Seeing the montage of unsuccessful contestants had me feeling oddly thankful during this episode. The one thing I appreciate about The Voice Australia (definitely not the fact that they exploited collapsing contestant Shirin Majd) is that they take the time to introduce us each and every contestant who makes it through (whether they deserve to or not is another debate). They don’t montage contestants who made it through to the following rounds, but show each and every Blind Audition of the successful contestants (complete with dramatic intro packages!). Yes, this does make the audition process feel like it has gone on for a century and a half, but I still prefer this to simply montaging the contestants. Maybe they can show less pre-commercial announcements of ladies falling over to cut down some more time, but I doubt this will happen…
Let’s get recapping!
Kayla Piscopo (David Guetta ft. Sia’s Titanium; no chairs turned)
I love how the coaches are suddenly pretending that they haven’t turned for every other 16 year old girl over the course of this season. Yet another teen pop diva, I was actually surprised no one turned around, owing to her age and the fact she is a returning contestant. She displayed a strong tone and power – something you need when you’re taking on Titanium in the original template. Despite her vocal prowess (especially hitting the signature ‘Titanium’ line dead on each time), her delivery was a little dead behind the eyes, and it kinda looked like she was bored at some points too, when the song really requires a strong sense of passion.
Kim Sheehy (Sara Bareilles’ She Used To Be Mine; Team Delta)
A welcome change from all the guitar-playing guys and teen pop divas this season, Kim Sheehy gave a beautiful performance sitting behind the piano. The sister of Season 2’s Chris Sheehy (why wasn’t he supporting his sister, by the way?), we all knew she’d be getting through regardless of how well she sang, purely based on her intro package and placement in the episode. I am extremely glad that she was able to back this up though. Ronan was right in calling out her shaky start, but I actually appreciated that she focused on infusing feeling into her delivery of the lyrics of this beautiful Sara Bareilles ballad rather than on giving a vocally solid but emotionally robotic performance. Hopefully, she can find a balance between emotion and technique in the oncoming rounds.
Amy and Deb Kwong (Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy; no chairs turned)
While I don’t think it they were as out of tune as Jessie made it out to be, this duo of sisters did land sharp and flat quite often throughout their performance. I kind of wanted to see more of their hilarious mum and grandma, but even this couldn’t be grounds for justification if they had gone through, based on their inconsistent pitch, odd harmonic choices and lack of vocal power and emotional heft required for this Beyonce track.
Stephen Ward (The Beatles’ With a Little Help from My Friends; no chairs turned)
A surprising constrast to his monotonous speaking voice, Stephen possesses a raspy, scratchy tone that matched his cool, bluesy delivery perfectly. Despite this, he never did anything so special or amazing that could make the coaches forget him missing his cue at the top of the song. Add this to his odd habit of wondering around aimlessly around the stage, and I don’t think he earned himself a spot in the Battle Rounds.
Kylie Jane (David Guetta ft. Emeli Sande’s What I Did For Love; Team Madden)
To my ear, Kylie didn’t really sound too country, but I really dug her cool arrangement on this David Guetta track. While the song sounded like it started a fraction too low for her, she has a really pretty tone in the middle and upper regions of her chest voice, and showcased a beautiful lilt as she transitioned into her head voice. She could prove to be a great export to the U.S. music industry, being a pretty blonde girl with country crossover potential, so treat her well Maddens!
Shirin Majd (Schubert’s Ave Maria; Team Delta)
I was almost surprised that The Voice producers didn’t decide to put Shirin’s audition in the final slot, to milk her dramatic collapse for everything it was worth (maybe they aren’t complete devils after all…). However, after the 100th they had used the footage of her falling at the end of her Blind Audition, it had reached far beyond exploitation and kinda got to be annoying. This Iranian opera singer actually had a pretty good audition. She had an almost ethereal layer to her performance that brings something new to mix after the slew of classical vocalists we’ve had over the seasons. Purely classical contestants haven’t done too well on the show though, so I’m interested to see how her journey progresses from here.
Talia Giancaspro (Sarah McLachlan’s Angel*; Team Madden)
*Check out versions from Sarah Simmons (The Voice U.S. Season 4) and Jacquie Lee (The Voice U.S. Season 5)
Talia’s sense of style instantly drew to mind Anastacia, so I was kinda hoping/expecting a funkier, soul-infused song choice. While Angel is one of those songs I am growing tired of hearing on these shows, I did appreciate that she dedicated her Blind Audition performance to her late mother and brought tenderness and emotion to her performance. I wasn’t sure if it was nerves or her emotions taking over, but purely based on her vocal, I don’t think I personally would’ve turned my chair for Talia. I hope the Maddens can work with her to improve her pitch and intonation for the Battles.
The Koi Boys (Kevin, Nuz and Danny) (The Chords’ Sh-Boom; Team Jessie)
Sometimes a contestant will say “I had fun!” after a performance. I don’t really care. I want to have fun watching a performance. So many times this season, I have gotten annoyed at one thing or other, but I genuinely had fun watching The Koi Boys’ performance. The first trio ever on The Voice Australia (maybe of any The Voice franchise), they really brought something different and exciting to the stage in the form of this doo-wop standard. Their combination of perfect harmonies, great individual sounds/identities, engaging stage presence and choreographed dance moves made this a clear highlight of the Blind Auditions. Hopefully they can find a way to keep things fresh and modern to avoid becoming a novelty or a shtick.
Ranking of contestants who made it through (purely based on my taste!):
- The Koi Boys
- Kim Sheehy / Kylie Howard
- Shirin Majd
- Talia Giancaspro