A singing contest where everone can sing
Seal, Joel Madden, Keith Urban and Delta Goodrem are the coaches/mentors on The Voice. Picture: Nine Network.

For the blind auditions of Nine's new reality series The Voice I was expecting more of the train wreck singers you get on other TV talent quests.

But none came. No-one whose voice was so bad you felt embarrassed for them, because you're pretty sure they weren't embarrassed for themselves. No-one who was unaware of their lack of talent.

In fact, all of the people auditioning actually were talented. All of them could sing. And it turned out there was a reason for that. They had to be chosen just to audition, so most of them were professional singers.

But because the standard was so high there were singers who would have easily made the finals of Australian Idol who didn't even make the cut.

Each of the four coaches - Keith Urban, Seal, Joel Madden and Delta Goodrem - get to pick 12 contestants who they will then give advice to.

All of the coaches sit and listen to a performance with their backs to the contestant. However, they can see the audience and their reaction.

Because of that audience members are told to applaud, stand and generally express their approval loudly and obviously.

Perhaps because the talent level is high the coaches are also a lot nicer than on some of the other talent show auditions. There is really a lot less negative things you can say about someone who can actually sing.

The first singer I watch audition Rebecca Jensen doesn't get picked up by the judges despite them all saying she did a great job.

The same thing happens with the second contestant Shauna Jensen, who gets hugs from Delta and Urban as she leaves the stage after explaining that Rebecca is her daughter.

"I just didn't know what I could do with your voice," Madden explains why he had to pass.

However, Kelsie Rimmer, a 20-year-old singer with a guitar, from the Sunshine Coast, then gets up to perform Teenaged Dream.

I suddenly realise what the coaches are listening for. The audience is obviously engaged and her voice is not just good but emotive.

Not only does one coach turn around, but two. This means Keith Urban and Delta Goodrem then have to battle it out and convince Rimmer to choose them.

Rimmer is also a songwriter and tells the coaches that many of her songs come out of having a low self-esteem as a teenager.

"Great music is born of self-esteem issues," Urban tells her reassuringly.

She lets slip that she was a big Delta Goodrem fan when she was younger, so it's looking like the songstress has an unfair advantage.

But then she turns around and goes with Urban, who has obviously made a much more convincing case.

"Although Delta I admire you, I'm going with Keith," she says.

Another singer Taga Paa also gets to choose between Urban and Goodrem and again he chooses the country singer.

However, soon Goodrem is able to snag two contestants when she is the only coach to choose Sarah Lloyde and Matty Chaps.

The next phase of the competition is the battle rounds where coaches pick two members of their own team who have to sing the same song together.

The coach then has to choose one to stay and one to leave the competition.

It's just as well they all can sing. Otherwise it could be deafening.

The Voice stars on Sunday at 6.30pm on Nine.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West