With the highest ratings in 5 years, this season of The Voice Australia started off big since the first episode and has kept its viewing numbers high throughout. To be honest, the show was not on my radar until this year. So what makes this format on the other side of the ocean and its 10th season stand out?
For starters, the rules have changed since the show moved to Channel 7; and for the better. From the coaches having unlimited teams this season to the brutal cut right after the blinds, the updated format keeps you at the edge of your seat. Having Guy Sebastian, Keith Urban, Jessica Mauboy and Rita Ora as this season’s coaches was just the icing on the cake.
With three episodes each week, this season couldn’t have ended faster. For me personally, that has been a great adjustment because the format of the show usually loses interest after the blind auditions. That wasn’t the case here: the incredible talent captivated me in itself. From 15-year-old powerhouse, Sofia Watt and the surprise audition from coach Jess’s niece Saraya Mauboy-Hudson to G-Nation, the biggest girl group that ever made it this far on the show; this season had a lot to offer.
When Sofia entered the stage, I thought I’d hear a soft pop song but when she started singing, her raspy powerful vocals left me absolutely speechless. To be this young and have this kind of vocal ability is remarkable. Speaking to her, she said that she auditioned this year because she wanted to prove to herself that she could do it. She wants to be a role model for young girls, and show them that nothing is impossible. And with choosing Rita Ora as her coach, she believed she could really learn a lot and grow as a young artist.
“Rita’s advice was so awesome,” Sofia says. “She told me that I have to believe and trust myself and my ability, that was so cool! It was so surreal for Rita to compare my tone with her tone, I was very much fangirling!”
Personally, I think hearing that comparison from Rita Ora herself – whose voice opened her the doors to stardom – holds a lot of value. It can definitely be used as a foundation to what one day can blossom into a successful musical career.
This season’s coaching seemed brief on TV due to a much shorter season but has definitely been educational. Looking at the talent this season, I have seen a lot of really young contestants who are just starting out and have never performed in front of a larger audience before as well as more experienced vocalists who were looking for a chance to be heard and are just missing that last bit of self-confidence to let out their full potential.
It must be a blessing to be able to learn from an international pop star like Rita Ora who got her first record deal when she was 15, Australia’s vocal sensations Jess and Guy who have gone through this experience before as well as country music legend Keith Urban who was a contestant on the Australian TV talent show New Faces way back in 1983. As you can tell, they know what they’re talking about! Knowing their background and seeing the success the coaches have had so far really sets an example and shows the next generation of artists that they can make it too.
Taking a chance and going on a TV format like The Voice is a big step and takes a lot of courage and self-belief. Sian Fuller wasn’t even supposed to audition and only came to support her brother, but then ended up on stage and even made it to the semi-finals. It amazes me to see her being given an opportunity that so many dream of and, according to her, choosing Rita Ora to be her coach helped her grow personally and artistically.
“She helps everyone to believe in themselves which is the biggest thing as a performer. She really helped me with my confidence and trusting my decisions as an artist,” Sian Fuller said.
And not only Rita, but Australia’s very own Jess Mauboy had some good advice for her team members. As someone who comes from a singing competition herself, she definitely has a much better understanding of what the contestants are going through. Ella Monnery, who came back this season after her journey last year was cut short due to COVID, has definitely learned a lot through the one-on-one mentoring sessions with Jess.
“Some advice Jess gave me was to not be too hard on myself and enjoy my performances more,” Ella Monnery said. “Being a professional working musician it’s hard to not let mistakes or off-notes get to you. This experience has definitely taught me to believe in myself a whole lot more and to get out of my own head. I’m so grateful I got to return this year, wouldn’t change it for the world!”
But what makes The Voice Australia really stand out, besides the great advice given by the coaches? There is talent all over the world isn’t there? To be honest, it might just be the warm and fun Aussie spirit. Even talking to some of the contestants I have to say I really felt that kind and positive aura myself.
“The Aussie spirit is what makes Australia so cool and unique. It brings people together and I found that with all the artists in the show, everyone was so happy for each other, it was just the best!” Sofia Watt said.
When locals asked UK-based coach Rita Ora, she stated that “Australia is the most amazing, loving and welcoming place” and that she didn’t wanna leave. Rumors predict her making a return in 2022 for season 11. Personally, I think the dynamic between the coaches has been incredibly entertaining. From Keith Urban using both of his two blocks on Rita, to the singing pitches and real emotions the vibe has been so genuine and it truly gave the show that special touch. It doesn’t seem like a competition, it really seemed like it was just about finding rare talent and giving these “rough diamonds” a chance to shine.
Who would have thought that Australia had so much hidden talent ready to make its television debut? I have never seen such pure talent nor noticed contestants supporting each other the way they have over there and to see such great friendships evolve from it. There are no hard feelings – which is something rare to see when it comes to TV shows like that.
“The Aussie spirit in relation to The Voice revolves around finding that “raw talent” and “diamond in the rough” which I think definitely contributes to the show’s success,” Sian Fuller said.
Ella Monnery adds: “I definitely think the level of talent this year is incredible!! And definitely the fast pace show and rounds. It’s quick, it’s brutal and it keeps the audience engaged. Also because last year’s season got massively affected due to Covid, so there was something special this year about having a whole new format to the show and brand new coaches!”
There are so many factors colliding when you’re trying to find an explanation for the success the show has had, from the amazing talent and good choice of coaches to the captivating Aussie spirit and good artistic advice. It all plays into it and when you ask viewers worldwide, you will get all kinds of answers. But the most common one would be that it’s just pure entertainment in so many ways.
The pandemic might have made people appreciate things a lot more and given the contestants the courage to finally take their chances and audition to become Australia’s next singing champion. All in all, watching The Voice Australia has not just been what the Australians needed in their ongoing lockdown, but a blast for everyone around the world watching. Even though I did have some disagreements with the coaches’ choices, I really had an amazing experience following the contestants’ journeys and getting to hear such rare and exceptional talent. Watch out, Australia’s hidden treasures are coming through!
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