TV & Radio
For a hit show, The Voice Australia has a high staff turnover. After one season, big-grinning Keith Urban moved on, having achieved his goal of showing everyone how commercially appealing he was. And after the second year, the revolving chairs have continued out their revolving door. Off goes Seal, to whatever mystical swamp he originated in, and off goes Delta Goodrem, to join the new show The Voice Kids.
Now, the very idea of a kids' version of The Voice is worthy of, simultaneously, many columns' worth of analysis, and completely ignoring forever. Suffice to say that Delta's talent for awkwardly drippy mentorship should be just perfect for the precocious brats who will be clogging the arteries of our body televisual next year. And, of course, Joel Madden will be pulling double duty on both Voices.
Joel falls into the ''Just Don't Care'' category of reality judge. His only reason for joining the show seemed to be that he was just at a loose end, and he continues to put his heart and soul into The Voice on the principle that, you know, might as well.
In this he differs from newly announced judge will.i.am, who will probably be filling Seal's niche as house lunatic. The esteemed Black Eyed Pea has plenty of other stuff to do; like Joel he has reached the peaks of international pop stardom, but unlike Joel he seems to be keen to stay there.
No, Mr i.am would appear to fit squarely into the ''Gimme!'' sector of reality judgery - the one who sees some easy money, picks up some quick cash and zips back to LA to cut a new duet with Miley Cyrus. Redfoo followed this template on The X Factor, while also ticking off the countries where he's appeared on TV in his underpants.
Redfoo's X Factor co-star Dannii Minogue fits into the most-beloved category: the ''I need this''. This is the judge who has turned to the world of reality out of pure, honest desperation. Delta seems to fit this category, as does Seal, Geri Halliwell, Paula Abdul, and ... you know, all those other guys.
But Dannii's job on X Factor adds an interesting wrinkle to the Voice changes, because joining will.i.am, Joel and Ricky in the next season will be Dannii's sister Kylie ''The Good'' Minogue.
Now Kylie is a big get for the show, but the show seems a decidedly small get for Kylie. It may be that she's in it for the money, or just had some spare time, but the fact that now everyone will see her going head to head against her sister surely can't be good for her.
Kylie's spent two decades making it quite clear that she is not on Dannii's level: is it really wise to deliberately drop yourself down there now? When Dannii joins a reality show, the reaction is, ''Oh good, she found a job''; when Kylie does, it's ''Really? She took that job?'' Does Kylie really want to be swimming in the same stagnant pond as Dannii?
And what if X Factor out-rates The Voice? It'll be the first time Dannii's beaten Kylie at anything since Young Talent Time. It'll make things awkward for the sisters, and for their extended family, the people of Australia.
May the best Minogue win, but I hope we can all get through this unscathed.
- Sydney Morning Herald