The Voice 2019: meet the contestants

The Voice has now settled on its teams for 2019 with knockout rounds now underway.

Here’s how the teams have shaped up with a whopping 48 singers:

Team Delta

Luke Zancanaro (above)
Luke is a 25-year-old newlywed, who was just married in October 2018 to Tannah (who is auditioning as well). A professional musician, who is one of the most booked singers in Sydney is from a big Italian family who all go to everyone of Luke’s gigs.

Daniel Shaw
At age 12, Daniel toured the USA with his father who is his best friend. It was tough, learning so young how hard you have to work to make it as a musician. At the age of 18, he’s been busking for the last 10 years in Melbourne and whilst currently studying at Melbourne University, completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Linguistics, he would much prefer to be singing full-time.

Jordan Anthony Rabbone
Youngest male in the competition, 14-year-old Jordan, busks often, even self-funding his first album, ‘One World’, using the money raised from busking. His father, Sam Rabbone, was on The Voice, Season 4, but didn’t turn a chair. This time it is Jordan’s chance to turn a chair for the family.

Natasha Stuart
Currently battling Breast Cancer, Natasha is a professional singer living in Bondi. She wants to share her story to encourage young women to be vigilant with checking their breasts through regular breast examinations. Singing is a way of healing for her and is her escape from the harsh medical treatment. She’s more than ready to say ‘F*&% CANCER’ and be a beacon of light to others who are also suffering. As a backing vocalist, she has toured with Jimmy Barnes, Delta Goodrem, Boy George and Michael Bolton.

Zach Fawor
16-year-old Zach is a quiet kid who likes chess, public speaking, coding and debating. The youngest child in the family, he sees his brother as the one with brains and charm and his sister as the overachiever. He wants to be just as good by making something of himself as a musician. He is a hard-working perfectionist who volunteers at a Red Cross store in Suburban Sydney.

The Koi Boys
As The Voice’s first ever trio, The Koi Boys return as All Stars after making it to the Super Battle Rounds in Season 5. There was public outrage when Jessie J eliminated them; the public thought she had made the wrong decision. After The Voice, The Koi Boys have had a #1 album in New Zealand, have sung at the Singapore Grand Prix, the Commonwealth Games, and have had three sold out concerts. This time on The Voice stage, they hope to make it further, aiming to sing in the finals.

Erin Cornell
Erin is a musical theatre star, performing as ‘Elphaba’ in ‘Wicked’, at Universal Studios in Japan, as Mona in ‘A Class Act’, and in London as a lead vocalist for a Queen tribute concert.
She’s toured Asia as ‘Grizabella’ in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning stage show, ‘Cats’. In 2015, Delta Goodrem took over that role in Australia and Erin was her understudy. A spiritualist, she believes fully in the healing power of crystals.

Molly Waters
One of the youngest Artists this season, Molly wants to prove that age doesn’t matter and that she has as much stage presence as the older artists. A busy teen, she has a passion for musical theatre and celebrity impressions and loves to ice skate, rock climb and trapeze. With the experience from being part of The Voice Kids, where she was a member of #TeamMel, and with her “dad-ager” by her side, she’s ready for her shot at the big time.

Emma Sophina
In 2009, Emma was one of the “Miracles on the Hudson” – one of the 155 passengers and survivors on board flight US1549’s emergency landing on the Hudson River in New York City. Grateful to be alive, every day since the crash has been a bonus. Based in Nashville with her musician husband, she is excited about returning to Australia, to sing for her home audience and make the most out of her second chance.

Nathan Foley
Nathan was one of the original members of kids group Hi-5, staying with them for 10 years. A winner of five ARIA awards as well as three Logie Awards with the group, most of Nathan’s work now is based in the US. The hardest thing he’s grappled with post the Hi-5 era was being able to establish his solo career and not be seen as just a ‘kids show’ host. This year, Nathan is marrying his fiancé Nicolette, a professional model from Jamaica, and they hope to start a family soon.

Kimberley Bowden
18 months ago, Kimberley’s father suddenly died after a shock heart attack. He was her number one musical supporter, even learning guitar when she was young so he could accompany her singing. Winning awards at various country music festivals from ages 9-18 years, she moved to Nashville for music and this was an experience that forever changed her for the better. Dedicating this audition to her father, knowing he would have been proud of her achievements, she hopes the Coaches can hear her personal connection to the song.

Sheldon Riley
Sheldon returns as an All Star, fresh from Season 7, where he received a four chair turn, choosing his Idol Boy George as his Coach. Sheldon takes a massive gamble, returning to the stage again so soon, but his colourful character and extraordinary voice is sure to bring a vocal to the Blind Auditions that was worthy of his spot in the Grand Finale last year.

Team George

Diana Rouvas
Diana returns as an All Star to The Voice where she came fifth in Season 1 as part of Team Keith. Her defining moment on the show was her vibrant rendition of Beyoncé’s ‘Love on Top’ but she also floored the audience and the Coaches with her raw and soulful performance of ‘Stormy Monday’, which was not only goose-bump inducing, but technically flawless. Diana is a musician’s musician and is back to prove she is in it for the long haul.

Dezi K
36-year-old Dezi is known as the ‘Greek Rock Chick’. Married to music, her whole life has been about singing, and for the past seven years she’s toured globally. Now back in Brisbane gigging at night, Dezi is ready to take her musical journey to the next level.

Sellma Soul
Sellma, also known as Ethan Watson, was bullied severely throughout his school life, even having to eat lunch (for safety) with his teachers. He was once so badly beaten up, he was hospitalised. 2018 saw him compete in his first drag competition as Sellma Soul, where he was placed runner-up. Since the competition, Sellma Soul has been performing across QLD and has been welcomed with open arms by the LGBTQI+ community. One night he became an instant social media sensation when musician Sam Smith attended one of his shows and posted on Instagram about him, calling Sellma his ‘most favourite person in the world’. From a really close family, his father never misses a show and Ethan calls his dad, the ‘glue that holds our family together’.

Madi Krstevski
Madi is the quintessential pop princess who returns as an All Star to The Voice stage from last season where she was on Team Joe, being knocked out by Aydan in the Battles. Having turned two chairs last time, she has unfinished business with the competition. She very much has her eyes on the prize this time around.

Lee Harding
After competing in Australian Idol, Lee was known as the third runner up of Season 3. His single “Wasabi” spent 22 weeks in the ARIA charts – peaking at #1 for five consecutive weeks. Having a taste of fame, a label deal, having toured the country and having had number one songs, he lost it all in a flash. Now a family man, he is doing The Voice as he is now what he describes as his ‘true authentic self ‘and wants to show the audience that he has grown into an original and deeply passionate artist.

Oliver Cuthbert
Born female, 15-year-old Oliver is currently transitioning. Eight months ago, at an all-girls school, Oliver started hormone therapy and after suffering from bullying, enrolled at a Performing Arts School where he is currently flourishing. After starting with hormone therapy, Oliver had to learn to sing again. His parents are divorced and have both remarried so he now has four equally supportive parental figures who want Oliver to be happy. They are huge supporters of his decision, not only to transition, but to audition on The Voice.

Siena Fodera
Siena is not your average 13-year-old. When most of her friends are listening to the radio and singing current pop songs, she is all about the older styles of music. Her favourite artists include Etta James, Carole King and Aretha Franklin who she listens to on vinyl, on her record player. As the youngest artist ever in the history of The Voice, she is doing this to show everyone with more experience than her that she is ready and just as passionate as they are, despite her age and pocket rocket stature.

Vendulka
Vendulka grew up around a campfire. Living a hippie lifestyle, she moved out of home at age 15. Having just returned from 18 months in Canada, she works as a make-up technician and loves creating and making cruelty-free beauty products.

Carlos
An All Star who was on #TeamRicky in Season 3, Carlos is the ultimate redemption story because while suffering from technical issues in his final performance that resulted in personal disappointment with it, he is here again to prove that he can sing and that he is a star.

Loma Schaff
One of eight children, Loma lives in Mt Druitt in Western Sydney. He loves his local supportive community, but it’s a struggle each day to make ends meet. The gentle giant sees The Voice as a massive opportunity to create a better life for himself and his family. After battling with self-confidence issues, this is the biggest stage he’s ever performed on and he’s worried his nerves will get the better of him.

Burcell Taka
46-year-old Burcell is a stay-at-home dad whose wife is a CEO. Burcell works at a warehouse, packing groceries at night, where his co-workers call him ‘Pavarotti’. A loving father of two, he’s been raising a family for the last 13 years while putting his musical passion on hold….until now. Never having a formal singing lesson, he made a bet with his daughter to do The Voice.

Voli K
Voli is a Fijian albino who was an outcast in his homeland because of his rare condition. He works a 9-to-5 job in finance in Sydney and even though he loves his job, he would happily pack up the corporate suit to be a full-time musician and tour the world, showcasing his music.

Team Guy

Tannah Zancanaro
Tannah is a 24-year-old newlywed, whose father, a minister, married her in the church she’s been attending for the past 16 years. She married Luke who is also auditioning for The Voice. A full-time musician, she spends a lot of her time with her massive Christian family who she refers to as the “Von Trapps”.

Chynna Taylor
American born professional singer, music is in Chynna’s soul. She grew up playing music in church and credits church for starting her musical passions. Now living in Jarvis Bay, she’s been married for the past decade to an Australian who is in the Navy. She is fully committed to turning a chair on The Voice as a solo artist and for the opportunities this might bring.

Lara Dabbagh
16-year-old Lara auditioned for last Season but failed to turn a chair. All four Coaches agreed that she is destined to be a star. Kelly Rowland specifically said Lara was her ‘big regret’ as her team was full before Lara auditioned and even tweeted about Lara’s talent. Lara took their feedback on board and has spent the year growing as an artist and is back to turn a chair. Lara believes she has got what it takes to turn a chair this time around because everyone says they see a star in her, but can the Coaches hear a star in her this time?

Akina Maria
Born and raised in New Zealand, Akina is the eldest of seven children. As a full-time musical theatre performer, she was recently one of the stars of The Carole King musical ‘Beautiful’. She is auditioning for The Voice because she realises she is the one who is in control of her life, and the direction it takes.

Jesse Teinaki
Originally from Tasmania, Jesse is a sparkie living in Sydney after completing a four-year apprenticeship. In 2017 he released a single called ‘Come Back To Me’, raising money to help his mum with the enormous expenses associated with Pancreatic Cancer treatment. When he’s not singing (he supported Bon Jovi on their recent tour) he is surfing at Maroubra or Bondi Beach.

Mitch Paulsen
Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Mitch loves the water and spends as much time as possible at the beach. Having only sung twice in public, The Voice stage is his ultimate test. Musically, Mitch suggests his style is in the vein of John Mayer, Justin Bieber or Ed Sheeran. His 10-year-old Blue Staffy, Zeplin, is his best mate.

Chriddy Black
Chriddy’s father committed suicide when Chriddy was four, causing him in later years to become a champion and advocate for men’s mental health issues. In 2017, he came second in ‘Search for a Megastar’ Competition, winning $25,000 and a trip to Los Angeles to meet Usher and perform at the Grand Final, watched by an audience of millions and placing second overall.

Jessie Eilers
15-year-old Jessie is raised by her single father after her mum suddenly passed away in 2016. Her experience as a backup dancer / vocalist at Junior Eurovision where Australia came third, has made her want a career in entertainment. She will be wearing her mum’s necklace in her honour and is doing The Voice for her dad, who is her best friend and supporter and to make a new and positive future for the both of them.

Jack Vidgen
Jack found fame and fortune at age 14 when he won the 5th Season of Australia’s Got Talent, with the Australian public dubbing him the ‘Australian Justin Bieber’. His debut album, Yes I Am, was certified gold by ARIA, but after being flown all over the world, appearing at events and performing for thousands, he felt it a lonely and unenjoyable experience, which led him to resent and fear singing. Now 22, Jack has matured personally and professionally and is now ready to share his music again with Australia and the world. He has found the passion for singing once again.

Conor Smith
Conor’s mum, applied for Conor to enter The Voice without his knowledge. The 16-year-old is an old soul in a young body and looks like he is fresh out of Woodstock. When he’s not singing, he is working part-time in a surf/skate shop and is often found skating with his mates when he’s not jamming at home.

Jordy Marcs
Jordy’s little brother, Finn, applied to The Voice for Jordy, as Jordy would never have gotten around to doing it. 20-years-old, Jordy has been musically influenced by blues and rock. He writes music and jams with his brothers who travel Australia together, enjoying music festivals as a family.

Kim Sheehy
Kim returns as an All Star from Season 5, where she was on #TeamDelta, being eliminated just before the live shows started. Delta gave her ‘Both Sides Now’ to prepare but she was eliminated at the start of the show and never got to perform it. The comeback queen will be performing the song that she didn’t get to perform last time. Will this be the ultimate redemption?

Team Kelly

Zeek Power
Growing up in a very musical family, Zeek’s grandmother taught him chords and his father played in a band. His supportive family has no idea he is auditioning for The Voice, so this will be a total surprise to them. He recently married after an online long-distance relationship that was bonded over their common love of superheros. Zeek works for Youth Alive where he visits schools across QLD inspiring kids to pursue their passions. This time he is listening to his own advice, pursuing his own musical passion by auditioning for The Voice.

Prinnie Stevens
Prinnie Stevens returns to The Voice as an ALLSTAR, from Season 1 as part of #teamjoel, where she successfully battled her best friend Mahalia Barnes, making the top four in Joel Madden’s team. Following The Voice, she was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice and the co-host of The Voice Kids where she mentored the next generation of young Australian musicians. After performing on The West End she has been front and center in stage shows including Michael Jackson stage show, Thriller Live, and in leading roles in The Bodyguard and Rent even nabbing a Helpmann nomination in Oh! What A Night.

Amanuael Visser
Amanuael was adopted at eight months old from his homeland of Ethiopia. Working at a motel in regional Victoria that his parents manage, Amanuael knows he is destined for the stage as he’s been singing since he was a one-year-old. In 2016 he travelled to Los Angeles, meeting up with Siedah Garrett, an incredible singer-songwriter and was given the opportunity to record “Such A One”, a song that was actually written for Michael Jackson but never released. Recording it with esteemed musician Don Boyette in Beverly Hills, it’s now ready for release. Amanuael knows he is destined to be a star and is ready for bigger and better things.

Dakota Striplin
Music is in his blood, maybe from the influence of his grandmother who once worked for Elvis Presley (A family theory is that his Grandfather could be Elvis Presley, as a recent DNA test proved that his now Grandfather is not a blood relative). A Mormon, Dakota met his wife through church and has completed ‘missions’ all over the world. Now a music teacher, he wants to show his students and his new wife that anything is possible if you follow your dreams.

Mack Moses
Mack is doing The Voice for his sister who died of Lung Cancer last year, as she always wanted him to do the show. Mack is a father to an 18-month-old daughter Luna, who almost died at birth. For the past 20 years, he has performed as a DJ. He says he’s auditioning for The Voice to celebrate the memory of his sister as she lost the fight for her life, and for his beautiful daughter who fought so hard to save hers.

Kristie Mercer
Being a radio presenter on air at KIIS FM as one of ‘The Thinker Girls’, was a dream come true for Kristie. Behind the microphone, she has spoken about parts of her life that most people would shy away from – her battle with booze, ‘adulting’, and how she ended her nine-year personal relationship. The show was recently axed, she lost her dream job and found herself at the supermarket with her card being declined and virtually at rock bottom. From that moment she decided to return to singing after an absence of 10 years. It’s her time to be a solo act.

Denzel
20-year-old Denzel is the first rapper to appear on The Voice, Australia and will be doing something never done before in the Blind Auditions. His love for rap developed in Chemistry class at school, where while trying to remember his chemistry notes, he made a rap to recall them. One of five kids from a very close-knit family, his father is South African, and his mother is Australian. Denzel is doing The Voice to support his hard-working parents and to move away from modelling.

Henry Olonga
A motivational speaker, Henry was the first black cricketer for Zimbabwe, and played professional cricket for eight years in front of televised audiences of hundreds of millions of people. His involvement in political protests against the Mugabe Government caused him to be exiled from his homeland. He received death threats and fled to the UK. Starting a new life there, he met the love of his life and moved to her birthplace, Australia. They have two daughters who often tell him to stop singing.

Rebecca Selley
Rebecca is a 33-year-old professional singer who feels she is at the point where she wants a new challenge. A musical theatre star, she’s performed in lots of major theatre shows including The Lion King and The Carole King Musical. Whilst touring can disrupt the best of families, this isn’t the case for Rebecca, as she tours with her toddler and husband. She’s performed in front of thousands already, but nothing will be like performing in front of the whole of Australia.

Elsa Clement
At age nine, Elsa was in a car accident. Her face hit the dashboard, leaving her with such a bad jaw injury that meant she was likely to be unable to sing again. She proved doctors wrong and at the age of 12, joined a Reggae band ‘Kool Vibrations’ and has been performing in it for the past six years. 18-year-old Elsa works in a warehouse driving a forklift and packing boxes. Elsa and her family watch The Voice together, bonding over the show, so now it’s Elisa’s time to show her family and Australia why she should be on that stage.

Joey Dee
A cast member on Young Talent Time, in the 80’s Joey was a teen heartthrob. He is now seeking to re-ignite his career and find out if he can connect again with the current music industry.

Jazmin Varlet
Having auditioned every season for The Voice, this time it feels like a fresh start for Jazmin. Having been her mother’s primary carer, due to her mum being a victim of domestic violence (culminating in hospitalisation with brain damage), was tough on the 21-year-old. A professional singer, when she’s not teaching others as a vocal coach, she’s gigging, writing and recording.

6 Comments:

  1. daveinprogress

    very comprehensive coverage David, thank you. A strong line up. I don’t agree with the All Stars especially those who made the final round. It seems mighty unfair to me – not a level playing field. Returning yes from blinds previously, but Sheldon? Really.

  2. God I just loathe the format of the Voice. 48 contestants in which I’m struggling to remember one.
    No wonder it hasn’t produced a genuine star… the ruthless and sudden way in which these contestants are eliminated is bizarre. The whole thing is just about the judges.

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