Does The Voice have too many returning singers?

The Voice has been inundated with familiar singers this year.

Australian Idol, The X Factor and even The Voice itself….. they came and sought their moment in Reality TV all over again. Some have already had mentoring, recording and touring.

These singers all won a place in Nine’s 2018 season:

  • Chrislyn Hamilton (Team George) was on Australian Idol 2008 and finished fifth.
  • Emma Fitzgerald (Team George) was on The Voice 2017 but was not successful at her Blind Audition.
  • Maddison McNamara was on The Voice 2016 on Team Madden but was eliminated in the Battle Rounds.
  • Bella Paige (Team Kelly) was runner up on The Voice Kids 2014 and represented Australia at Junior Eurovision.
  • Brock Ashby was on The X Factor NZ 2013 in boyband Moorhouse, coming fourth.
  • Nathan Brake (Team Delta) was on Australian Idol 2009 and finished fourth.
  • Trent Bell (Team Delta) was on The X Factor 2012 and was signed to Sony as part of boyband The Collective.
  • Jacinta Gulisano (Team Delta) was on The X Factor 2013 in Third Degree and came fourth.
  • Sally Skelton (Team Joe) was on The Voice 2017 but was eliminated during the Battle Rounds.
  • Aydan Calafiore (Team Joe) was on The Voice 2017 but no chair turned.

Another contender had also been a contestant on The Voice in Croatia, but failed to impress Australian coaches.

Whilst many artists have to overcome knockbacks and persist in order to attain success, the amount of returnees has meant some newcomers missed out on their shot.

Is it time at least to decline those who were previously mentored on The Voice in order to allow others a chance?

A Nine spokesperson says there are no restrictions on singers having been on other talent shows.

“The only restriction is a minimum age, which is 15, and they can’t be signed to a current record deal,” they said.

This year Nine also bent the rules to allow 14 year old Leo Abisaab to audition a few days before his 15th birthday.


  1. To me it’s so cringeworthy how the judges have thier little sing along with the singer (especially Delta) instead of just shutting up to listen. Then the huge big dramatic motion (especially Delta) to push the button like they’re God’s saviour and it’s all ‘look at meeeee, i did it i pushed it and I’m now in the spotlight for 3 seconds as i turn, yes look, i chose them and i matter!

  2. Chryslyn Hamilton also appeared on AGT in 2012. I’m ok with returning artists if they were hard done by or have improved over a few years.

  3. I have been saying this for a decade,that Australia does not have that talent anymore.These programs need to be shelved for a few years then come back after that.I can’t understand why these shows continue to rate when you have people turning up time and time again.I think it’s a joke when you have someone return a year later on the same program singing the same song.Pure waste of time.Thank god for Foxtel

  4. I don’t think it’s fair to say there has ben zero success for Voice contestants. Winners perhaps but Celia Pavey who came second on Team Delta is now incredibly successful under the name Vera Blue having played festivals, multiple ARIA nominations and overseas tours. and I’m sure there are other artists who have also had successes that we just don’t hear about

    • I think both sides are true. We don’t hear about the jobbing performers who are busy in pubs, clubs and corporates (Prinnie Stevens, Mahalia Barnes, Darren Percival, Karise Eden). But it is also true the show is yet to create a “star.” In fact even international versions seem to be low on that front. It’s something I asked Sonia Kruger in recent story here.

  5. It doesn’t worry me in the slightest. In fact, I get a little bit excited when I see someone like Nathan Brake who I adored on Idol getting another shot. The idea that if it hasn’t happened for them yet, they’re not talented enough doesn’t fly with me. There are so many talented musicians out there who just need the right launchpad. The Voice could be that launchpad. Who knows?

  6. I think it’s ok if they’ve auditioned for other shows before. Plenty of these shows cross-pollinate. The fact remains that The Voice Australia is yet to produce a viable artist. Australian Idol launched a stack of singers that still have careers. X Factor launched a few (technically Trent did get a record deal). But the Voice has failed. I think it’s because they produce a show that’s all about the drama and the winning judge, it’s not about the artists. Great for ratings but sucks for the talent.

  7. Now there be a new singing competition for those with past singing/music industry experience. “The Returned” or “Back from the Dead” coming soon !!!

  8. It’s always frustrated me that the voice did not have cattle call auditions Like idol, AGT and X factor. It’s only really available to a closed circle of established performers that are already in a talent agencies contact book. It just reinforces that the format has little intention of being a credible talent search/competition and is made purely for the tv screening. Frustrating that ratings have rewarded this format over others in recent years.

    I don’t have a problem with people auditioning for multiple formats if they don’t make it past the early stages, people need 2nd, 3rd, 4th chances. But some of them that made top 4 or 5 in the past have had their chance, now just robbing someone else of theirs.

  9. Funny you should post this – We were just discussing this yesterday. I was under the impression that the producers actually contacted these previous participants because of lack of interesting contestants? Plus also why did they keep some of the best voices to perform last, when there was only 1 place left?

  10. No – there absolutely should be restrictions if you’ve already been on The Voice. Ok if you didn’t have the chair turn and left at the blinds, but not ok if you have gone further. As for other shows, they’re all different so not relevant – go on as many different shows as you can, but one shot on the same show I say. Even though not really the same, pretty sure this was the rule with game shows (and may still be) – eg – if you’ve made it past auditions and onto the show, then you can’t go on again.

    I recall doing game show auditions with my wife years ago and we would see many of the same people applying and auditioning, some had even made it onto TV in other shows. With Letters and Numbers you were not allowed to audition again if you had been on the show before.

  11. Steven Kaye

    It’s a little suspicious. Then again, I’ve always suspected the “blind auditions” have never been completely “blind”.

  12. Yes it does. Look at your poll, what do people think Aussie tv lacks the most — originality. This is the lowest rating season of the Voice on record so that means there’s something wrong. I saw on Facebook they had an opera singer on there and none of them turned their chairs. They can’t say it’s too niche and wouldn’t translate to commercial success because every winner from every past season has failed to fire commercially.

    • The young opera singer was outstanding. Boy George’s (the only judge with a spot left) lack of interest made me wonder what was going on. In the end the singer he chose was quite incredible also. However the whole thing was promoted as “the biggest shock of the year” on fb. Pretty sure the young opera singer will go far without the aid of The Voice though.

  13. As said above, they have run out of talent….

    These singing shows are getting as dull as their contestants. Unlike Idol or X Factor, The Voice has never produced a star. The winners fade into obscurity faster than flatulence in the wind. It is just a vehicle for people with relevance deprivation syndrome to try and get another moment or to increase their “insta” fans.

    It’s vacuous rubbish and with the viewer numbers dropping by around 25% year on year, it would appear that a big chunk of the audience has grown tired of the same old same old tired formula as well…….

    • I actually don’t agree they have run out of talent, Australia still has a wide pool. There are some excellent singers this year, but several newcomers were sent home when repeat artists were accepted. It’s an open question, not suggesting my view is the only view.

  14. daveinprogress

    Yes I agree it’s not a level playing field in any way shape or form! It does seem especially so this year. I recall a few seasons ago when Lyn Bowtell made it through the battle rounds maybe beyond – and she was a multi award winning Golden Guitar winner and recording artist. The guy from the boy band from X Factor especially seems unfair and the Australian Idol guy that proposed marriage.

    • Oh that’s where I’d seen him before. They hadn’t mentioned that people had on Idol or X Factor before, only prior Voice. I do think that if they were mentored before that should be it. Having said that in the first few seasons there seemed to be a lot more professionals auditioning than there is now, so swings and roundabouts? I did love that no one turned for the Croatian singer, when she previously had four turns. That was Gold.

    • harrypotter1994

      Trent Bell and Delta Goodrem were signed to the same record label so probably bumped into each other in the Sony offices and attended some of the same parties. Little bit strange.

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