Talent that's right on the button
The Voice judges ... Joel, Keith, Delta and Seal
Who knew Keith Urban was such a nice guy, with great hair and a real feminine side? Who knew Delta Goodrem was a hornbag with perfect teeth, athletic body and a unique ability to press my button with the palm of her hand? Delta could star by herself in Survivor: Delta's Life, outmuscling Hodgkin's lymphoma, Mark Philippoussis and Brian McFadden, all usually fatal encounters. Who knew Seal's imperfect facial skin makes him a perfect face in this narcissistic age? Who knew Joel Madden could not possibly be an identical twin of Benji because they have very different tattoos on their arms and shoulders? Who knew revolving chairs could create so much excitement?
The Voice makes Australia's Got Talent look like a cheap photocopy. Kyle is so dated, his face could be on the currency. Dannii Minogue looks like any other cheerleader from Simon Cowell's little black book. McFadden should rejoin Westlife, as a roadie if necessary. The only thing that dates more than talent shows like AGT is Charlie Sheen.
The Voice is a hit show because it has real stars, genuine givers who have enough generosity of spirit and awesomeness to spread it around. Kyle's single contribution to the music was his former wife, Tamara Jaber.
Tatts brilliant ... Joel Madden
On Tuesday nights, Meredith oils me up, with her essential sacred oils and stone blessed by Amma (Mumma Hugga), who gave her a handful of hugs on her recent tour of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. We watched The Voice together. I am not stealing Ruth Richie's status or thunder as the ultimate couch potato reviewer but I appeal to the small demographic getting a massage while watching television through the facial-hole on the table.
AGT is sooooooo last year. I am not a fan of popular television, I prefer unpopular entertainment, as this column proves. There are exceptions, such as the Melbourne Cup. The Voice is the Melbourne Cup of talent shows. It is to talent what David Attenborough is to nature.
The Voice seemed to last for hours, but Meredith massaged on - with Meredith the medium is the massage. From the table I can judge the judges and the quality of their mentors, who dutifully sit behind them. These judges are class acts, an allegation that you couldn't make of Brian, Dannii or Kyle, or his stunt double when he is ''sick''.
Let me declare an interest. I was not a fan of Keith Urban's brand of country-and-western-suburbs music, and when he married Nicole Kidman I suffered the worst agonies of penis envy. When he went on a bender soon after the wedding, my respect and affection for him grew instantly. As a judge on The Voice, the reasons Nicole married him and not me are apparent. He is the real deal, like Seal, but has a gentle, soft quality. He knows as much about music as Glenn A. Baker and Ward ''Pally'' Austin put together. He dispenses advice with the care and caution of your local pharmacist. He is courageous and as comfortable as a country kitchen in winter.
The acts in The Voice are better than the judges in AGT. Delta has Darren Hayes as her mentor. He is a gift that keeps on giving, a genius songwriter himself, with soft flared eyes evoking a handsome Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Also good-looking and good-singing, competitor Nick Len had the misfortune to be up against skateboarder Lakyn Heperi singing Angus and Julia Stone's great song Big Jet Plane. Keith opted for the redhead, again, in Peta Jeffress over Viktoria Bolonina who had my vote from the moments before she opened her mouth and she won through the round. Until then, I thought their song, Purple Rain, was a tribute to Joel Madden's hair.
Danni Da Ross, another redhead that Keith picked, outwarbled platinum-haired, brown-eyed Sarah Lloyde, who had me at Hero, the powerful anthem Mariah Carey wrote when she had talent and was married to a powerful music mogul. The redhead got the green light.
The showdown of the night, man on man, head to head, was eyeliner fan Yshrael Pascual singing Katy Perry's Firework against Guy Sebastian's younger bro, Chris, whose Roy Rene fat caterpillar eyebrows run amok in the family and who does not require eyeliner at all. Nobody, not even Katy Perry, should be judged on singing a Katy Perry song. As it turned out, Chris Sebastian won in a walkover that resembled a tortoise v tortoise race. Seal hit the nail on the head when he said Yshrael grimaced whenever he made a musical mistake, of which both contestants made many, but Sebastian, Seal said, just walked through as if they didn't happen.
On the other hand, the Madden brothers convinced me not to believe the old chestnut that all reality stars are walking cliches. Joel and Benji are covered in more ink than The Sun-Herald. Egyptologists are working out exactly what their body-length tattoos mean. Who knew jocks without sleeves could be articulate, serious insects with intelligent comments and good voices, and date Paris Hilton?
A blind, blonde teenage girl with the voice of an angel is a tough act to follow but, as The Voice proves, believing is seeing and hearing. Rachael Leahcar is turning tables with the same flair as she was turning judges' chairs.