The Voice Australia: Season 5, Episode 8

There wasn’t much to complain about tonight. Sure there was the occasional big, bombastic, overdone power ballad (or 3). Sure the pitch of most of these contestants’ was as wobbly as a big old bowl of Aeroplane Jelly. Sure the Blind Auditions seem like they’ve been going on for years (THANK HEAVENS THAT TOMORROW NIGHT, THE MADNESS ENDS!). And sure, The Voice still insists on pimping the young contestants. Wait… what was I saying about not having anything to complain about? I just want these auditions to end. To paraphrase my favourite scene from Lilo & Stitch:

Me: “I need Battles.”

The Voice producers: “You didn’t even care about the Blind Auditions! We thought you liked them!”

Me: “BATTLES!”

Honestly, I just want to see half of these contestants go. Am I sadistic? Possibly.

Let’s get recapping!

Jasmin Jade Nasser (Ariana Grande ft. Nathan Sykes’ Almost Is Never Enough; Team Jessie)

One of the many returning contestants, Jasmin’s vocal had a real seductive, sensual vibe to it and she has a pretty big range at that. Despite this, she didn’t showcase any real strength or gusto to punctuate and contrast her smokey tone. Add to this the fact that she (literally) ended on a bad note, and I’m not sure if she’ll be surviving the Battles.

Nada-Leigh Nasser (And I Am Telling You from Dreamgirls*; Team Jessie)

*Check out covers from Trevin Hunte (The Voice U.S. Season 3), Jacquie Lee (The Voice U.S. Season 5), Lakisha Jones (American Idol Season 6) and Jessica Sanchez (American Idol Season 11).

Oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why did she pick this song? Future contestants, if you REALLLYYYYY must, at least save this song for a future round, if not the finale! In the first portion of the performance, there was no real sense of passion. Sure, it was nice and sweet, but this (terribly overdone) ballad requires a load of passion. While she did ramp the emotion as she went along, this was at the expense of her pitch and tone. Yes she does have a great range, and even though she hit the upper notes of the song, they sounded a bit thin – And I Am Telling You really calls for a much fuller belt.

Side note: I hope that The Voice producers aren’t so totally predictable that they pair Nada-Leigh and Jasmin in a Battle with one another…

Blake Tailor (The Black Keys’ Lonely Boy; no chairs turned)

Blake did a great job showing off his wonderful tone and of keeping in the pocket throughout the 1 minute that his audition felt like it went for (is it just me, or do some of the auditions just feel extremely short?). I agree with Delta is that he didn’t really take his Blind Audition to another level, but he’s better than at least half of the many other young WGWGs (white guys with guitars) that made it through this season.

Astrid Ripepi (Alicia Keys’ Fallin’*; Team Ronan)

*Check out covers from American Idol’s Haley Reinhart (Season 10) and Jessica Sanchez (Season 11), and Caitlin Caporale & Briar Jonnee’s Battle on The Voice U.S. (Season 8).

Um, excuse me, but am I mistaken? Did Astrid actually get less chairs to turn for her than other (marginally worse) singers did? Sure her pitch might not have been 100% accurate, but I feel like she almost got tougher feedback than every other contestant from the night combined. Astrid had me from that opening a capella run, though, all the way to that crazy bluesy riff at the end of the Blind Audition. She brought a real lazy, sensual blues/RnB feel to Fallin that I really enjoyed, but also matched it perfectly with effortless power.

Nic Jeffries (Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water*; Team Ronan)

*Check out iconic covers from Clay Aiken (American Idol Season 2) and Tessanne Chin (The Voice U.S. Season 5)

The fiancee of Season 2’s hilarious Skye Elisabeth, Nic showcased a crumbling, buttery tone and an emotional connection that complimented his (bombastic) song choice quite well. However, his performance felt ever so slightly laboured. I wish he had slowly built the song up rather than repeatedly alternating between going soft and then big to remedy this, or at least played with the melody to keep it interesting. Additionally, his pitch was inconsistent at times, especially at the end of his phrases, which was all the more amplified by the sustained notes of the song. However, on this not-so-spectacular episode, his effort on Simon & Garfunkel’s ballad was enough to be a stand out.

Nazzareene Taleb (Sara Bareilles’ Gravity*; Team Madden)

If Nazzareene’s Blind Audition were to be treated like the House Cup in Harry Potter, it’d go something like this. 10 points for her pretty head voice; 10 points for her magical tone; 10 points for the little liberties she took with the melody; 10 points for nailing big climax in the song’s bridge. Now take away 15 points for her very iffy pitch and deduct another 15 for picking one of the most overdone Blind Audition songs on The Voice Australia (with previous versions from Brittany Cairns, Maybelle Galuvao and Shyjana Terzioska). Let’s hope The Maddens took a chance with the right girl, give her better song choices and work with her on her pitch.

Pascoe Braun (Louis Armstrong’s When The Saints Go Marching In; no chairs turned)

I knew deep down that this award-winning Indigenous Australian reporter wouldn’t be making it through, as he was placed after a series of successful contestants right before the closing performance slot. I don’t understand this. Sure his performance was more so about having fun, but he flat out outsang and outperformed half of the contestants from tonight. Not impressed with the coaches repeatedly claiming to not know what to do with a contestant!

Georgia Wiggins (Kodaline’s All I Want*; Team Madden)

*Check out covers from The Voice U.S.’s Deanna Johnson (Season 8) and Korin Bukowski (Season 9), and The Voice U.K.’s Stevie McCrorie (Season 4).

I hate being told I should like someone. After 2 intro packages (just like golden child Adam Ladell!) and the many promos throughout the week, it was made abundantly clear that we must certainly, definitely, absolutely love Georgia. Usually, this is enough to turn me off of a contestant, but this wasn’t the case with her. Performing one of my favourite songs, she showcased an emotional connection that has been missing from a lot of the other teen girls this season. Yes, she did have a habit of scooping into and clipping her notes and had a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look on her face, but she had an element of magic in her voice that was really exciting to her. I really hope that the Maddens can help her from becoming a poor man’s Dolores O’Riordan by keeping the lilt as an occasional thing.

 

Ranking of contestants who made it through (purely based on my taste!):

  1. Astrid Ripepi
  2. Georgia Wiggins
  3. Nic Jeffries
  4. Nazzareene Taleb
  5. Jasmin Nasser
  6. Nada-Leigh Nasser
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