The wait is almost over, and Season 6 of The Voice Australia is almost upon us. Don’t forget to tune in on Channel 9 tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.! Will one of Team Delta or Team Seal be able to knock out a few of these Top 10 performances? Or will new Coaches Kelly Rowland or Boy George find a contestant that makes this list by the end of the season? We’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, check out my Top 10 performances of all time:
10. Ellen Reed – Pink’s Perfect (Season 5, Semi-Finals)
Never has a contestant imbued a performance with so much emotion as Ellen Reed did with Perfect. Do I care for this particular pop ditty? Not really. But the way Ellen works with dynamics to slowly build up to a glorious climax is a testament to her artistry. And the fact that she’s able to belt her face off while crying is also something worth commending.
9. Ben Hazlewood – Avril Lavigne’s I’m With You (Season 1, Top 16)
The Voice Australia is often guilty of playing favourites – Karise Eden, Harrison Craig, and Adam Ladell to name a few. So it’s moments like this, where an underdog contestant delivers a stellar performance, that I love about the show. The emotional connection, range and power Ben showcases in this performance differentiates himself from the multitude of singer/songwriter guys we see on the show.
8. Brittany Cairns vs. Kelsie Rimmer – Adele’s Turning Tables (Season 1, Battles)
Before The Voice Australia introduced the Steal in the Battle Rounds in Season 2, many great contestants’ journeys were cut short – Mahalia Barnes, Sarah Lloyd, Mitchell Thompson, Casey Withoos, and of course Kelsie Rimmer. Kelsie’s tone, stunning head voice, and fluid delivery in this Battle can only be described as ethereal. I can’t argue with the result, however. Brittany demonstrated excellent pitch, power, and her gritty vocal on “It’s time to say goodbye” made her the clear winner.
7. Alfie Arcuri – Jack Savoretti’s Catapult (Season 5, Grand Finale)
* Full live performance from one of Alfie’s shows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKnbuhsTH5U
Alfie is undoubtedly my favourite winner of any season of The Voice Australia. This performance perfectly encapsulates why. His rich tone, combined with his innate ability to connect to a song’s lyrics and convey so much emotion is breathtaking. Props to Delta Goodrem for picking an unexpected, yet perfect song choice to allowed Alfie to shine. Plus, a little reverb never hurt anybody.
6. Sabrina Batshon – Shakira’s Empire (Season 3, Top 16)
How could I make a list of the best performances ever on The Voice Australia and not include Sabrina Batshon? On such a cool, unexpected song choice, Sabrina proved she was robbed of the Season 3 crown. Everything about this performance worked – from her powerful glory note on “And I’m gonna fall”, to the control she exercised on the runs in the chorus. Not to mention, girlfriend worked the stage like a boss.
5. Candice Skjonnemand vs. Thando Sikwila – Emeli Sande’s Clown (Season 3, Battles)
With two very different takes on this song, both girls really shone vocally and emotionally. Thando’s soulful tone and heartbreaking head voice notes made her a necessary candidate for a Steal. But Candice, who would later be robbed in the Showdowns, stole the show for me. Her enviable power on the first chorus, contrasted with her restrained approach on the final “I’ll be your clown” demonstrates her incredible command of dynamics and vocal ability.
4. Jackie Sannia – Brooke Fraser’s Arithmetic (Season 2, Showdowns)
It’s no secret that I don’t like teen contestants on The Voice Australia. Often, they will not be able to find a balance between vocal and emotion, and will either fall short of their ambitious vocal choices, or will be unable to connect with a song and convey genuine emotion due to a lack of life experience. But Jackie manages to break all these preconceived ideas with her stunning take on Arithmetic. Only 17 years old at the time, she was able to deliver adult-level emotion, while singing perfectly, working with dynamics, and accompanying herself on the piano in this stripped back performance.
3. Mitchell Anderson vs. Steve Clisby – Marc Cohn’s Walking In Memphis (Season 2, Battles)
The way these two consummate professionals interact with each other, work the stage, and deliver the song can only be described as masterful. It is also great to see these older contestants rightfully showered with praise. Both artists were evenly matched in this Battle: Steve’s soulful tone and ability to sit right in the song’s pocket were rewarded with a Steal from Delta Goodrem; meanwhile, Mitchell’s raspy tone and falsetto, engaging stage presence and hairography were just as compelling.
2. Miss Murphy vs. Sione Felila – The Impressions’ People Get Ready (Season 2, Battles)
Every time I begin to watch this Battle Rounds performance, I know I am about to be taken to church. The gospel-tinged arrangement allow both these contestants to showcase their strengths, and I honestly can’t pick who I love more. Miss Murphy’s incredible power, raspy tone, and soulful runs make her a worthy winner of this Battle. But had Sione, with his amazing pitch and sky-scraping falsetto, won, I would be happy with that too. Unfortunately, this Battle did not end in a Steal, and Sione was eliminated too soon from the competition. ‘Robbed’ is a word that comes to mind.
1. Diana Rouvas – T-Bone Walker’s Stormy Monday (Season 1, Semi-Finals)
Speaking of being taken to church, Miss Diana Rouvas’ performance of Stormy Monday has me uncontrollably throwing my gospel hand in the air. Who else would the #1 spot on my list of best performances ever on The Voice Australia? Using the smokey lower regions of her range gives the beginning of her performance a sensual feel. The way she effortlessly navigates the melody, throwing in some incredible runs and ad-libs, is nothing short of a masterclass. And I about lose my mind when she hits those Mariah-level whistle notes. The way Diana does all this while sitting perfectly in the pocket, demonstrating perfect pitch, and showcasing crazy vocal horsepower puts all other The Voice contestants to shame. This performance is so incredible, that I forget that she was eliminated after this performance. Yes, that happened.