, two and quarter hours with eight battle rounds involving 16 contestants, plus an opening number from the coaches.

The coaches started the show with their rendition of the U2 song One. Keith Urban and Joel Madden’s parts were fine, but I thought Seal and Delta Goodrem over dramatised theirs. The song is already emotional enough and did not need their over emphasis. For some reason the producers decided to show this section of the show in letterbox format.

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The screen returned to normal and we were introduced to the new mentors who will aid the existing team managers. Joel Madden was joined by his twin brother and Good Charlotte guitarist Benji. It was quite fun at times, as it looked like Joel was appearing in different clothes with different hairstyles or colours. Delta Goodrem was joined by fellow Australian singer/songwriter and former Savage Garden front man Darren Hayes. Keith Urban hooked up with Megan Washington, who he toured and performed with on his last Australian tour. Seal was joined by former Australian Idol contestant Ricki-Lee Coulter, who I am guessing he had never met nor heard of before the show. Ricki-Lee has lost a lot of weight since I last saw her on TV but I always thought that she looked good anyway.

Benji Madden

Benji Madden (I think)

Darren Hayes

Darren Hayes

Megan Washington

Megan Washington

Ricki-Lee Coulter

Ricki-Lee Coulter

The format of the Battle Rounds is that that the coaches have to select two members of their team to sing off against each other, on a boxing ring styled stage. Both sing the same song at the same time, alternating lines and harmonizing in other parts. At the end the coach must decide who performed the song the best and the other contestant is out. This process will eventually reduce each of the teams from twelve to six members.

Paula and Karise

Paula and Karise

Karise and Paula
First up were Karise Eden and Paula Parore. They were given the Amy Whitehouse song Back to Black. Seal looked like he was trying to hypnotize his girls by staring at them with unmoving eyes in the prep work. Paula sang it OK, but had no chance the moment that Karise opened her mouth. Paula looked nervous and not at all like a seasoned performer. All the judges agreed that Karise had the best performance, but they called it closer than it really was. So Paula goes home to Perth.

Ben Hazlewood and Chris Ninni sang The Only Exception from Paramore. It’s apparent that The Voice is much more edgy with its song selections, whereas Australian Idol stuck with older and more established tunes. Chris intimidated Ben in rehearsals, being older by 12 years and having a more powerful voice. But when it came to the on stage performance Chris was too theatrical. Ben felt it more. I thought the song really didn’t need the big notes done so big by either of them. Seal disagreed with me, but Delta, Keith and most importantly Joel agreed. So Ben goes through.

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Glenn Cunningham and Matty Chaps were given the Maroon 5 song Moves like Jagger. This was the closest one so far to call. They both sang really well together, this was probably because of Glenn’s experience as a backing singer. But Matty did his parts great too. I gave it to Glenn, marginally and Delta did too. So Matty goes home.

Jaz and Diana

Jaz and Diana at rehearsals

Diana Rouvas and Jaz Flowers sang the Kelly Clarkson tune Mr. Know It All. I sort of made my mind up in the rehearsal scenes that Jaz is too theatrical for my taste and Diana had more feeling. The performance confirmed that. The ladies also sang well together. Keith went with Diana, Seal and Joel agreed with me too.

Mitchell Thompson and Fatai Veamatahau
This was a really tough pairing as I wouldn’t want to lose either of these two from the show. They sang Love The Way You Lie, both did so well, which only emphasized my feeling that neither should go. I marginally gave it to Fatai. Seal thought hard and eventually agreed

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Rachael Leahcar and Adam Hoek were asked to sing the standard Somewhere Over The Rainbow, but the Eva Cassidy version. Now I believe that some of the contestants were brought in to be the whipping boys (or girls) and Adam was one of them. Not that he doesn’t have a good voice and he could sell records, but he is never going to be the kind of star this type of show is trying to make. It was a difficult song to sing and to me both sounded a bit off in rehearsal. But based on the auditions it was obviously more suited to Rachael than Adam. We saw Rachael being a bit tactical, saying in interview after the rehearsals that she did not want to show Adam everything she has. The onstage performance, I thought, got off to a bad start by Adam. Rachael’s second part killed it. I did not find it close, or think it was a tough decision. Delta went with Rachael, which, really, we all knew she would.

Abby Cardwell and Adam Martin sang Heartbeat. They both sang it OK but I never really felt anything and to some extent agreed with Seals statement. I preferred Adam for certain tones in his voice. Keith went with him too.

Prinnie Stevens and Mahalia Barnes

Prinnie Stevens and Mahalia Barnes

Prinnie Stevens and Mahalia Barnes, as well as both having exotic first names and vanilla surnames, we found out that these two ladies have been best of friends for about 10 years and have worked together. They sang Tainted Love by Soft Cell. I don’t know why Mahalia wears those tents to perform in. OK she is a slightly larger girl, but she does not dress like that all the time, as we saw in the rehearsals. Prinnie’s performance was sassy and sexy, both sang really well individually and together. Again neither of them should go, but on the night I gave it to Prinnie. Joel struggled and discussed it with Benji who firmly wanted to keep Mahalia, but Joel decided on Prinnie. Let’s face it Prinnie needs the show more. Mahalia has the family name, which must open many doors in the music business for her. She even had her half brother David Campbell in the audience for support.

The Voice is back tonight for round two of the battles and another two hour marathon. We will be back tomorrow with more reviews.

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The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au


By Max Power
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The Voice Australia Videos – The Best of Week Two

The Voice Australia Videos


More Highlights and Undiscovered Gems


Before I started to write this article my gut feeling was that the second week of The Voice did not unveil quite as much talent as the first. But once I took a look back over my previous reviews and started searching YouTube for the video clips I realised it was quite a bumper week.

Let’s start with the Australian rock royalty, Mahalia Barnes, Jimmy Barnes‘s daughter, really delivered with her Tina Turner style version of Proud Mary.

Darren Percival gave us one of John Lennon‘s great songs Jealous Guy. This guy, jealous or otherwise, can really sing

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Glenn Whitehall sang the Sam Cooke classic A Change is Gonna Come

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

Mitchell Thompson gave us A Team from Ed Sheeran. I believe that this kid has a lot of potential.

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Fatai Veamatahau. This one is even younger and gave a beautiful rendition of Songbird from Eva Cassidy.

Another talented youngster, but at 19 there maybe more to Brittany Cairns than she told us prior to going on stage. She gave us Gravity from Sarah Bareilles

Kieran Fraser sang a James Blunt song on the show and sounded soooo much like him. Here’s another, to prove the point.
Kieran FraserGoodbye My Lover

Although Mali-Koa Hood did get through on Joel Madden‘s team, I felt the judges’ enthusiasm did not match her performance. She proved to me again how good she is in this clip.
Ensemble – Golden cover Mali-Koa Hood

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Shauna Jensen sang a great version of Carol King‘s Natural Woman on the show and here she is doing it again.

Glenn Cunningham sang the Stevie Wonder song Lately in the show. I wish I could have found that, as it is a great song. But Glenn has some excellent clips on YouTube. Here’s his audition tape.

Now there were two ladies that I did not give the best of reviews. They both qualified and I have been told that they are better than I gave them credit for. My searches on YouTube have proved that those people that told me were right.

If you need proof listen to Cry Me a River sung by Emma Louise Birdsall

And Diana Rouvas with keyboardist Sam McNally performing Georgia On My Mind at Sydney‘s The Basement in January 2011.

Jerson Trinidad didn’t have any really good quality video clips that I could find. Despite the background noise and poor lighting in this clip, it does show off his great soul voice.

Jerson Trinidad with Dux Deluxe

I have heard that the word went out to a lot of professional singers to audition for The Voice. These next two clips prove that this is no beginners competition.

Abbie Cardwell has many clips on the net, but this is a pukka produced video. The song is called Candystore. The video is slightly PG rated.

Tamara Stewart has recorded three albums, she never made it through to the next rounds but this was not the first time she has been on Channel 9.

Tamara Stewart on Kerry Ann singing What It Means To Me

OK I am going to finish where I started. I stumbled across this clip from Mahalia Barnes during my search and it was too good not to include. The song is Never Loved A Man

The Voice is back on Channel 9 next Monday and we will be back on Tuesday with a new set of reviews.

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The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au

By Max Power
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