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The Voice Semi Final

The Voice Australia – The last Eight


When the judges were introduced tonight Seal appeared to be wearing a velour leisure suit. We later heard that he was suffering with a cold. So maybe he was practicing relaxing at home in his armchair.

Rapidly moving on…

Results of Last Week’s Show

Team Joel

Sarah De Bono went through on the public vote and her popularity was becoming apparent from the number of searches that were bringing her fans to this site.

Joel Madden picked Ben Hazlewood to go through with her, which was a surprise. I fully expected that Lakyn Heperi would go through, because of his huge number of fans on the web. But his last couple of performances have been pretty ordinary.

Prinnie Stevens is a great performer, but in my opinion she never had a decent song since the battle with Mahalia Barnes.

SarahDeBono BenHazlewood

Joel’s Final Two

Team Keith

Darren Percival went through on the public vote, which was quite expected, as he was number one on the iTunes chart.

Keith Urban picked Diana Rouvas to go through with him and he really had to after last week’s performance. Brittany Cairns and Adam Martin have performed well, but the other two just had it, especially on last week’s performances.

Mr Percival Diana Rouvas

Keith’s Final Two

Fatai V Semi Final The Voice

First up to perform this week was Fatai V. She sang On the Radio which is a good song and a nice tribute to Donna Summer who passed away just a few weeks ago.

Fatai looked a little older with a different hairdo. It was another note perfect performance, I could not fault it.

Glenn Cunningham was given Heaven, one of Brian Adams’ sappy ballads. Glenn sang it really well, but there was a little too much Delta influence for my taste. I will pick up Glenn’s album this week and I am sure he won’t be doing this type of song on it.

Sarah De Bono and her Cast Of 1000s

Sarah De Bono and her Cast Of 1000s

Sarah De Bono was next singing Here’s Where I Stand from Tiffany Taylor, another power ballad. It was well sung with big notes and a cast of thousands, well not that many, but they definitely broke the record for backing singers on this show. Except maybe the initial auditions. Sarah got a standing ovation and huge plaudits from Seal and Joel. But again it’s not the type of song I would like to see her singing. She seems to have stepped into that diva role since Danni left.

Click here to download Here’s Where I Stand (The Voice Performance) – Single – Sarah De Bono and make 2 votes for Sarah

Keith Urban gave Diana Rouvas the jazz standard Stormy Monday to sing. I was looking forward to this as soon as they mentioned it, having seen Diana perform the classic Georgia at the Basement in Sydney.

It was an excellent jazzy, bluesy performance. It was great to see the judges getting into it but Delta was funny, pulling strange faces.

Rachael Leahcar

Rachael Leahcar sick and on a pedestal

Rachael Leahcar sang Nights in White Satin (notte di lucce) I know the Moody Blues version of this song very well, but I’ve never heard it done in Italian before. I could hear the flu in Rachael’s voice all the way through.

They literally put Rachael on a pedestal for this performance. She did incredibly well for how ill she was and she should probably go through ahead of Glenn for everything she has done so far.

Click here to download Nights In White Satin (Notte di luce) [The Voice Performance] – Single – Rachael Leahcar and make 2 votes for Rachael

Ben Hazlewood sang My Kind of Love, another dramatic ballad. I didn’t like the song at all, so it was hard to judge Ben. But it is good to hear he doesn’t do those kiwi vowels when he’s singing.

Darren Percival gave us A Song for You. Another excellent performance from Mr Percival and as good as Diana was, I think this is the man that has to go through and probably win it. I never realised that Darren was ill too until Keith Urban mentioned it in his summary.

Click here to download A Song for You (The Voice Performance) – Single – Darren Percival and make 2 votes for Darren

Karise Eden

Karise Eden winning performance?

Karise Eden sang Hallalujah from Leonard Cohen. I was not looking forward to this song when it was announced earlier in the show, as everyone does it in singing competitions. I think someone even did it in this one in the auditions. It was interesting that Joel Madden said pretty much the same thing after the song.

Karise unleashed the beast early on. No accoutrements, just Karise, her guitar and her voice. A superb performance, Darren‘s biggest competition, it must be one of those two to win. Joel stated how lucky she was to be on Seals team and I agreed that she was lucky not to be on Joel’s team, as I believe that his song selections have been pretty poor in recent weeks. Seal squeezed out a few tears when he spoke about her.

Click here to download Hallelujah (The Voice Performance) – Single – Karise Eden and make 2 votes fro Karise

For me the finalists speak for themselves, despite how well the others performed. In reverse order of performance tonight I picked:-

Karise Eden

Darren Percival

Rachael Leahcar

Sarah De Bono

and that could be the order they finish in.

The judges agreed with me. So those are the finalists. Karise and Darren are pretty much equal in my estimation with Rachael, only marginally behind. I think Sarah is great, but has suffered from the song choices in recent weeks.

So there is an interesting sequence of events to follow. Voting starts now, then the finalists do two songs each next Sunday. Then voting continues until Monday night, when they each do a duet with their coach and winner is announced at the end of that show.

We will be back with another review on Monday.

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

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The Voice Live Final 4

The Voice Teams Keith and Joel


For this week’s instalment of The Voice Joel Madden sported a very new look. He had not only changed the colour of the back and sides of his hair, but gone in for a Tiger skin pattern. He said he felt “Grrreat” which was a very un-topical joke for the very few people who watch the voice old enough to remember Tony the Tiger. For those who aren’t old enough, Tony was a cartoon tiger who advertised breakfast cereal and his catch phrase was “They’re Grrreat”. OK you can laugh now.

So first up were the results of the voting for last weeks show.

Team Delta

The first through on the public vote was Rachael Leahcar. Delta Goodrem saved Glenn Cunningham. This was the result that I expected and had hoped for. So Viktoria Bolonina and Danni Da Ros are out, but both can be proud of the performances that they put in on the show, except maybe Viktoria’s rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

RachaelLeahcar GlennCunningham

Delta’s Final Two

Team Seal

The public vote saw Karise Eden as the first one through. Again I expected this and had no problem with it. If anyone is in any doubt about how great Karise is, please check out the clip at the bottom of this page The Voice Videos of The Final Battles, of Karise singing the Etta James song I Would Rather Go Blind. Seal gave a rap to the remaining artists before saving Fatai V. I knew he was going to let my pick, Emma Louise Birdsall, go when he said she could be like Australian icons Nicole Kidman or Cate Blanchett. Obviously he sees her as an actor rather than a singer. Chris Sebastian also leaves the show.

KariseEden FataiV

Seal’s Final Two

Download The Voice Performances by clicking here

So it is goodbye for now to some great singers who have provided some great entertainment. But it is definitely not the end of the road for them. I was lucky enough to catch up with a former Australian Idol finalist at the weekend. He is still very popular years after he appeared on the show, in fact it was difficult holding a conversation with him with all the people that came up and interrupted to say hello. He has plenty of singing work, a number of projects on the go and is very happy with life. So there is life after TV talent shows, even if it is not superstardom. On the flip side there are many winners of TV talent shows who have got out of music all together, or at least it seems that way.

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The first performance tonight was from Prinni Stevens. She sang Forever from Chris Brown. It was a very choreographed presentation, with two girl and three male dancers and a kind of theatrical start with the male and female groups pretending to gossip about each other. Prinni wore a multi coloured jacket and mass of patterns and colours all over. Like last week Prinni sang and performed well, but once again I thought the song lacked any gravity.

Diana Rouvas

Next up was Diana Rouvas, she sang the Bonnie Rait ballad I Can’t Make You Love Me. It was just a beautiful performance of a beautiful song. There is not really much more that can, or needs to be, said. The judges all raved over Diana’s performance as did the audience. I just wish the audience didn’t feel the need to cheer every big note. That’s the sort of song you should just sit back and listen to and show your appreciation at the end.

Lakyn Heperi was given the Cure classic Friday I’m In Love. He did not look disinterested this week, he got around that by blinking and twitching. But the performance was bland with none quirkiness of the original. In fact he sang most of it in almost monotone.

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Brittany Cairns sang Straight Lines from Silverchair, but apparently this was the Megan Washington version. It’s not a song that I’m overly fond of, but I liked Britany’s version. I thought that she did very well in a different genre, although the judges didn’t seem to agree with me. But she seems to have a lot of fans, especially in the studio audience.

Team Joel

Team Joel Don't Wanna Be In Love

Team Joel were next with a group performance of the Good Charlotte hit I Don’t Wanna Be In Love (Dance Floor Anthem). I enjoyed seeing Joel Madden doing his own thing. The competitors did OK in their parts, I thought the girls were better than the boys in this and Prinni was the best of them.

We seemed to be on a ‘straight’ theme, following Brittany’s Straight Lines, Adam Martin was given the Dire Straits 1980 hit Romeo and Juliet. I wasn’t expecting much here based on the rehearsal clips and the fact that the original is very linked to Mark Knopfler‘s phrasing. But Adam just did it really well and as Keith Urban said it was not a straight cover. Seal made some critical comments, but we can ignore them. What does he know? He never saved Emma Louise.

Worth noting that they let the boys, Adam and Lakyn, have their guitars back tonight. Which is only fair, you never see Keith sing without his guitar.

Sarah De Bono

Sarah De Bono sang Whitney Houston’s chart topper How will I know? I was watching an old clip of Australian Idol yesterday and I noticed that it was the same guitarist on stage with Sarah who was in the Idol band. Small world in the Aussie music business eh? Sarah sang the song really well, she has amazing range and control. But I was a bit disappointed with the song choice. It’s one of those songs that’s been done to death and is a tune that I associate with office girls dancing around their handbags. But no reflection on Sarah, she couldn’t have sung it better and Whitney is a hard act to follow.

Darren Percival sang the Stevie Wonder masterpiece I Believe (When I Fall In Love). I wasn’t sure about the song choice at the beginning, but when the backing singers came in on the first chorus it just lifted unbelievably and the ending was awesome. All of the judges and the audience agreed, giving Darren a standing ovation. Keith Urban once again summed it up best, when he said it was like a tent revival. It really had that spiritual, religious feeling about it.

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Ben Hazlewood was the last solo performer covering the Avril Lavigne hit I’m With You. It was a nice performance and well sung, but it was just too hard to follow Darren.

Team Keith

Team Keith They're In

Team Keith closed the show with Keith’s song I’m In. They all sang well and seemed to enjoy it. Brittany Cairns looked especially good in the white dress. Funny, it only sounded like a country song when Keith was singing.

So who will go through from this week?

Well I think from Keith’s team it is an easy choice of Darren Percival and Diana Rouvas, they were simply the best performances of the night.

Joel’s choice is a bit more difficult I would probably pick the two girls Prinni Stevens and Sarah De Bono and hope that they get better songs next time. But I am almost certain Lakyn Heperi will go through on the public vote, based on the stats I have seen on the Internet, but after two ordinary performances on the trot it would really be unjustified.

Who would you like to see go through next week? Let us know in the comments below and tell us why you think that they deserve to.

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The Voice – Live Final Three

The Final Four for Team Delta and Team Seal



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The early cross promotion on A Current Affair tonight was an interview with Joel Madden by Tracy Grimshaw. And guess what? Joel is not a wild man punk, but a warm and cuddly family man. It served no real purpose except to promote The Voice and maybe remind us not to judge people on appearances.

Keith Urban was beamed in from LA for The Voice tonight, apparently due to a prior commitment to a USA gig. He stayed throughout the show as a disembodied head on a screen. Apart from when he stood up and flashed the waist band of his Calvin Kleins

Results from last week

Team Keith

The public picked Darren Percival and Brittany Cairns. Keith saved Diana Rouvas and Adam Martin. So Jimmy Cupples and Taga Paa go home. A predictable last four really, but based on last weeks performances I think Jimmy should have stayed and Adam should have gone

Mr Percival BrittanyCairns DianaRouvas AdamMartin

The Final Four for Keith

 

Joel’s team

The public vote saw Sarah De Bono and Lakyn Heperi go through. Joel saved Ben Hazlewood and Prini Stevens. Laura Bunting leaves, once again predictable, I think.

SarahDeBono LakynHeperi BenHazlewood PrinnieStevens

Joel’s Stayers

 

DanniDaRos

The first performance was from Chris Sebastian singing I Can’t Stand the Rain. This has been covered by many people in the past, including Seal. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The jury is still out on this one. There was some nice guitar in the intro and it was a good instrumental arrangement. Chris sang well and I agreed with the judges comment that it was his best performance so far, but it did not really quite do it for me.

Danni Da Ros sang When Love Takes Over. Danni reminded me in parts of 60′s British singer Lulu. I think it’s Danni‘s rasp that Keith mentioned, but maybe also some expressions and mannerisms. Danni always sings well, but I don’t think that this song is good enough to save her from exiting next week.


Here is a clip of Lulu. Can you see the similarities to Danni that I do?
Tell us in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

Seal gave Emma Louise Birdsall the Burt Bacharach standard The Look of Love to sing. He tends to pick older and more established songs than the other judges. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Emma Louise sported a Holly Golightly look, from the film Breakfast at Tiffanys, tailored pants, white blouse, a pullover draped across her shoulders and a bowed hair band. I approved of the hairdo. It was a great performance, the best of the night so far. Emma was sexy and sultry in parts and I understand what Joel Madden means about the effect she has on him.

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Emma-Louise-Birdsall

Emma Louise or Holly Golightly

Delta Goodrem picked Smells Like Teen Spirit for Viktoria Bolinina. Kurt Cobain must be spinning in his grave at this cabaret version. It’s one thing giving her a different direction, but this song is a great teenage scream of rebellion and should never be performed in a ball gown, even though Viktoria looked great. I think Delta signed Viktoria‘s death warrant on the show.

Next up was a group number from Team Seal. They sang Seal‘s massive worldwide hit Kiss from a Rose with the man himself. That was excellent, even better than Emma Louise‘s solo performance. They all sang their parts well and the arrangement really worked.

Team-Seal Kiss

Team Seal sing Kiss From A Rose

Glenn Cunningham sang Closer from Neo. Delta wore her huge glasses sporadically in the rehearsal clips. I was trying to work out if she wears them for short sight, long site or just for effect. Glenn was backed by 5 male dancers dressed like him. It was a good performance and seemed to go down well with the audience. Glenn sang it well, but I prefer the more funky tunes from him.

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Fatai V sang Ave Maria. Apparently the Beyonce version, it didn’t resemble the song that I knew, except the last bit. Fatai‘s set had a stained glass church backdrop and a string quintet on stage with her. The song didn’t do much for me, but she sang it very well in fact note perfect.

Rachael Leahcar sang another old standard, Someone to Watch Over Me. She seemed to miss the timing with one line but sang it really well and it was probably her best performance since La Vie En Rose. She admitted in rehearsals that she prefers these old numbers. Keith talked about separating the nerves from the pure talent, which needed doing, as it was great in parts with a little slip up.

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Karise Eden was the last solo artist up. She sang Landslide. I didn’t like the way they dressed her and the delivery was more restrained than we’ve seen from her before. It was not her best performance and Seal said Karise at 50% is better than most people at 80%. Hopefully Karise will stay based on her previous performances.

Team Delta Try

Team Delta sing Born to Try

Team Delta closed the show with her big hit Born To Try. This was an interesting little group, as two of the girls are self confessed life long Delta fans and Glenn Cunningham has already worked as her backing singer. Delta wore some weird Cleopatra type thing on her head. This was another good arrangement that worked, all the competitors sang well, but I think Delta went a bit over the top at times

Only two artists from each team stay next week. I am guessing Rachael Leahcar and Glenn Cunningham will stay from Delta‘s team with Danni and Viktoria suffering from a poor song selection.

Seal‘s team should see Karise Eden and Emma Louise Birdsall go through, if all is right with the world. Chris has never done it for me. It will be sad to see Fatai go, but someone has to.

Who do you think will go and stay and who do you want to stay? Let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

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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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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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