During Sunday’s action-packed Battle Rounds episode of The Voice SA, smooth-toned singer Aston Wylie, 24, from Gonubie experienced an unusual turn of events. At this stage of the competition, talent who are not chosen by their coach to proceed to the next phase of the show after their vocal duel all desperately hope that another coach would press his or her buzzer and “Steal” them for their teams.
In Aston’s case, not only one but two of the coaches immediately showed their interest to become his new mentor after coach Lira dropped him in favour of rocker Luke Lovemore, 23, who happens to be the best friend of last year’s winner, Cape Town’s Richard Stirton.
Before Lira had made the call to go with Luke, she said a quiet prayer for a Steal, as she admired their hard work during rehearsals and their wonderful performance of the R.E.M classic Losing My Religion. Surprisingly, her prayer was answered by Bobby van Jaarsveld and Kahn Morbee.
They both believed that Aston has what it takes to be the next winner of M-Net’s SAFTA-winning singing contest. The “double Steal” meant that both coaches had to do what normally happens during the Blind Auditions – they had to pitch to persuade Aston to continue his music journey with them. Aston picked Kahn.
After last week’s rare pre-emptive Steal, which landed him Al Peterson, as well as gaining Aston on Sunday night, Kahn has now used the two Steals allowed to each coach during the Battle Rounds.
Apart from the first “double Steal” of the season, this week’s Battle showdowns featured singers who are polar opposites. In arguably one of the most unique Battles in Voice SA history, coach Kahn paired the larger-than-life Fatman, 40, from Bela-Bela with classical singer and harpist Christy-Lyn Marais, 28, from Cape Town. The unusual pair were tasked to sing the pop-rock love song Somewhere Only We Know by Keane and it ended up being a Battle for the books.
“That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” Karen Zoid remarked. Kahn complimented both talent on a super performance, comparing Christy-Lyn to the ethereal Tori Amos, and telling Fatman that he’s grown to become incredibly fond of him. Ultimately Kahn chose the singer who he thought had more to offer in terms of the competition as a whole. Viewers will see Fatman in the next round.
The second pairing for #TeamKahn on Sunday night was the two young voices of student Mia Pretorius, 20, from Potgietersrus and new mom Sonia Morsner, 24, from Vereeniging. He gave the ladies – who have become best friends in the competition – the Taylor Swift hit Blank Space as their Battle song, and from the get-go they managed to nail their performances, meaning that Kahn’s job of choosing which singer to take into the Knock-Outs was made even harder. After a flawless Battle, Lira was leaning more towards Sonia as the winner, while Karen felt that Mia should take the win. After much deliberation, Kahn picked Mia due to the confidence that she demonstrated on stage.
#TeamBobby also had two very contrasting Battle pairs this evening, kicking off with Josh Ansley, 33, from Johannesburg vs Jeanne-Mari Engelbrecht, 28, from Strand. Bobby chose Callum Scott’s melancholy ballad Dancing On My Own for the two power-house singers to tackle. After a moving performance, all of the coaches gave Josh and Jeanne-Mari a lot of praise for the sensitivity with which they handled their Battle song. When pushed to make a decision, Bobby acknowledged that Josh has appeared in every Barnyard Theatre across the country and is therefore accustomed to the stage, but that despite her lack of similar experience, Jeanne-Mari brought her all to the Battle too. In the end, the more experienced and versatile Josh won a spot in the Knock-Outs.
The second #TeamBobby Battle on Sunday night was between rock chick Meggan Moore, 25, from Langebaan and edgy pop singer and Springbok rugby player Heinrich Brussow’s wife Caroline Brussow, 31, from Bloemfontein. Bobby gave them the massive Lady Gaga hit You and I to perform and it promised to be an epic Battle due to their vastly different singing styles. After a blistering performance where Caroline brought her Country music style out and Meggan stuck to her rock ‘n roll roots, all of the coaches gave the ladies high praise. To me it was like Afrikaans Is Groot vs. Oppikoppie! This is what music is all about, bringing together different worlds,” coach Karen raved. Having brought a huge hairstyle as well as huge energy to the stage, Caroline was Bobby’s pick for winner.
Coach Karen Zoid had one Battle pair in this week’s show and it also proved to be a pairing of opposites. Karen picked raspy-toned, rugby playing Emma Ellis, 21, from Port Elizabeth with Christy Woolmington, 20, from Johannesburg, whose voice was described in the Blind Auditions as almost “child-like”. Karen gave them the Christina Aguilera ballad Beautiful to sing and it was a fitting choice as both singers were struggling with believing in their own abilities throughout the rehearsals ahead of the show. “Real is the new perfect,” Karen advised her talent before they went on stage, and that’s exactly what they managed to demonstrate in their touching rendition of the song. Karen decided to pronounce the person who “knows herself the best” the winner, and that was Emma.
The winner of the second season of The Voice SA will take home the following fantastic prizes:
- A recording contract with Universal Music South Africa;
- R250 000 cash from Dialdirect;
- A Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, a Samsung Galaxy A8 smartphone, a Samsung Gear VR, a Samsung 360 camera, a Samsung iconiX set and a 65 inch KS9500 Samsung SUHD TV;
- A Subaru Impreza 2.0 Premium CVT;
- R100 000 Truworths fashion.