The Voice’s first Sunday night became a little bit repetitive, but there were still some surprises along the way.
Ben Kelly, the show’s established favourite with a million views on YouTube for his first audition, was justifiably confident going into Battle, but he’d reckoned without the determined Ruth Anne St Luce.
Ruth Anne was the underdog going up against the bow-tied wonder for their Wanna Dance With Somebody rendition, but she nailed it, with some Whitney-worthy zingers, and overcame the fave to go through. The other judges remained astonished by Jessie’s decision.
And in the ultimate rock battle of the night, a nervous David Julien had to deal with the confidence-brrrrimmming John James Newman, to sing Dakota. Both had a lot riding on this, David having quit his job to participate, and John needing to compete with his Waterloo Road actor brother (not sure if he mentioned that, again) The searing tones of David outdid the husky, rough notes of John and he was through after a painful decision from Danny, but it was a storming duet – WATCH AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE...
OTHER SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:
Jessie was in uncompromising mood, telling both Cassius and Welsh David, they were missing something on Beat It. Both rose to the occasion, with most of the coaches favouring Cassius, but Jessie was the most torn anyone has been thus far, eventually opting for Cassius too.
Another 2 vs 1 badminton match was being waged between Becky, and Indie and Pixie. Tension surfaced as the pair didn’t think they were being given the big bits on Beyonce’s Irreplaceable, but that wasn’t the problem. Becky walked it.
It was the battle of the big voices for Leanne and Barbara, banging out Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory. There really wasn’t anything in it, making for a fantastic, professional-sounding duet. Full on, dance-round-your-handbags fantastic, performance of the show so far – with a reluctant Tom opting to take big-voiced Leanne.
Bit like a badminton match with three people, Lindsay Butler had to hold her own against folk duo Matt and Sueleen. This was all a bit weird, but Tom had said a single voice could steal a march here, but it was not to be. Two was just stronger than one, with Matt’s new blow-dry undoubtedly helping.
Adam Isaac’s nerves were on show for his sing-off with Denise Morgan – Sir Tom told him to “use them”. He did, and he was through.
Another problem pair that got on too well in the studio were Kate Read and Frances Wood, until Will said he preferred Kate’s voice – ouch! Gloves came off for Ironic on the night, although Jessie said she could hardly tell the difference between them, and Will changed his mind and opted for Frances.
Pub band Sophia Griffin and experienced backing singer J Marie Cooper both ended up shouting their way through Firework, which divided the panel. Will opted to support “the person I was when I was 17”, and got all misty-eyed again.
It seemed like Aleks Josh had lost the contest in the changing room, when he admitted to being intimidated up against Emmy J Mac (has she got a rock star’s name already) and unsure he could hit the notes. Sure enough, his Broken Strings were seemingly broken from the start, but somehow he slowly found his way, and Danny ended up tapping into his coach role – “I feel I have more to teach Aleks.” Poor Emmy.
Meanwhile, “I’ve probably been performing for more years than Hannah’s been on the planet,” said Murray, as they hit it for Kids. Youth triumphed over experience, and Hannah was through.
Here are all The Voice contestants - including those who didn't cut it (in black and white):