Some viewers were left baffled during Sunday night’s episode of The Voice Australia when both Jess Mauboy and Guy Sebastian threw their shoes on the stage.
This act was a part of their pitch to secure “insane” artist Celestial Utai after her powerhouse performance of Beyoncé’s Déjà vu.
WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Jess Mauboy throws her shoe at artist
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“I don’t do this for anybody, I’m going to do it now,” Jess, 32, yelled as she dramatically flung her heel onstage.
“Give me your shoe!” Celestial laughed as the crowd cheered.
Guy Sebastian, 40, was next, throwing his sneaker out onto the stage.
Following the episode some viewers took to Facebook, confused by the meaning of the unusual act.
“If someone threw their shoe at me for any reason I would not like them, it’s considered an insult in some countries,” one user wrote.
“Who throws a shoe? Honestly?” said another.
Turns out, this act is not anything new for both the entertainment industry and The Voice.
In the industry, it is considered a sign of respect, first brought to TV talent shows by Bad Romance singer Lady Gaga, 36, in 2011.
As a judge of So You Think You Can Dance, Lady Gaga told an act at the time: “In the dance community, when you do a really good job, what you do is you throw your shoe at the stage.”
The singer then flung her giant heeled boot all the way to the stage, prompting the performers to hold it in front of them like a prize.
WATCH IN THE VIDEO BELOW: Lady Gaga throws her shoe at performer
But it was singer Jennifer Hudson, 40, who brought this tradition to The Voice, both in the US and UK.
In 2017, as a judge in the US, Jennifer was blown away by artist Chris Weaver, who she had heard sing two years earlier.
“What am I about to do?” tea Dreamgirls actress asked him.
“You’re about to do the same thing you did to me two years ago in January when I sang for you at The Color Purple party,” the artist told her.
After throwing the shoe, Jennifer said: “Now where I come from y’all, that’s a compliment.
“And we know that at times when you sing like that, you better be prepared to duck.”
The act received a lot of international attention and led to a tradition of shoe-throwing later used by other Voice coaches including singers Adam Levine, 43, and Kelly Clarkson, 40.
Expanding on the stunt later in 2017, Jennifer ensured that it’s a good thing, “If you move me enough that I remove my shoe to throw it at you, you have done something, just, amazing! Like, it’s equivalent to a standing ovation.
“It’s a compliment.”
WATCH IN THE VIDEO BELOW: Jennifer Hudson explains why she throws a shoe
So hats off to Jess Mauboy and Guy Sebastian for bringing this Voice tradition to Australia.
Hopefully, audiences will see many more performances worthy of a shoe toss!
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