For the last three weeks there has been a strong sense that unless you were performing some sort of essential service at 7.30pm on a Monday night you were watching The Voice.

So much dazzling tooth enamel can be a bit blinding.

The ratings were mega. The love for the judges (well, the male judges) was overflowing. The talent was dazzling. And people who’d sworn off television talent shows were drawn back in.

Anticipation for last night’s first live show was frenzied. More than 2 million of us tuned in. And then the wheels fell off. Perhaps the charm and talent which had set The Voice apart from its competitors was the product of slick editing. Or maybe it’s the vagaries of live television.

But all of a sudden Seal’s sex appeal became more than a little bit creepy, as he smooched his young contestants in a way that your kindly uncle really shouldn’t.

Joel’s enthusiasm had people asking if his was drunk. Delta’s decision to inflict a wind machine on one of her team members top trended on twitter.

The only judge to come out of last night’s show unscathed was Keith Urban.

And that’s all before we start talking about the singing.

In the lead-up to last night’s show the one thing many people claimed as their reason for watching The Voice was that the contestants were all incredibly talented.

During the pre-recorded battle rounds there were some stellar performances.

Last night, not so much. Nerves might have had a big role to play, plus what sounded like slightly dodgy audio. But there were missed notes, awkward starts and some daggy dancing.

It was more cruise ship than cool.

Not that you’d know by listening to the judges’ verdicts, which were all unanimously over-complimentary. The niceness of the whole thing has been The Voice’s hallmark up to now, but what these amateur singers really need is some constructive criticism.

Next week Team Kieth and Team Joel have a lot of work to do to lift the standards. And if Seal could be strapped to his seat while the girls perform, that could help too.

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    • amy says:

      11:48am | 15/05/12

      eh…don’t really get the apeal of thease shows

      music is actually alot more than ones ability to sing well, sure they are talented..but its still just glorified Karaoke

      I mean I doubt Eminem or Daft punk can sing for crap but they do their own thing

      (holy crap..I just Karaoke a japanease word?..MIND=BLOWN)

    • Sam says:

      12:58pm | 15/05/12

      Literally ‘empty track’. Apt eh?

    • Ando says:

      02:06pm | 16/05/12

      “music is actually a lot more than ones ability to sing well”

      Its a singing show, not worlds most talented musician. It is what it is.

    • fairsfair says:

      11:51am | 15/05/12

      Yeah, I was let down a bit. It’s lost its pizzaz but I think it is just because it is Seal and Delta - the ones with the most punch appeal. That Ben Bennett dude could hardly even be heard over the music, Ttat pretty boy with the guitar was woeful (but then again so was his dual) and though I know I am going to be bagged for this - Rachael Leahcar is not overly talented, her song was boring and I thought sung it quite badly. There. I said it. Plus Guy Sebastian’s brother - he is hard to look at and listen to. He sounds like his brother (only not as good) and he looks like a muppet (not as in an idiot an actual musical puppet).

    • Chris says:

      12:23pm | 15/05/12


      With you on all of that (and I didn’t even watch the show) but let’s not speak poorly about muppets.  They rock.


    • Samuel says:

      03:51pm | 15/05/12

      Why is no one talking about how Rachel Leahcar has a palindromic name? WHY? That’s the big story as far as I’m concerned.

      Also, yeah, she was a bit rubbish.

    • fairsfair says:

      04:20pm | 15/05/12

      I assumed it was a stage name Samuel - I could be wrong though. Srsly… if your last name was Leahcar would you call your child Rachael and have you ever heard of anyone else with the last name Leahcar?

      I am making heaps of assumptions here but I did hear that she has had some success with a YouTube Channel, so I just thought that she likely started calling herself Rachael Leahcar at that time…

      Apologies to any Leahcars out there (if you exist).

    • old fart says:

      12:07pm | 15/05/12

      have not performed any essential service during the course of this “show” to date
      have not watched one episode
      dont intend to, just more cheap crap served up to us.

      what happend to programming with substance?

    • Harry says:

      12:30pm | 15/05/12

      There’s plenty available - not everything has to be mind-enriching - sometimes people just like to have a bitch about other people in company - that is the reason for the sucess of reality TV. And as for good TV .... have you tried any of these:
      Game of Thrones
      Mad Men
      Breaking Bad
      Person of Interest
      Parks & Recreation

    • old fart says:

      12:56pm | 15/05/12

      I dont see one local drama amongst those nor current affairs, I mean real current affairs. Only aunty seems to have that all the rest is drivel. If I want to watch master chef I will put a mirror in the kitchen everytime I go there wink)

    • Harry says:

      01:09pm | 15/05/12

      Local TV is crap - everyone knows it. Cringeworthy probably the best word to describe - and what kkind ofm mindless automatoc would get his current affairs from TV? Red Pill = Interwebs, Blue Pill = MSM TV

    • subotic says:

      01:11pm | 15/05/12

      Parks & Recreation is a bit too hardcore for even me….

    • HappyCynic says:

      01:39pm | 15/05/12


      All good choices, the US version of Being Human is also surprisingly excellent (even moreso now that the UK version has gone off the rails a bit) also 30 Rock, The Office and Fringe are some of my faves.

      As for local stuff there is only one mildly entertaining local show I watch with regularity and that’s Good Game.  TV would most likely be better without any Aussie content.

    • M says:

      02:12pm | 15/05/12

      TV is dead, long live fast internet.

    • Ally says:

      03:36pm | 15/05/12

      @Harry - great list. The only addition I would make is Community. Brilliant show.

    • D says:

      02:18pm | 16/05/12

      @old fart; I can’t see any real reason (beyond nationalism for the sake of it) behind wanting an Australian drama over one based in some other country. What’s the appeal? It’s not as though Australian culture and life differs remarkably from the UK or USA - where many of most intriguing shows come from. We can easily relate.

      Harry’s list is very good (I don’t watch all those shows regularly, but the ones I don’t I have seen now and again), and yes, adding Community is probably worthwhile (more to my personal comedy tastes than Parks&Rec;, anyway).

      An easy enough idea would be to look up HBO productions - probably over half of those shows are quite compelling. If they aren’t on Australian TV, get the dvd (or, ahem, online).

      Alternatively, turn off the TV and read a book. I could recommend a few.

    • nihonin says:

      12:11pm | 15/05/12

      Seal has it bad for Emma Louise Birdsall since the auditions (yes I watched them).  Looking at the video of her singing last night, I thought he going to jump on stage and take her.

    • Felipe says:

      12:17pm | 15/05/12

      I recorded The Voice because there was so much to see on Monday’s television.  I found I was fast forwarding a lot of the performers songs.  Either the songs picked were dull or the singers were not good at all.

      There are three singers worth the wait.  One with Keith and the other two with Joel.

    • D says:

      02:25pm | 16/05/12

      This - also, I thought that in the battle rounds Keith and Joel were the only judges fairly consistently picking the right songs for their contestants. Seal & Delta made some bad errors in the battles and again on Monday. If it’s even them and not producers (although the patterns would suggest it is them).

      I have to admit, I don’t watch reality TV (at all - all I had watched before this was the first week of big brother in Australia, and a couple of episodes of Australian Idol when I was crashing at my dad’s house in 2007), but caught some of the Voice early-ish and was hooked. To be honest, I liked the blind audition gimmick, and the battles weren’t bad - but now that it’s like Idol I think the novelty has run out.

    • Blue Light says:

      12:21pm | 15/05/12

      Totally agree Tory. There was definitely something wrong with the audio last night for the entire length of the show. Was the producer asleep at the wheel?
      And will someone please tell Seal that he should keep his hands to himself. Who does he think he is, some sort of cult leader or something? CREEPY.

    • David says:

      12:48pm | 15/05/12

      Production values is not one of Nine’s strong points at the moment. They copped it for poor production values in Excess Baggage as well. One thing that Seven and Ten do well is polish.

    • AdamC says:

      01:11pm | 15/05/12

      The talk in my workplace was along the same lines, this morning, Blue Light.

      Personally, though, I haven’t watched more than a minute of the Voice. I am just a little over talent shows, and I found that blind audition swivel chair thing overly gimmicky and silly.

    • fairsfair says:

      01:19pm | 15/05/12

      Did anyone watch that “Tricky Business”? I went to bed.

      The six months of promos annoyed me more than anything so I won’t tune in. Same goes for that stupid “Once Upon a Time” with Channel 7. I don’t understand how they thing advertising for such a long period of time will work. You get to a point where you shift well away from “that looks interesting” to “I’d rather stab myself in the eye”.

    • Blue Light says:

      01:46pm | 15/05/12

      @fairs, agree with the over-promotion thing. The use of Adele’s song “We Could Have Had it All” ad nauseum in the lead up to the 3rd (?) Underbelly series turned me off so much I didn’t bother to watch. They really ruined a great song for me.

    • SydneyGirl says:

      01:53pm | 15/05/12

      fairsfair, agree the promos were off putting.  I don’t think Tricky Business is going to pull numbers either. There is no requirement at all that these TV shows have - ahem - “quotas” and people of colour. But I think the lily white TV dramas are simply not going to pull audiences and are becoming increasingly niche.  I don’t watch reality TV but they seem to be inclusive and have all kinds of people on them instead of just white folk (and white folk here are anyway watching American TV), this must at least partly account for their popularity.

    • Blue Light says:

      02:06pm | 15/05/12

      Oops, that song was called Rollin’ In the Deep, wasn’t it? D’oh!

    • fairsfair says:

      04:26pm | 15/05/12

      Blue Light - I’ll forvige you that seeing as though “we could have had it all” were the only foghorned lyrics that played for the whole ad… it was so freaking loud. And I agree - I was feeling all hipster for having had purchased the Adele CD before everyone was talking about it and I stopped listening to it at about that time.

      I am also The Fray’s #1 fan and my favourite song off their new album is “Run for your Life” and BAM Downton Abbey is now destroying that for me.

      SydneyGirl - agreed. I am sick to death of boring people too. I really enjoyed The Straits (not only because it was filmed in Cairns) becuase it had a bit of variety in character and appearance and normal looking people. I hope it is picked up for a second series but I won’t hold my breath (though the ABC is pretty good with some Aussie Drama). Does anyone remember that show Kick from a few years ago (strarring Zoe Ventoura). Though you could tell it was low budget, it was still OK. It died an immediate death. Crownies is also good and I am looking forward to that coming back.

      Truth be told all I watch these days is Home and Away (please don’t judge) and Revenge - however I am now on the downloads bandwagon after Channel 7s “back in two weeks” trump card. They can stick that in their pipe and smoke it - I will never again tune in on a Monday night.

    • SilvaBak says:

      09:18am | 17/05/12

      Joes was definitely stonned and his comments about getting laid was as completely inappropriate as Seal’s behaviour with the female contestants. The sound also sucked and Chris Sebastian’s timing was off a couple of times [he ain’t no star]. The song choices for Rachael and Viktoria were extremely poor: not in their vocal ranges and certainly not capable of showcasing their particular vocal abilities. Keith and Joel had better pull their sox up for this coming live show and grab their chance to score some points for their artists.

    • Farken says:

      12:35pm | 15/05/12

      i had better things to do then watch dumb free to air tv

    • Rosie says:

      12:45pm | 15/05/12

      Great observation Tory M. Yes I felt let down and unfortunately tuned into politics on Sky News and found it enthralling again. I hate myself for it and my family just don’t understand that why in my later years have taken an interest to politics!

      However, in saying the above I was glad I tuned back to hear the female singer who sang the Aretha Franklin song. She was excellent, sent ‘shivers’ right through me!

    • David says:

      12:45pm | 15/05/12


      I don’t know what has happened but I have become completely disconnected from pop culture. Couldn’t stand to watch any of the current major network offerings on TV… The Voice, The Biggest Loser, Masterchef, Dancing with the Wannabes, The Big Bang Theory, Glee - none of it does anything for me. I can’t even stand going to the movies these days - just a load of insulting crap devoid of any talent in the actors and the film makers.

      I am finding enjoyment in some of the current BBC offerings. I like the Graham Norton Show and QI, and some of the Comedy Central original productions have managed to hold my interest.

    • alan says:

      01:15pm | 15/05/12

      agree David - most commercial TV is unwatchable drek for the undiscerning.  Do like Masterchef tho.  Mr Norton is the best host bar none, smart, funny, knowing - shame ABC cannot afford it anymore. 
      The Voice is classic tabloid fodder - the comment above from Amy is right - murdering a song with tabloid TV “emotion” and “feeling”, singing from “the heart” - spare me!!  Great Music is not manufactured, usually.

      As for Seal - yeah he’s a hunky black guy ladies, we get it, but overstays his welcome.  Delta?  Talented and caring but somehow insufferable.  Keith - comes across as a decent fella.  If the best singers could be corralled into a short season i would watch more but I cant stand the thing.

    • j says:

      03:34pm | 15/05/12

      I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, Idiocracy .... these kind of shows remind me of the “owch my balls” show on Idiocracy, oh and the oscar winner “Ass”

    • j says:

      03:34pm | 15/05/12

      I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, Idiocracy .... these kind of shows remind me of the “owch my balls” show on Idiocracy, oh and the oscar winner “Ass”

    • David says:

      07:29pm | 15/05/12

      I used to love Good News Week, but of course they had to take that off the air. Then I thought Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation was alright, but now they’ve taken that off the air too. The problem is that all the shows I like don’t rate.

      I’ve been a tragic Graham Norton fan since they first showed The Graham Norton Effect on the Comedy Channel. A lot cheekier than his current show. Full of sexual innuendo. It was hilarious.

    • subotic says:

      12:59pm | 15/05/12

      Watched 15 seconds of that crap on Sunday before “Happy Hour” out on the subotic balcony.

      I want my 15 seconds back.

      And isn’t that Seal dude just plain scary. Like wow, creepy doesn’t even come close. Well, maybe the purple headed dude who was in some band for 15 minutes of fame comes kinda close, but hell, that Seal guy, man…

    • Az says:

      01:10pm | 15/05/12

      2m viewers ?

      Australia’s population is now what, 22m ?

      Yes, most of us were indeed performing essential services, namely avoiding this contrived pap in droves.


    • Rickster says:

      12:10pm | 17/05/12

      essential services…..........sock draw cleaning!

    • Kebabpete says:

      01:28pm | 15/05/12

      I have tried to watch this but I just can’t. Even compared to other singing shows it is just too over produced, over dramatized and as was evident from last night the pre-recorded shows were over edited.

      And why are they dragging it out so much? Voting is open until next Monday!! Seriously, could they bleed any more money from voters/viewers? The shameless plugs are bad too.

      And what is with Delta’s dramatic arm waving and poses?

    • ibast says:

      01:38pm | 15/05/12

      Hasn’t it just gone over to public voting?  If so, that’s the end of any credibility the show had.  Now it will be just about who is the prettiest and who hits the biggest notes.  Oh, and even though she was good, the blind girl now has an unfair advantage.

    • Robin says:

      01:40pm | 15/05/12

      Well, I like the Voice.  The fact that all of these finalists are actually pretty good singers has a lot to do with that.  The other things like Idol, X-Factor etc. are simply popularity contests where the giggling pre-pubesents ensure the pimply wannabees are punched through to the finals whilst those who can sing end up vainly whistling for their supper in a back alley of ageism.  Anyway, last night the audio was appaling, and the song choices for some were dodgy as hell.  Joel made me laugh, I am sure that there was more than a little Bolivinan influence in his marching.  Never thought much about Keith Urban but he actually seems like a pretty nice bloke who can play a good guitar.  Seal?  That man has it made; if his singing career fades he would be one hell of a scary debt collector.  But I do digress.  There were a couple of stand outs, like the girl who sounds like a not so ugly Janis Joplin (I think her name is Kristen?)  and another one who chilled me with her Aretha knock off.  I desperately want to love the blind girl, but I don’t.  Alas.  And I will be watching.  And bitching.  And smiling.  And the columns will keep coming as we all love to look down our very high brows at this mindless crap to remind ourselves how urbane and sophisticated we are.

    • Leo says:

      01:53pm | 15/05/12

      I would not call my having a beer at the pub an essential service but it sounds like I made the right choice if Tory is right. I only watched one show where nobody picked Delta except a blind girl, which kept me amused briefly. The contestants mostly seem to be local karaoke restaurant standard. I am not fond of these over-hyped talent shows at the best of times, and because I am out of date, I don’t know who the hell all these so called celebrities are anyway. I was at the Airport on Friday stuck in the long security queue a short way from some young bloke, who according to my traveling companion, was an X factor star. People were taking some photos on their phones and while polite he sure looked like he wanted to be anywhere else. But then he was dressed up like a parrot drawing attention to himself so I guess he only had himself to blame. His 5 minutes of fame will pass and he will no doubt wind up back in the queue some day and wonder why nobody is paying him any attention.

    • KH says:

      02:32pm | 15/05/12

      I was channel surfing after I got home late, and i caught some poor woman singing a 70s song (well, it sounded bad enough to be the 70s) with a wind machine… I couldn’t stop laughing….......truly awful.  The repeat of NCIS was better…........

      wind machine….......WTF?

    • Josephine says:

      02:58pm | 15/05/12

      I may have watched The Voice for a few seconds as I was channel surfing and that was enough.

      I don’t mind masterchef or most cooking shows. I don’t really like cooking that much but I like watching other people cook to get some ideas & I find it comforting.

    • Ren says:

      03:20pm | 15/05/12

      Well it was brutal really. Basically one big commercial.

      Ads every few mins, none of the judges being honest due to the show wanting to sell songs on Itunes.

      I wonder how long it will take advertisers to figure out most people have DVR’s these days and by spamming shows with too many ads most people wont bother with live, they will just record it and watch later.

      I actually gave myself a half hour ad buffer last night and I still didnt get through the show before it caught up with live. It is pretty much 50% commercials if not more.

    • JJ says:

      03:25pm | 15/05/12

      The idea is good and the show up to last night was entertaining but it all fell in a heap last night. Seal was “a little over the top” to say the least and god only knows what Delta was thinking both at the time of picking the songs but in their delivery. Almost her entire team were dreadful.
      But that could all have been overlooked had the sound people got their act together. it was a total train wreck. what is the point of having a show to promote peoples voices if you cant actually hear them?

      all very sad lets hope lessons are learned and the responsible people removed in time for the next round.

    • iansand says:

      03:45pm | 15/05/12

      Brian Cox on time was quite interesting.

    • Emma2 says:

      03:00pm | 16/05/12

      I love Brian Cox! Now that is interesting TV smile

    • Baa Baa says:

      04:17pm | 15/05/12

      The pap on TV makes me fear for the future of mankind ! It tells me that there are at least 2million dimwits in Aust.

    • Carol says:

      05:07pm | 15/05/12

      Didn’t anyone hear the fart?  As the host was talking to Keith at the beginning… there’s a very clear fart to be heard.  I was listening in headphones which made it very noticable… but my partner watched it today and said “Oh gross… someone farted… do you think it was Delta?”  So at least I’m not the only one that heard it.

    • Megstar says:

      05:42pm | 15/05/12

      What I really don’t get is how much time and effort the above superior beings put into their ramblings about something they profess not to watch or even like! You really need to get out and make some like minded friends because it makes you appear to be a “look at me please” kind of person. About the show - the sound system needs to be fixed so that the band doesn’t drown out the singers and the lighting needs to be less like the glare you need in a footy stadium.The coaches need to let the performers choose their own songs - some choices were woeful, but if the teething problems are sorted out it will still be a far superior show to any we’ve seen before.There is however only one performer who is capable of achieving an outstanding career in music and she doesn’t even have to win, she’s already killing it on iTunes.

    • JB says:

      11:24pm | 15/05/12

      Happened to be at my sisters last night when they were watching The Voice.
      This must be the creepiest load of old codswallop I have ever seen.
      Teary eyed second rate singers etc etc.etc. Audiences will swallow anything that’s dished up to them.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      06:02am | 16/05/12

      I used to watch talent shows a lot a couple of years ago and enjoyed them. I thought it took a lot of courage to stand up on a stage and give it your all. But now there are so many talent shows that it has become boring, the same as the TV is full of cooking shows as well. How many Talent and Cooking shows do we need. At the end of the day you don’t see many of the winners of these singing shows going anywhere with their talents. There have been a few but not many.

      I prefer to watch the English dramas such as The Royal and Heartbeat. They give a nice account of life in English villages when life was much more simply lived and they have good story lines as well and some good acting. I have gone off the American cop shows. How many cop shows do we need for instance.!

      I would like to see more good movies on TV not repeats. There are some good movies that were made but TV doesn’t show many of them, why not i ask?. There is too much American TV on here in Australia. I think that that domination by the Americans forms part of Howards selling us out to the Yanks as regards American content on TV here. Also another annoying factor is the amount of very old outdated american shows dominating the air waves. Who wants to see them, they are at least 30 to 40 years old some of them, good in those days but we have moved on. Maybe TV channels could invest in some more decent modern programming and drop the old stuff.

      Anyway, all in all that’s what we have to put up with on free to air TV. Foxtel is just full of repeats and a waste of money. Anyway, time to turn on the Stereo and listen to some good music that you can choose yourself.!

    • caroline says:

      12:37pm | 16/05/12

      A couple of times I was squirming so much at the off-key singing that I flicked channels - so imagine my amazement to turn back to The Voice to find all the judges standing up to clap and then give rave reviews. Thus far…I liked the chair swivelling part, I didn’t mind the boxing ring fights - but this first live show was pretty dishonest. And i like seal - but yeah… a bit creepy with the young girls.

    • Rick with a silent P says:

      01:41pm | 16/05/12

      Big deal….The voice….everyones got one, unless your a mute sorry vocaly challanged. Delta a judge of talent? Has she ever performed a whole show herself? Just ask John Farnham.

    • pil macracken says:

      05:22pm | 16/05/12

      wow!! so many whining haters! if you dont liike whats on tv then switch it off!!

    • Utopia Boy says:

      08:35pm | 16/05/12

      If you watch this drivel, you urgently require a lead ball. Behind your left ear.


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