On Saturday night, the battle commenced and 12 acts fought it out to stay in the competition... Including me. I was up against the exceptional Christina Marie singing The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, but singing it in the girl's key, more Gabrielle Alpin. Another battle was going on at the same time and it was the battle of the ratings. In the past viewing figures have dropped dramatically after the blind auditions, yet for a second week running The Voice just beat Ant and Dec. Upon seeing in the TV guide that the show was set to be over two hours long, knowing I was at the end, I was worried I wouldn't contain my nerves, but the hours flew by.
It's crazy to think my Voice journey started nearly seven months ago and here it's over in two weeks and in screen time all of 15 minutes. I've known the outcome of the battle for months now and it's been a long wait to finally see what happened that night, my memory was all a blur.
Battle Selections -
So going all the way back to the Battle selections. I remember that day all of us lined up awaiting Ricky - I was stood next to Beth McCarthy trying to distract our nerves by telling jokes. Then Ricky arrived and gave us the nicest of chats to put us all at ease. He told us that he was as nervous as us and that he'd chosen the pairings based on what he thought would make the best DUET and also the best YouTube video, ha! After all, he said, that's where people will be watching these for years to come (we hope).
We'd been trying to figure out who would be paired with who. I thought I'd have been paired with Jamie Lovatt and we were set to rock out on something. I know none of the girls wanted to be up against Christina's powerhouse vocal but I had no idea it was going to be me! So we were told we had been given The Power of Love... but the girl's version. The last part didn't even register. What you don't see on TV is us running downstairs and plugging in our iPhones desperately trying to find somewhere we could listen to the song. You then get 10mins with your vocal coach, ours was the brilliant Yvie Burnett. Yvie is incredible and has coached a host of incredible singers during her career. She quickly gave us lyric sheets and played us the song twice through in the arrangement we would be singing. I remember thinking, 'God, this is high'! Then, time was up. That was all you got before you were sent back upstairs to run through it again but this time with Ricky and the brilliant Katy B. We'd hardly looked at the song!
We'd been having a laugh so Christina and I decided to enter with me giving her a piggy back. We had been having so much fun. So we sang the song a couple of times and waited for a critique... Ricky said he'd got goosebumps on his goosebumps and Katy B said she felt like she'd just been treated to an intimate duet with Michael Bolton and Mariah Carey! I mean, that blew us away. Then Ricky told us not to battle but 'act' it out as a love duet. It's really hard to do that with someone you only properly met that morning, but we gave it ago. Christina closed her eyes and imagined I was David Tennant... ha!
So before we knew it, we were done and it was time to go home. I walked Christina to the tube and scurried home to try and get my head around the song. It was then, sitting on the tube, I properly realised that this was in the female key... to keep up with Christina I'd only have the top, top, top of my range to sing in where as she'd have all her notes available. I probably should have said something around the piano but hey, I like a challenge, so figured I'd just have to work hard and try to keep up with her.
The day of the battles is all a bit of a haze. I remember we all had to be at the studio at 7am to start getting ready. We would get our 'outfits' and a photo with Ricky on the stage. Into make-up and hair, then get ready to battle. The pressure was intense that day. You don't know when you are going to sing, in what order or anything really so you don't want to over warm-up or over practice. Thank God we had the brilliant backstage team to keep us fed, watered and in high spirits. I had great fun larking around in the make-up room!
As fate would have it Christina and I were last to sing. It was now nearly 11pm. We were tired as it had already been a long day but we had to muster up all we had for this one powerhouse moment. We were told just before we went on "Kylie is the only person left with a steal". I remember thinking 'Damn, that diminishes the chances of both of us going through', which is what I'd really hoped for. So we stood at opposite sides of the studio waiting to go on stage. I remember seeing my family through a gap in the curtains and my belly started to flip with nerves! I'm so glad I was paired with Christina as instead of throwing fighting daggers across at each other we were waving and blowing each other kisses of good luck. We just wanted to put on the best performance we could! Nerves on edge we stepped out and gave it all we had!
The comments after were amazing. Including Will.i.am saying this -
I mean that was an incredible feeling. Tom also made a great comment about the difficulty of choosing song keys and noted that it was definitely in the female key - also saying "I mean, I couldn't sing as high as Nathan just did". That blew me away. I mean that's SIR Tom Jones!
So that was it. After little deliberation Ricky chose Christina (he hates dramatic pauses) and I knew the only way I could stay in the competition was if Kylie stole me. Sadly she didn't and my Voice journey was over. I remember Marvin giving me a great big hug and saying, "It's crazy man, you were so, so good". As I was leaving Ricky ran over to me and said "I'm so sorry but this is not the end, I want to be real friends not just TV friends, so please keep in touch". This meant a lot to me and he's kept his word as he frequently checks in and we've had a few beers since. If new-found friendships are all that comes from the show, I'll be happy. I was honoured to be a part of it all... and of course I won't give up. I did love watching it back last night and seeing all the things I'd missed, like my beautiful girlfriend Elise shouting "Robbed", ha... Thanks for that :).
It was now getting really late, so we were separated and I had to run upstairs, get changed and get back to the hotel. I remember leaving shellshocked. I was re-united with my family and my buddies Shayne Ward and cast mate from Rock of Ages Simon Lipkin, who had come up to support. They were all far more gutted than me. I was just happy I'd made it thorough the day and received the feedback I did. We headed back to the hotel where I found a chirpy Kenny Thompson nursing a pint. We weren't told the outcomes of what had happened to others, so not to spoil it for the acts performing the next day, but we sat trying to figure it all out. Kenny is a gent and super-talented. I'm sure we will see more from him.
So that's it. Hope you have enjoyed the blog and enjoyed our version of Power of Love. I'll be going back to watch the live shows in the audience so will keep on blogging.
Christina and I have loved hearing your responses, thanks for all the amazing feedback. We wanted to make the best battle we could and I'm so proud of what we did together.
Please say hello on twitter or Facebook! @theamzi - Facebook.com/nathan.amzi
And here is the full thing incase you missed it! -