The Voice Australia: Thomas Bleach recaps the Knockouts
Season eight of The Voice Australia has proven to be a ratings winner for Nine.
Sunday night’s Knockouts pulled 1,093 million metro viewers – its second highest result of the season.
The Knockouts began on June 10 with three contestants going head-to-head for one spot in the Battle Rounds on Monday (June 17).
In a classic reality television twist, the four coaches were afforded two saves each to prevent a contestant from going home.
The winners of The Knockouts were fierce in their performances, but some stood out more than others.
Kim Sheehy, Lee Harding, Chynna Taylor, Mitch Paulsen, Diana Rouvas, Zeek Power, Madi Krstevski, Natasha Stuart, Denzel and Jack Vidgen were the clear standouts.
The saves this season were a mix of dramatic, surprising, predictable and controversial.
Saving husband and wife Luke and Tannah Zancanaro was a very smart idea for Team Kelly, introducing a new wholesome dynamic to our TV’s that we haven’t seen since Jess & Matt on The X Factor.
Akina Maria is a Broadway star who is ready to transition into the pop world. Her sassy Madonna performance was euphoric. But can she show the country who she is as an artist?
Double saves for Chriddy Black and Jesse Teinaki were well deserved as they both showed strong commercial potential.
Thanks to their strong pop presences, Elsa Clement, Lara Dabbagh and Prinnie Stevens were saved. But it was Daniel Shaw who showed the country something fresh with his interpretation of Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’. He’s one to watch.
A dramatic performance saw Sheldon Riley advancing to the battle rounds even though his connection to The Weeknd anthem lacked. While ex Hi-5 entertainer Nathan Foley was prematurely sent home even though he connected with audience members through his limited screen time.
On the last night of The Knockouts, Denzel caused controversy when he performed another original hip hop track. The move begs the question; should all artists be afforded the opportunity to perform original material?
Not everyone can be saved, and there were some artists that were robbed of a chance to prove themselves having shown real potential and marketability.
Jordy Marcs is an artist that really compliments the way Australian indie pop-rock is heading; think Dean Lewis, Jack Gray and Tyne-James Organ etal.
But he wasn’t saved by any of the coaches.
Conor Smith is only 16 years old, but his voice showed a maturity way beyond his years. With an image similar to Harry Styles, he has the potential to become a young heartthrob with the crossover appeal and innocence of Ruel, that could connect with a wide audience.
Vendulka Wichta showcased her talent with an original rendition of Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’. But after her ‘A Star Is Born’ themed Knockout, she didn’t get saved. Vendulka has the potential to have a similar career trajectory as Vera Blue.
With a platform like The Voice there are always going to be emotionally fuelled moments. The Survivors knockout provided that with Natasha Stuart reducing viewers to tears with her rendition of ‘Everybody Hurts’.
Henry Olonga’s knockout provided reality TV-styled drama. Restarting the song twice because he forgot the lyrics, he admitted that he couldn’t do it. Rowland ran to his aid and talked him down before advancing him to the next round.
On reflection, his performance wasn’t great. It was shaky, flawed and his behaviour was unprofessional. With strong talent surrounding him, his advance seemed like a reality tv storyline push more than a sincere moment.
THE ONES TO WATCH
This season of The Voice sees a couple of artists, in particular, becoming ‘the ones to watch’.
Jack Vidgen’s return has been one of the most talked about moments from this season. With over 1.6 million views on YouTube of his audition, he’s gotten the whole world talking. His knockout performance was another huge moment for the show as he cements his comeback.
Showing individuality, Denzel is something this competition has never seen. With the current hip-hop commercial takeover, he may be just what Australia needs to compete on the global stage.
Australian Idol alumni, Lee Harding is thrilling viewers again with his high energy and charisma. While in the other corner, Chynna Taylor is proving herself to be not only a massive voice but a massive contender for the crown.
Also serving strong vocals is the theatrically trained Diana Rouvas. But while she is a powerhouse vocalist, the question surrounding her commercial ability remains.
After seeing some talented contestants eliminated during the knockouts, there are a couple of names to keep an eye on for next year.
Vendulka Wichta is a star in her own right, so if no one signs her throughout the year then she will be one to put money on in 2020.
Conor Smith may have impressed with his audition and knockout round but a year of maturity may just be what he needs to come back and show everyone why his voice and style is what the country needs. Amanuael Visser also falls under this critique.
Dezi K was an electric performer full of energy but her pub show etiquette didn’t resonate well on the silver screen. Maybe some different performance spaces throughout the year may help her find her commercial footing and see her returning to represent female rock.