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The Voice is back and Ricky has everyone's number

The Voice Australia coach Ricky Martin, centre, with his team from the blind auditions. Supplied by Channel 9/WIN. Please credit photo to Nigel Wright.
The Voice Australia coach Ricky Martin, centre, with his team from the blind auditions. Supplied by Channel 9/WIN. Please credit photo to Nigel Wright. NIGEL WRIGHT

IF BETS had to be taken today, then Ricky Martin would be the safe tip as this year's winning Voice coach.

The Latin pop star charmed his way through the blind auditions of the current third season, assembling a team of singers that his fellow celebrity coaches - Kylie Minogue, Joel Madden and will.i.am - have all admitted will be hard to beat.

While there are one or two shining stars on the other three teams, Martin's team has at least four potential series winners.

So it will be interesting to see how Martin culls talent from his team when the battle rounds of the reality singing show start tonight.

In the battle rounds the coaches will have to cull their carefully assembled teams of 14 singers down to just seven.
But each coach will be able to use their "save" power to nab two singers set for elimination from one of the other coaches' teams.

So by the end of the battle rounds each coach will have up to nine charges to mentor through the next phase of the competition.

Adele's Rolling in the Deep, Avicii's Addicted to You and Lana del Rey's Young and Beautiful are amongst the songs to before performed in the first battles tonight.

Team Kylie

Eight girls, five boys and one duo

WHILE he's still more at home behind a drum kit than a microphone, Johnny Rollins is one of Minogue's promising singers.

As long as he can go into his battle with confidence, Rollins' R&B vibe will be hard to beat.

But he's probably not pop enough to win the show's grand prize.

Zumba teacher Megan Longhurst is another star performer, and viewers might remember Minogue showering her with confetti after she sang Peter Allen's Don't Cry Out Loud in her blind audition.

As a dancer and musical theatre performer, Longhurst should know how to work the stage and the crowd to her advantage.

Jackson Thomas could be Minogue's dark horse, with his rendition of Lorde's Royals still trending on The Voice's website.

Team Joel

Eight guys, six girls

ONE of Madden's bright young stars is Queenslander Talia Gouge.

The pop country singer from Moranbah in the state's centre has a lot of performance experience for her 17 years.

Her time spent as a support artist for The McClymonts, Tina Arena, Shannon Noll and Adam Harvey should mean she'll stay cool under pressure during her battle.

Fellow Queenslander Lij Gilmour, from Little Mountain on the Sunshine Coast, should also survive his battle.

While he's more at home recording videos for his thousands of YouTube followers, Lij has the talent to keep going if he can handle the pressure.

If the 17-year-old can make it to the phase of the show where the public votes for their favourite singer, then his social media following will be a major advantage.

Team Will

Nine girls, four guys and one duo

MUSIC producer will.i.am has more women on this team than any other coach, so it's no surprise some of his best talent is female.

Anja Nissen is no stranger to reality shows, having made it to the semi-finals of Australia's Got Talent when she was just 12.

If she can deliver another performance like her blind audition, during which she made all four coaches turn around with her rendition of Mariah Carey's Vanishing, then Anja is sure to go far.

Emily Rex is another frontrunner of Team Will. Assuming she doesn't sing off against Anja, 25-year-old Rex should is likely to win her battle.

While her rendition of Pure Imagination was gentle and hypnotic, she'll have to find plenty of power and stage presence to make sure she's not out-shone.

Team Ricky

Seven guys, six girls and one duo

THIS year's Voice winner is most likely to be from this team.

Tonight's episode will feature a showdown between Elly Oh and opera singer Jess Berney.

While Jess's audition was billed as one of the most surprising, she's not expected to beat Elly, who is more versatile and was more on-pitch in her blind audition.

Elly also appears to have a bit more confidence on stage and will most likely handle the pressure of the battle better than Jess.

Team Ricky is overflowing with female talent. Sabrina Batshon and Fely Irvine are also strong contenders likely to win their battle rounds.

Matthew Garwood and C Major are Ricky's strongest male singers.

C Major, aka Carlos Velazquez, proved his versatility as a powerhouse singer and rapper during his blind audition, while Matthew promised in his blind audition that he could do more than sing musical theatre.

C Major is bilingual and his Latin charm has drawn comparisons to Martin himself, so he's sure to attract plenty of female fans.

The Voice Australia airs tonight at 6.30pm and Monday at 7.30pm on Channel 9/WIN.

Topics:  joel madden kylie minogue ricky martin the voice will.i.am



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