Guy Sebastian has made an extraordinarily candid comment about the singers featured on The Voice ahead of the new season airing next week.
Guy Sebastian is putting it bluntly.
Opening up in a candid interview with The Daily Telegraphthe singer, 40, said anyone hoping to become a bona fide popstar hot off the back of a season on The Voice should lower their expectations.
australian idol winner Sebastian, whose success stemmed from his own singing competition win in 2003, said The Voice is too short a process to produce an instant chart-topper.
“I think there’s no chance for anyone unless they are prepared to be thrown to the wolves, it’s a really challenging industry and it’s changed a lot in the last 20 years,” Sebastian said.
“It’s unrealistic to have this notion that we’re finding a superstar because we’re removing one of the most important equations out of that, which is time.”
He went on to point out that australian idol – which aired back in the early 2000s when the industry was a whole different ball game – held audiences captive for longer, familiarizing them with the talent.
“The Voice is an amazing stepping stone the same way that idol was, goal idol (went for triple) the time, so getting Australia to really know the artist is the difficulty and they need to keep that exposure up, and that’s very difficult for them to do.”
This year, the format has been tweaked slightly to include a “golden button” during The Cut round, where the most impressive wannabe stars can skip directly to the Battles round.
But Sebastian mused the slight change could further block the “golden ticket” winners from post-show success.
“The only thing that I struggle with is you put someone through with that and there’s already limited amounts of time that they get to perform, so you don’t get to hear them develop in the same way as other singers.”
Last year’s winner Bella Taylor Smith, who was coached under Sebastian, walked about with a recording deal with EMI Music and $100,000. Her post-win single Higher peaked at No. 31 on the ARIA charts.
It comes after several examples of winners sadly falling into obscurity over the years since the first two seasons, news.com.au editor Nick Bond reported following the 2021 season.
Season 1 winner Karise Eden scored a top five single and a number one album, and season two winner Harrison Craig enjoyed the same success.
But in the seasons that followed, The Voice-bred stars seemed to slip off the radar after the show. Anja Nissen, who won in 2014, chartered at 42 with single I’m So Excited.
Since then, only a couple of winner’s singles have scraped into the charts – season four winner Ellie Drennan’s track Ghost hit number 25, 2017 winner Judah Kelly’s ballad Count On Me just snuck into the top 20. Others, like 2016’s Alfie Arcuri and 2018’s Sam Perry, had to settle for more lowly chart positions (89 and 78 respectively).
In recent years, 2019 winner Diana Rouvas’ winner’s single Wait For No One failed to crack the ARIA top 500. In 2020, Guy’s brother Chris Sebastian, who was the show’s most recognizable winner in years, even missed the charts completely.
The show itself was a ratings smash-hit last year when it aired after the Olympics, with Channel 7 reaping the rewards of nabbing the talent contest from rivals Channel 9.
straight off the beat, The Voice premiered to its largest audience in five years, a particularly smug win given Channel 9 had scoffed at Seven in a statement issued after news broke that Seven had poached the franchise.
“Unfortunately due to the age of the show and its declining demographic profile, The Voice had become by far the poorest financial performer on our slate. We wish Seven well in their quest to revive yet another Nine show,” a network spokesperson scathingly said.
Speaking to news.com.au after winning the ratings game for the entire year, Seven West Media CEO James Warburton had the last laugh.
“We stole that from under (Channel 9’s) nose.
“The Voice was such a dominant force. The Voice is top five in every country around the world, it was an absolute no-brainer.”
The Voice premieres on Monday, April 18, at 7pm on Channel 7