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Seven’s “all killer, no filler” Voice.

As Sonia Kruger returns to a trimmed-down Voice, she is happy the format has evolved.

With The Voice moving from Nine to Seven the show has revamped its coaching panel and its format.

Blind Auditions take place across three weeks but from there it will be a quicker jaunt to the Grand Final. Returning is the “block” in which Coaches can prevent another from choosing an artist. But this year there is no limit on how many places are on each team.

“The thing I like about the show is the way the way it’s been reshaped,” says returning host Sonia Kruger.

“There are unlimited numbers that the coaches can take, but then they have to make the cut. And that is quite brutal, because they have to cut them down to five artists each.

“We want to get to the crux of it a little bit faster”

‘It’s all killer, no filler, as we like to say. It’s important that shows like The Voice evolve. Much like the way that Big Brother has, because our viewing habits have changed. We want to get to the crux of it a little bit faster. It still breathes where it needs to but we’d seen enough of the battles and now we get through to those Finals faster.”

Filming took place in March – April before a Sydney lockdown and unlike the 2020 season on Nine, a studio audience was allowed.

“With shows like The Voice and Australia’s Got Talent an audience is kind of integral. The artists need to hear that feedback from the audience to get them through those performances. We were really lucky this year that we managed to shoot it in a time where restrictions weren’t as stringent.”

Guy Sebastian returns as coach along with Keith Urban, who coached on the debut season in 2012. They are joined by Australian Idol runner-up Jessica Mauboy and UK singer Rita Ora.

“Maybe that’s because I haven’t worked with with either of them before”

“Rita really surprised me. She’s beautiful, a British pop star -but she’s actually very well educated and really articulate. I think that’s the thing that I loved about all of our coaches, but in particular Keith and Rita. Maybe that’s because I haven’t worked with with either of them before,” Kruger reflects.

“Keith was so considered in his responses and incredibly intelligent and same with Rita. So was Guy for that matter, and Jess. They just come at it from a slightly different perspective. Jess has very much walked in those shoes. She auditioned 15 years ago. She has a huge amount of empathy and Guy knows the business inside and out.”

Yet if there are any lingering questions for The Voice, and it applies internationally to the format, is its ability to create recording stars. Is the show more about the coaches than the singers?

“There have been people who, seemingly to me, have had more success internationally”

“There have been people who, seemingly to me, have had more success internationally as a result of winning The Voice. I think Judah Kelly and Sam Perry ended up in London doing quite a bit of work, pre pandemic,” she suggests.

“It is a good question but it’s one that I find difficult to answer, because I’m not part of the recording industry in Australia. It’s probably a better question for somebody like Guy, Keith or Rita.”

Industry pundits also commend Sony for its ability to foster Idol talent than Universal Music has done with The Voice. Yet the recording industry has also evolved over the years, shifting from physical to digital sales in an age of social media.

Kruger maintains that there is no shortage of talent, despite the naysayers who suggest our population limits our pool talent.

“That attitude always surprises me, because not only are there huge amounts of untapped talent in the country,” she continues.

“We went back to that initial brief, which was to uncover those rough diamonds”

“We went back to that initial brief, which was to uncover those rough diamonds. People that aren’t professional backup singers, or singing teachers. People who are going about their everyday lives, who just have this incredible talent.

“Every year, there are more people coming through. That’s the other thing. The population isn’t a stagnant 25 million or whatever we are. The population continues to replenish and so does the talent.”

So who should we look out for this year? Kruger points to some early rough diamonds.

“There’s some amazing performers right from the get go. A 16 year old girl kicks it off, but she doesn’t sound 16. Mick the Mower Man mows lawns for a living. He has two gorgeous little girls and every time he performs it kills me, because they just look at him with such adoration, so in love with their daddy.

“She’s got a really otherworldly voice”

“There’s another girl named Bella. She’s got a really otherworldly voice. She speaks with a really soft voice but when she sings her voice changes completely.

“And I do love the siblings, Jordan and his sister Sian. She was just there to support Jordan. And basically I said, ‘Why don’t you audition?’ So completely unprepared she gets up and performs. For somebody who was given zero notice, she does an incredible job.

“They’re probably the ones I would definitely keep an eye out for in the early days. But there’s so many more to come.”

The Voice returns 7pm Sunday and continues Monday and Tuesday on Seven.

20 Responses

  1. I’m so underwhelmed. It got sacked on 9 because fans lost faith in a format which was too dependent on back stories and when judging, there was more love than Jersey Shore. Guess what, nothing has changed…

  2. Removing the limit takes away one crucial element of the format. I suspect to it has been done so they can edit the performance order more.

    The Voice is such a poor format though for delivering stars compared to Idol and X Factor – they’ve not really had anybody of note worldwide after a decade. Streamlining the format doesn’t help that too – 2-3 weeks of performances just isn’t enough of a showcase compared to the 10 weeks these formats used to have.

    1. 100% exactly right. Removing team caps means they can move it all around and construct any narrative they see fit… which will just lead to an inauthentic feel to the whole show. The ego on these fools at Seven who think they can just bend and change formats to suit their needs…the house of cards will come crashing down eventually.

      Plus, the idea that they would be getting back to basics with real Aussies having a go? Lol. That has never been a format point of the show, if anything the opposite. The show was at its best in season one and two when it had probably the most pro lineup of contestants ever on a competition singing show in au. That was it’s hook.

      Expect a big number off the back of the olympics, but then it will plummet. The shark has well and truly jumped here.

  3. I hate the idea that some teams could have 10-12 singers and before the next round they don’t even get a chance to get through. They’re just “cut”. How devastated would you be to get through the blinds only to be told, sorry thats it. I mean at least with the battles you got a chance.

    1. How devastating is it that “The Voice” isn’t every day Australians but mainly made up of people who are in the industry or have connections in the industry and are invited to join the show.

      How divesting is it that “The Voice” doesn’t really produce any memorable talent coming from it.

      1. “We went back to that initial brief, which was to uncover those rough diamonds. People that aren’t professional backup singers, or singing teachers. People who are going about their everyday lives, who just have this incredible talent.”

  4. Well, judging from the 90 minute runtime for the first episode, I’d say Seven haven’t learnt from Nine’s mistakes. The long runtimes for The Voice are too much – they need to contained at 60 minutes, 75 maximum. Idol ran overtime on occasion, but not as frequently as The Voice does, if I recall correctly.

    Air more episodes if you can’t fit everything into an hour. For me, this is one of the things that killed the Nine version for me – excessively long episodes which led to a lot of filler.

    On another note, Seven really needs to invest in more hosts. Sonya Kruger’s presence across every show is beyond irritating now. There are other hosts out there.

  5. “ We want to get to the crux of it a little bit faster. It still breathes where it needs to but we’d seen enough of the battles and now we get through to those Finals faster.”

    My god does 7 actually read viewer feedback? The reason no one on the Voice has ever truly made it is because we dont get to know the contestants. By the time you might choose ro get behind someone the show is over and no one follows the winner after.

    This show is all about quick ratings and coach self promotion more than fostering talent and helping the “artists”. Thats okay too but dont try and pretend they care about the participants lol!

    Another season i wont be watching.

    1. This year it’s more about watching hundreds audition over 3 weeks, then maybe 20 run through the next 2-3 weeks, then it’s over. It is more about rebooting for maximum viewers than a proper singing contest like Idol.

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