Kylie, Ricky turn the spotlight on finalists.
With all the attention on them, how do Voice coaches keep their acts in the limelight? Kylie & Ricky talk to TV Tonight.
Tonight each finalist will perform a duet with their coaches, but nobody was giving much away.
“They told us not to talk about (the duet),” Ricky Martin concedes.
“Connection. There is connection….”
“He’s taught me a lot about connection. So it’s good to do a song that means a lot to us,” adds Jackson Thomas.
“I’ve always been confident but from the Blind Auditions I was very introverted, and perceived (to be) on stage. Because I was. I was pretty intimidated. But we’ve talked a lot about open positions and to make sure that I’m not just someone who is making up the numbers.”
Thomas was originally selected by Kylie Minogue before being saved by Ricky Martin.
“The woman who had incredible vision was Kylie and then later on I saved him,” says Martin. “We were talking about this yesterday. The fact that I didn’t turn around on your audition doesn’t mean that I didn’t like what you were offering. Sometimes there’s strategy. There’s so much that goes on in those 4 or 5 days of auditions that it’s very hard to explain.”
“Even before the show when I was thinking about auditioning, I wanted to be on Ricky’s team. I was on Kylie’s team but everything happens for a reason,” Thomas explains.
“Everything he’s said I have connected with, and connected with his music as well on an emotional level. I just feel like we get along, and we do.
“Even watching last year, things he would say and advice he would give, I’d take that on board and try to use it myself.”
Thomas says Martin has empowered him with performance skills he has learned across his career.
“Don’t expect the audience to come to you. You have to bring them in and tell them a secret or story. That’s what draws a crowd in.”
“You just have to let the cosmos manifest, I think that way,” Martin adds. Deep.
“The thing is that we worked together and this is only the beginning of a very beautiful relationship of two professionals.”
But while The Voice has impressive contestants, it is driven by its celebrity coaches. How hard is it to ensure the contestants get their share of the spotlight?
“It’s a very smart show,” says Ricky Martin.
“We are a link to the audience. We present our followers to the artists of The Voice. But at the same time I wish I had what he had with this platform.
“From performing at home, or whatever it is that he used to do, to all of a sudden being seen by 3.5m people every night is extremely powerful. So for it’s about the audience. I will make noise. I will make a lot of noise for them.”
Kylie Minogue agrees there has to be a balance between the attention afforded to the coaches and that of the contestants.
“I’ve loved the banter between us coaches, but as a fan of the show I think it’s a vital part, and entertaining, to see people like us in a different to doing an interview or promoting a song or whatever. But it really depends on the characters that you have in the team,” she says.
“One thing my sister said to me before I signed on The Voice UK, when I asked ‘What do you think?’
“First thing she said was ‘I think you will really enjoy mentoring, don’t worry I think you will be great!’ But she couldn’t stress enough it’s the combination of who you have on the panel, or in our case in the chairs.
“I think that hasn’t overwhelmed the talent, but it can do when you’re not singing. These guys come out and perform and you’re just blown away, as we are.”
Rollins was chosen by Minogue at his Blind Audition -but it was a near miss. She only turned on the very last word of his song, Beneath Your Beautiful.
“It’s been quite a trip from day one until now. It’s very blurry but when I get a chance to kick back at home and take it in, it’s nice to recap on how it’s all panned out,” he admits.
While Minogue worked with will.i.am on The Voice UK, she had never met Joel Madden, and had only sung on stage with Ricky Martin in 2001.
“I can say I’m one of the fortunate few to have shook my bon-bons with Ricky Martin!” she laughs.
“The show itself I’ve described as ‘gladiatorial.’ It’s big! They told me it was quite a different vibe to the UK one, but it’s different when I experienced it.”
Despite its obvious similarities, there are differences with the UK production, and Minogue seems to be favouring the local version.
“The show is representative of (Australia) with our ‘smallish’ population and the level of talent I am blown away with the voices we’ve heard, characters that we’ve met and they’re attitude as well,” she continues.
“I’d say most people are a bit like Johnny –but he takes the cake- at being quietly determined, working really hard, definitely not afraid of hard work and having a grounded attitude.”
Indeed while she is known for keeping an aura of mystery about her, Minogue is relaxed and playful with her first fulltime foray into Reality Television.
“I couldn’t dial it down if I tried. I am a responsive person and I react! Therefore I am darting off in different directions,” she insists.
“I feel back in my own self. It’s a while ago that I was ill, but that stuff takes some time and I feel good in myself. Doing The Voice UK was a great start for me. You have no choice in these shows but to let go, and its quite scary but quite liberating at the same time.”
There are rumours she signed a two year deal for the show. So will she be back in 2015?
“I honestly don’t know,” she explains coyly.
“We’re so amongst this that I have to get over the finish line, but it’s been a lot of fun. A great team.”
The Voice grand final airs tonight with ZK, Anja Nissen & Frank Lakoudis. Live 7:30pm on Nine (NB: TV Tonight blogging Live results AEST).