Last night was round one of the “live” rounds..

Team Delta’s singers taking on Team Seal’s minions. Next week Joel’s kids will take on Keith’s crew.

Here is my understanding of the rules from here:

You lot vote, buy, Facebook, tweet your favourite singer of the night and they will go through and then something something judges chose something something Seal. What? Yes I glazed over when they were explaining the rules, I’m not a robot you know. Not like Keith Urban appears to be – his lyrical knowledge of apparently ALL songs is PHENOMENAL. I would not want to take him on in that American show where you have to sing the next line. He would DOMINATE at that.

But I digress..

Overall the show tonight was disappointing, there I said it.

I don’t know if it was poor song choice or the blatant abuse of a wind machine but it all seemed a little overcooked.

The judges pumped out yet another memorable group performance. Delta managed to emote with both her hands and eyes while playing piano and Seal was just off CHOPS with the circular pelvic movements. I would say he was engaging in some aggressive thrusting, both horizontal and vertical. (It is possible, watch the tape back…)

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Fatai

First up was Fatai the 16 year old gospel singer who quit school to pursue singing. She sang “Empire State of mind” by Alicia Keys, otherwise know as “in New Yoooooooooooooork” in my house. Her first 6 bars were gorgeous, lady can flat out sing. The lower register caused her some grief but in my eyes she had one of the strongest female performance of the evening. I especially liked her pink feather skirt but then again I get around in combat boots and tutus so I may not be the best judge of fashion choices. Seal was so pleased with her performance he did the double hand head grab lick ear thing… It’s OK, Seal is allowed to, right guys?

Matt Hetherington kicked things off for team Delta. He looked the rock god part with open shirt and high leather choker on but this fell flat for me. He didn’t really seem into the song which was “White noise” by The Living end. He looked edgy, stressed and his voice sounded sore. I know the feeling Matty, I really do.

Back to Seal’s team (You get how this goes now, I’m not doing it again. Seal then Delta then Seal then Delta…) Karise Eden singing “Nothing’s real but love” by Rebecca Ferguson. Pre Karise we got to see team Seal just hanging out in the lair, singing together and giving group massages.. They didn’t show the last part but you just KNOW that goes on there. Karise was excellent, I am a genuine fan. Joel ripped out one he’d prepared earlier: “You have more soul than a sneaker store.” Also, Seal MUST stop telling her to “tame the beast”, for several reasons…

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Ben

Ben Bennet took to the stage next showcasing a pink shirt/bowtie como wrapped up in a red v-neck jumper. Delta gave him a One Direction song to sing and he spoke in the 3rd person a couple of times. Em is worried about teenage girl retribution here so Em will just say she feels Ben could have done better. Bonus points to Delta for saying “we’re on a voyage” instead of “we’re on a journey”, it’s good to change it up every now and then.

The lovely Michael appeared on stage wearing an unnecessary hat, however I really do like the cut of his jib. When he performs he is joyous and it is a glorious thing, he just needs to lay off the “I hate my job” stuff in case he doesn’t win. I fear his boss may not have him back. I think the song choice was poor, he had a decent crack at The Beatles’ “Got to get you into my life” but he’s better suited to neo-soul. I think if he gets to sing a John Legend song things could get pretty real up in there.

Next up, Danni and her wind machine. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea but I feel they may have peaked too early with wheeling that big boy out. Where can she go from here? I think a harness may have to be involved for the next performance to top this one.. The hair and make-up department got a little over enthusiastic with the teasing comb which was highlighted when the aforementioned wind machine fired up but on the whole I think she did pretty well. “Alone” by Heart is a MONSTER song, I like watching Danni sing – she is totally into it.

Sam oh Sam.. You looked unsure from the get-go. Even when you casually slung the guitar over your shoulder during the song you looked worried. Sam admitted in the pre song package that he feared Seal didn’t really liked him. Bless. Seal may indeed hold some sort of a man grudge because the song he chose didn’t do Sam any favours. It was called “Summer Paradise” and it just didn’t go anywhere, it’s one of those forgettable 3 chord nasal American things. Sam is offensively handsome so I think the junior oestrogen vote will see him through.

Viktoria aka “The Russian” hovered over the stage as she oozed out “Bang Bang” by Cher/Nancy Sinatra. Delta was loving this performance sick, she mouthed along and stared at Viktoria with intense intensity. I think these two together with a bottle of vodka could do some serious damage, just with their eyes… I really liked this performance, she is quite the character and camp as tits so I am obviously a fan.

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Chris Sebastian

Brother of Guy had a crack at Usher’s “Without You.” I must admit his resemblance to Chris Lilly has become distracting for me. Chris Sebastian can sing but this song was not the right one for him. I CANNOT hear any of the judges or hosts say he is trying to prove himself again, I mean it.

Glenn Cunningham did Rick Price’s “Heaven Knows” justice but he just can’t seem to break free from the backing singer performance performance. He seems institutionalised in the backing singer club. I think he will be easily forgotten if he doesn’t bust out some serious singing soon.

Emma-Louise was given the herculean task of Aretha Franklin’s “Never loved a man like I loved you”. Emma was sporting the THIRD cape of the evening and Seal rose from his seat in excitement. I thought she did a fine job but Aretha should only be sung by Aretha in my humble opinion and maybe Jennifer Hudson.

Finally Rachael Leahcar appeared wearing a white dress and I’m pretty sure the judges got a cash bonus even time they mentioned the word “angel”. I think it’s time to let Rachael be a performer now and stop with the condescending “angel, shooting star, wings, angel with wings, you gave me wings, voice of an angel” crap. First up, how do they know what an angel even sounds like? Maybe angels sing like Kahmal? Rachael is a bloody great singer and has been doing it a long time so I feel  it’s time to let her join the ranks of the other contestants rather than placing her on a pedestal made of babies teeth. Oh, right the singing. Rachael sang “Hands” by Jewel. It was lovely. The end. Yes I am cross about this. Breathe Em, breathe.

The formatting of the show needs some tweaking. The contestant should just leave the stage after they sing, not do an awkward post game huddle with their coach. Also, I think each judge should have 3 singers each go up in the live rounds so everyone is invested in the episode. The judges who don’t have singers performing are rendered impotent; there was nowhere near enough Keith in last night’s show and we missed Joel’s energy as well.

I do like how they are obviously paying attention to social media and the feedback coming though however they must be careful not to become beholden to their audience. Stay the course, tweak where it’s needed.

See you all in a week!

Em x

The Voice 2014

Em Rusciano appears on Network Ten’s ’The Project’, she also  regularly hosts The Circle. You should follow her on Twitter here (she is Mamamia’s official The Voice tweeter) and take a look at her website here.

Did you watch last night? Did you love it?

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