• Emma Garrie

Johnny Manuel makes The Voice Australia Semi Finals




Channel Nine surprised viewers last week by announcing that this would be the last week of The Voice with showdowns, semi-finals and the Grand Finale all packed in to one week. While this season seems a lot shorter than previous ones, more episodes have been condensed in to less time, no doubt due to the logistics of producing the show during COVID-19.


At this stage of the competition, there are 20 artists remaining with five on each coach's team. This year, the rules were thrown out the window and the performers were allowed to select their own song for their Showdown performance. Only two artists from each team would be chosen to progress through to the semi-final.


Tonight was the turn of the artists from Kelly Rowland and Guy Sebastian's teams, including Eurovision 2018 artist for Bulgaria (Equinox - Bones) Johnny Manuel.


Johnny was the last performer of the night and chose to sing one of coach Guy Sebastian’s own songs, his 2018 single ‘Before I Go’. Johnny told viewers it was one of the first songs he had heard on the radio upon his move to Australia and the lyrics had really resonated with him as he’d been fighting for a long time to make his music dream come true. Hearing the song had also been his introduction to Guy Sebastian, inspiring him to look up and listen to his back catalogue.


In rehearsals, Guy admitted that he was going through some personal issues and hearing Johnny sing his song really helped him. He said he had written the song at a particularly tough and vulnerable time and that he cried driving home from the studio after hearing Johnny sing his song.


After Johnny's performance, 88% of at home viewers thought he should progress through to the semi-final (the highest of any performer of the night). Coach Kelly said his performance was incredible and said Johnny made her nervous because she thought he could take out the whole competition. Delta Goodrem agreed stating that Johnny was one of the best singers to ever grace The Voice stage. Guy noted that he’d never been in a position to see someone else singing one of his songs before and that Johnny had breathed a whole new life in to it, adding he’d be putting that song to bed now because of Johnny’s version!


When it came time for the coaches to make their decision, Guy openly stated that he’d never made it a secret about his first choice and put Johnny straight through to the semi-finals along with teammate Timothy Bowen. He will be joined by Kelly’s artists Chris Sebastian (Guy’s brother) and Mark Furze. Tomorrow night will see Delta and Boy George’s artists battle it out for the final four places in Tuesday night’s semi-final.


See Johnny's showdown performance here -


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