Delta vs Jessie J. Don’t make me choose.

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There’s a ‘catfight’, apparently. But who’s trying to start it?

In one of the most cringe-worthy moments on this season (or possibly any season) of The Voice, a guy who looked like Jesus sang Celine Dion’s soaring Titanic ballad My Heart Will Go On.

Blake Galera Holliss walked out onto the stage last night and belted out his unique rendition of  the iconic ballad – a song choice that seemed out of place amongst the Meghan Trainor, Drake and John Legend covers that dominated the stage in last night’s episode.

And it was a song choice that had the coaches disagreeing as soon as he dropped the last note.

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The performance was a bust. None of the judges turned around. Awks. In what has become a welcome change to the format in this season, a looser, more spontaneous post-audition critique saw Delta Goodrem leaping onto the stage to re-enact a scene from Titanic with Blake, before calling him ‘my Jack’.

Video via Channel 9

And then it got serious. Jessie J asked Blake why he chose that particular song. He mentioned it was the first song he ever performed live, which made Delta enthuse it’s her go-to karaoke song.

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Jessie J: ‘That’s my point. It’s a karaoke song. This is a serious moment for you, right? It was the wrong song choice.”

Delta: “I don’t know, I don’t know. I think it was so cool.”

Joel: “Jessie J, I’m going to have to disagree. The only reason I didn’t turn around is because he was flat.”

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Jessie J: “It’s a matter of opinion. There are certain songs I don’t think you do if you really want to take this seriously and that’s my opinion.”

Delta: “But I feel like he did a twist. I feel like it was a rock-and-roll twist. The whole crowd really enjoyed it.”

Jessie J: “Honestly, I just want to finish and make my point. Your voice is really interesting, but none of us turned around so we can all sit here and go ‘it was amazing, well done, great’, but you’re not through.”

Delta: “Blake, you’ll always be my Jack.”

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Jessie J: “Come back next year, sing us a rock song, please.”

Delta: “Keep rocking on. You’re obviously a cool dude to even have the guts to do a song like that, which I love, but it’s totally cool because it’s subjective and I wish you much love.”

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SMACKDOWN!

……screamed the promos for days prior to the episode, just as they have throughout the series.

CATFIGHT!

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CHICKS GO HEAD TO HEAD!

Well, when it comes to the catfight between The Voice coaches Delta Goodrem and Jessie J, I’m #TeamDelta.

I’m also #TeamJessie

Because I refuse to choose.

And I find this whole attempt to set them up against each other way too predictable. Delta Goodrem and Jessie J are not cats. They are women. And they are not fighting like animals. They are having disagreements and differences of opinion just like any other human adults do every day.

Delta has walked this path of public judgement before. The amount of online bile, scorn and abuse directed at her in past seasons for reasons that were never quite clear is almost unprecedented (well, unless you count Kyle Sandilands which I’d prefer not to because he was being a deliberately provocative troll).

So much Delta hate…… and when you drill down, the justification has always been oddly lame. “She’s too nice.” “She’s a dork.” “She’s insincere.”

I’ve always quite loved the way she’s a dork. Self-confessed. Loud and proud. And if being too nice is a reason to hate someone then I’d suggest the haters spend some time in the hall of mirrors.

Jessie J is a new, welcome addition to The Voice. Two women! Imagine that!

You can just imagine the conversations that went on between male TV executives when discussing who to cast as a new judge:

“We need to spice it up a bit.”

“Yeah, what about another chick?”
“Yeah. Another chick. She has to be hot though.”

“Who’s a hot chick who can sing?”

“Katy Perry. I love when she squirts that stuff out of her tits.”

“Too expensive”

“Beyonce? She’s got a great arse.”

“Kylie? She’s got a great arse too even though she’s getting a bit long in the tooth.”
“Yeah but we already had her.”

“I know. Let’s get someone who’s hot and can sing and who is also a bitch. Someone to put up against Delta.”

“Catfight!”

“Yeah!”

Hello Jessie J. You can tell she’s the mean one because she wears black and Delta wears white. Get it? Good vs evil. Nice vs nasty. A story told with clothes! 

There have been lots of promos of Jessie and Delta making faces and comments edited together to make it look like they’re fighting. Because that’s what happens when you put two women together, don’t you know? They can’t help themselves. The claws come out and they turn into BITCHEZ.

The way commercial TV (run by men) depicts women is so very predictably tiresome.

But rubbish cliches aside, there is truth to the fact that Delta and Jessie J have very different and distinct ways of communicating as judges coaches.

Take the performance of Jesus Blake last night. When none of the judges coaches turn their chairs, it always makes for an awkward post-performance debrief. Delta did what many women would have done; she tried to make the poor guy feel better. She was encouraging. She dug deep for positive adjectives. Really deep. And she found some.

Jessie J however, took a different approach, one that still jars even though I’ve now seen her do it a number of times.

She was honest. Not brutally honest. Not cruel. She just….told it how it is.

She told him his song choice was a mistake. She disagreed with Delta’s attempts to salvage the guy’s ego. She didn’t flinch from the truth.

It was surprising and engaging and fascinating, how little she cared about being liked by Blake by the studio audience or the viewers at home. For most women I know, our desire to be liked often stands in the way of us doing things and saying things. We want our boss to like us so we don’t ask for a pay rise. We want our manager to like us so we say, “Sure! I can’t do that!” when they make a demand that’s unreasonable. In work and social situations, we say “yes” when we desperately want to say “no”. Usually to our detriment.

And if a woman is successful, she must try even harder to be liked because her likeability is inversely proportional to her success. It’s the opposite for men.

That’s why every time Jessie J speaks, I lean in. She has great cut-through and she’s a refreshing lesson in how not to be shackled by a desire to be liked. She’s not a bitch. She’s not the mean judge and she’s not Delta’s nemesis no matter how hard old-school TV execs to try and portray her that way.

Two strong, successful women doing their thing? Disagreeing respectfully and without jelly wrestling? Imagine that.

What do you think of the Delta/Jessie J combination? Do you think Jessie J’s approach is refreshing?

Need to catch up? Try these:

A former Aussie popstar was on The Voice last night – and nobody turned around.

Why has hating Delta Goodrem become a national pastime?

The Voice Australia welcomes three new judges.

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