The Voice drops Carmen from Team Joel

A scandal has rocked The Voice with singer Carmen Smith being dropped from the show because she appeared in a music video, singing on Guy Sebastian’s latest single, Gold.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Smith was dropped because Nine deemed her appearance as giving her an an “unfair advantage” over contestants.

Channel Nine’s director of development Adrian Swift said, “This was not a decision we … took lightly. Our priority … is all of the artists are on a level playing field.”

Smith said, “It saddens me that I am leaving The Voice earlier, much earlier, than I had hoped.

“However, I’ve loved every minute of it and respect the decision that has been made.”

Many of The Voice contestants have enjoyed professional engagements, with about half the acts being invited to appear on the show by producers.

However, once they reached the blind auditions, there were contractual restrictions regarding professional work.

It’s not the first time Reality contestants have been booted for breaching the rules with MasterChef‘s Mat Beyer famously booted last year for using a smartphone. The Biggest Loser kicked out contestant Luke Stephens in February for being drunk in The Biggest Loser camp.

It isn’t clear whether Smith will be replaced by Michelle Serret-Cursio whom she defeated in the Battle Rounds.

Updated: A Nine release states: “In a move determined to be in the spirit of the show, Joel Madden’s team member Carmen Smith, will leave The Voice prior to the live shows on Monday.

“Carmen has a significant role in the new music video from Guy Sebastian and as such would be deemed to have an unfair advantage as the show moves into the public voting stage as the video is on current release and highly visible.”

“Nine Network Director of Development Adrian Swift said: ‘This was not a decision we and Team Joel took lightly. Our priority as we move into the voting period toward the finale is that all of the artists are on a level playing field. In our business we are often confronted by these tough decisions and unfortunately at this time it’s been decided that it isn’t appropriate for her to remain in our competition. We wish Carmen well and thank her for a wonderful contribution to the show thus far.'”

In the spirit of the show? Seriously? In the spirit of the show the host should have been sacked after appearing on Mornings and blasting a former contestant.


  1. steve sydney

    So the girl is not expected to earn a living while she waits to see if the country crowns her “The Voice” or not? Very poor form

    Although.. if those are the rules (as crazy as they are) and she broke them. What can you expect?

  2. @ Kathy, the coaches on the voice are from different record labels. Seal is with Warner, Good Charlotte with EMI, Delta with Sony and Keith is with EMI Nashville. So I dont think it would be label related.

    @ John, the blind auditions and the battle rounds were both recorded before the series first started airing. In the interim the contestants returned home. They arent in lockdown during the show.

    Its also been reported that there were retrictions regarding professional work once they were selected for the blind auditions.

  3. Now they’ve booted her from the competition will they take her performances off iTunes and stop making money from her voice. I think not.

  4. Carmen is a semi professional like all the others.
    What about Mahalia Barnes. She recorded with The Tin Lids years ago. This show will now go under 2 Million.

  5. @Guy: The rules are, a contestant can be a professional singer, as they are looking for Australia’s best voice, but a contestant cannot release anything while on the show!

    And an ACA Report said: “Producers of The Voice have offered Carmen the chance to perform “Gold” on next Mondays show, along side Guy Sebastian”.

    Wow, wonder if Guy will accept. Would probably cause some tension if he does!

  6. The show has turned into a joke. So its ok for Delta Goodrem to have her backup singer and what about the contestants who already have experience or even released music? Sorry but you have to feel sorry for Carmen. Time to switch off. I feel sorry for the contestants because the show has no care for them.

  7. Just another reason why i am getting sick of ‘reality’ tv shows, because there really is nothing real about them! Since i found out that My Kitchen Rules ending was fake because they filmed both as ‘winners’ (i knew there was something fishy about it even before this site confirmed it), and now this! Plus the rumours that Masterchef contestants get recipes given to them etc. I am becoming very disillusioned about all the shows.
    I started out liking the Voice, but even before this story, i stopped watching it last week because it seemed to be becoming just like Idol was in its last 3 seasons. eg they choose ‘appealing’ contestants who are singing out of tune, trying to hide it by having alot of backup singing, tell the people how wonderful they are. A prime example was the guy who sang the One Direction song, he was terrible! Anyway i think i will start watching some of my dvd movies again & steer clear of all this farce they call reality!

  8. I, for one, haven’t been voting because of association to high profile musician friends.. In fact it turns me off them, Carmen was the only exception because she hasn’t been slapped in our faces like some of the other contestants.

  9. Could it be that Guy was consciously or subconsciously sabotaging Carmen in an effort to help his brother by removing one of the competition???

  10. Guy Sebastian’s clip was released under the Sony label and The Voice has a contract with rival record company Universal.

    Conspiracy? mmmmmm

    Oh well, at least the ‘terms and conditions’ for voting covers the loss of 55c to each person that voted for her.

  11. It’s crazy! Carmen has not been receiving as much promo time as the seemingly fave contestants & the fact that she works with Guy anyway — it’s ridiculous that she’s been booted out. She is an incredible singer & amazing talent – that’s her real & only advantage!

  12. Is this just an excuse for Joel to bring back Mahalia (after the controversy of her elimination)? If so, will she then be forced to withdraw from her current tour commitments with her father?

    I agree in that Carmen has been recording with Guy for years. This song was recorded awhile back – however I can understand that maybe she should not have appeared in the music video?

    Chris, Glenn and Prinnie are linked with high profile Aussie singers too – so would it be an “even playing field” with the exposure they had previously gained? I’m sure Guy fans are voting for Chris, for example. Celebs such as Jessica Mauboy have been using Twitter to rally their fans behind their friends.

    Plus, I agree with Butterfly Carnage. Rachel Leahcar is definitely given an advantage in terms of promotion. It reminds me of the way AGT hyped Jack Vidgen.

    It’ll be interesting to see where this plays out.

  13. John Jackson

    This is all very strange. Surely the producers and so on would have known about her involvement beforehand? Also The Voice is done in Sydney whilst Guy’s video was recorded in Melbourne, so they must have known she was having some time out to go interstate, and they didn’t say anything beforehand?

    I thought this show was actually trying to court those already in the spotlight (and allowing them to still do their gigs, etc) somewhat but as Colin says, it has now probably been now seen as a negative by many.

  14. Err…did people miss this bit:

    “However, once they reached the blind auditions, there were contractual restrictions regarding professional work.”

    She obviously went outside the scope of the limitations and had to be dropped. As for having a go at Chris, what was he suppose to do, say no to the show just because his brother is a singer? Get real people, it is a massive opportunity to get a leg up in a very hard industry and no sane person would have declined it.

  15. obviously a total publicity stunt, they have such good ratings surely they do not need to jeopardise the integrity of the show for more viewers at this stage.
    i thought the show prides itself on being a wholesome alternative to The X factor? cutting short someones dreams just because they didn’t comply with the fineprint of a ridiculous contract hardly seems the way u’d go about it.

    funny how this is turning out, Idol and X factor usually ended up being won by someone ordinary looking but could sing really well. now “The Voice”, is left with a bunch of really good looking people that can’t sing while the ordinary looking ones that can sing are leaving.

  16. From talking to friends inside the Sydney music scene, this has pissed off a lot of the current and future contestants and musos. When The Voice went out and recruited these established singers, they were told that they could continue working – and now they are being punished for it?! Carmen has been recording with Guy for years, the producers knew this when they contacted her!

    So much for being about the Voice! And good luck trying to get any established singers to try out next season – all the producers have done is affirm the opinion that real singers should stay away from these TV singing competitions – which is sad because the exposure they can gain is priceless.

  17. Sour grapes from the Voice it would seem!

    That sucks, maybe she can audition next year, so she will have the exposure of the show, Guy’s video and being cut to her name. Should put her in good stead for next year…

    I agree with others who have said certain contestants have had unfair advantages..
    Glenn is the most obvious one, Delta’s been tailoring everything to suit him. Disgusting.

  18. oh what a shame because I like her but on a more positive note, there’s one less competition for Prinnie, yay!!

    and on a much better note, it only proves that Guy doesn’t believe in the talent of his brother Chris, hahaha!

    I wish The Voice would bring in either Mahalia or Michelle to fill in Carmen’s slot…

  19. This is a bit of a farce. Channel 9 went out hunting for talented singers… they recruited already established singers. Even Delta Goodrem turned around for one of her own back-up singers. Chris Sebastian surely has an unfair advantage, I remember him releasing a song a while back… and singing on morning TV. Mahalia Barnes anyone?

    I think this has more to do with Guy Sebastian being a judge on The X Factor than anything else.

  20. Butterfly Carnage

    Level playing field? Did the Adrian Swift say it with a straight face? Guy Sebastians brother & Delta’s backup singer don’t have advantages? And the way they are promoting Rachael Leahcar she doesn’t she have an advantage?

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