The Voice Australia: Season 5, Semi-Finals

In a blatant attempt to get people to download their app, The Voice Australia producers decided to have tonight’s results center around two Instant Saves. To paraphrase Regina George, my message to the producers is: “Stop trying to make The Voice app happen. It’s not gonna happen.” Could they not have eliminated 2 contestants to make a Top 6, and have them all perform twice? They could have even done an Instant Twitter Save a la The Voice U.S. People are fleeing in droves, and you’re alienating your audience even more!

Side note: I honestly had no idea what was going on in the elimination process in this episode until about 15 minutes into the broadcast.

Side side note: Can I just say that Australia voted very well, and the right 4 have made it through the Grand Finale. If only this was reflected in the voting in the elections…

Let’s get recapping!


Contestants through with the public vote:

  • Team Madden – Andrew Loadsman
  • Team Delta – Adam Ladell
  • Team Jessie – Jack Pellow
  • Team Ronan – Tash Lockhart

Contestants performing for the Instant Save:

  • Team Madden – Aaliyah Warren
  • Team Delta – Alfie Arcuri
  • Team Jessie – Ella Ellen Reed
  • Team Ronan – Mitch Gardner


Ellen Reed (Basement Jaxx – Good Luck)

Bringing a buttload of sass right from the song’s ferocious opening line, Ellen SLAYED it! She worked the stage like a boss and showcased some insane vocal acrobatics, giving her coach Jessie J a run for her money. She seemed to genuinely enjoy being on the stage in the moment. The only bad this about this performance was the seizure-inducing lighting.

Aaliyah (Rihanna & Mikky Ekko – Stay)

Not sure about the Maddens’ proclamation that this was her best work yet. I stand by my belief that she should have waited a few more years to audition. She had intermittent pitch issues, and her vocal didn’t really ebb and flow. Her usually engaging stage presence was kinda dull, and her mind seemed to wander between the lines of singing.

Alfie Arcuri (Sia – Alive)

This was a perfect song for this particular moment. I really appreciated that Alfie tackled this challenging uptempo Sia track. The start of the performance was really dark, and his take on Tyra Bank’s ‘smeyes’ would’ve had the cougars rushing to save him. The lower verses really showed off his tone. His belting in the chorus was on point and he didn’t clip off any of the notes. Alfie also nailed the tricky rapid fire wordplay in the bridge. While he did nail the high note on ‘Alive’ in the chorus every time, I just wish he had tackled the top note of Sia’s monster hit at least once. If it was a little high, maybe they could have taken the key down? That notwithstanding, this was definitely the best performance out of the 4.

Mitch Gardner (Troye Sivan – Talk Me Down)

There was something slightly off about this performance. His stage presence was really awkward – for the better part of the song, he just stood there with his hands in his pockets. Odd. He was also kinda upstaged by the rainy backdrop. This isn’t mentioning that his vocal didn’t soar with the arrangement, and that he was consistently under the pitch.

P.S. Did Sonia ever announce that voting through the app opened, or did I just miss it…?


Through the Top 6:

  • Alfie Arcuri (YES!!!)
  • Ellen Reed (DOUBLE YES!!!)

Eliminated from the competition:

  • Mitch Gardner
  • Aaliyah Warren


Jack Pellow (Crowded House – Fall At Your Feet)

Okay so I was admittedly more than a little deterred by Sonia’s introduction of him as “single dad Jack Pellow”, and by her mentioning his daughter Ivy before he embarked on a performance of a song that includes some sexual allusions. Additionally, he was VERY out of tune, which hasn’t been a problem for him throughout the season. A combination of these pitch problems, his placement in the death slot and lukewarm comments (even from his own Coach) was probably what sent him home just short of the finale.

Adam Ladell (Coldplay – Viva La Vida)

There were some distinct positives and negatives to this performance. Let’s start with the good things. Adam did a great job of staying in the pocket while the audience was clapping off the beat. His vocal soared (especially with the added boost from the back up singers), finally matching his anthemic song choice. His infectious and engaging stage presence was also a big tick. However, he seemed to be having issues with breathing and pitch, possibly affected by all the (borderline manic) movement around the stage. As the Maddens declared, however, he was a lock for the finale.

Ellen Reed (Pink – Perfect)

When the intro package was airing, I was wondering what the hell Jessie was thinking giving Ellen Perfect. However, the stripped back arrangement of the song allowed the lyrics to stay at the forefront of her performance, and it gave us a nice contrast to her sassy first performance. Her emotional connection was really evident and I was actually moved to tears. She nailed the vocal even while almost crying and MAN her riffing over the melody at the end was AMAZING. Such effortless runs, range and power came as a result of her actually feeling it, rather than merely showing off. I repeatedly threw my gospel hand in the air. This performance definitely was a ‘moment’ from the semi-finals that voters rewarded her for.

Andrew Loadsman (OneRepublic’s – Love Runs Out)

I was hoping Andrew would bring a quieter moment like he did with Say Something – these uptempo alt rock numbers are just a little same-same. I’ll give him some points for keep his singing-only accent to a minimum though. However, his pitch suffered a lot, possibly as a result of lack of hearing (he did dabble a little with his in-ears). The transition from his harsh belt to his softer falsetto was pretty jarring – the frequent shifts in dynamic likewise didn’t transition well together. Additionally, while the staging restrained him and prevented the awkward dad dancing from last week, it was still pretty manic. What was the point of having him hit a drum for 5 seconds?

Tash Lockhart (Zedd ft. Foxes – Clarity)

I really liked this arrangement. It suited Tash a lot more than the original EDM track would have. It allowed her to take her time and infuse her breathy, smoky tone into the melody. As always, her vocal was beautiful. A fraction more organic than her polarizing performance last week, I think it appealed less to the diva belter side of her voice, and more so to the indie songstress she claims to be.  I just hope she brings an acoustic showstopper next week. Another Bowie-type moment could be her best chance at winning the competition. Perhaps a song like Joni Mitchell’s A Case Of You, Jewel’s Foolish Games or A Fine Frenzy’s Almost Lover would work well for her.

Alfie Arcuri (John Legend – All Of Me)

This was an admittedly safe song choice (he sang this song at his sister’s wedding, and also has a cover on his YouTube channel) and I was glad Ronan alluded to this in his feedback. Despite this, he surpassed my expectations. His vocal was flawless, and he effortlessly showed off his massive range and stunning tone. His vulnerable delivery and command of dynamics really worked to draw us in. The pimp spot combined with back-to-back amazing performances of Alive and All Of Me were definitely enough to seal his well deserved spot in the finale, and hopeful boost his momentum going into the finale.


Through to the Grand Finale:

  • Adam Ladell (Oh I never saw this coming!)
  • Ellen Reed (Correct, Australia!)
  • Alfie Arcuri (Correct again!)
  • Tash Lockhart (You didn’t disappoint me, voters!!!)

Eliminated from the competition:

  • Jack Pellow
  • Andrew Loadsman


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