The Voice Live Grand Finale 2014 – The Winner is Anja Nissen

The Voice Australia on Channel 9 Australia has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, raising the bar of musical excellence, perhaps even further than the producers would have first thought they would be able to achieve.

How wonderful for all young Australian singing hopefuls who dare to dream.

The winner of the Grand Finale of the third season of The Voice Australia 2014 has been announced.

Coach Will.I.am is celebrating the brilliant success of Anja Nissen. As soon as her wonderful win was announced, he offered to sign her to his music label.

The pressure is finally over in one respect for the other individual grand finalists, Jackson Thomas was runner up with Johnny Rollins third. Frank Lakoudis and the duo ZK, Zaachariah and Kristal, having been eliminated from the final three in the first round.

The grand finalists were all outstanding performers, living their dreams receiving a standing arrival ovation from the audience.

They were honouring them for earning their place in grand finale.

However, on the night only one would win through.

Anja, who was the wild card voted back into the grand finale last week. She proved to be the very best, presenting a sensational sound, one that assures future success.

When describing the make up for the ‘ideal’ good singer we are talking about effortless delivery as well as a unique ability to sing any type of music.

Whether florid or sustained, very smooth and well connected (legato) or strongly accented (marcato) to succeed they must be brought together with the proper techniques applied, providing both breath support and and control to signify true artitry.

The most outstanding characteristic of singing excellence is any artist’s ability to perform in a sophisticated and entertaining manner, one in which the breath must come evenly.

At the essence of truly excellent singing, this technique helps their keen sense of pitch, which any singer needs to be spot on and pure about if they are to create beauty of any type or form.

It was a big decision, but Anja‘s success in The Voice Australia 2014 came down to votes deeply personal to individuals, representing the style of voice collectively our community enjoys as entertainment, as well as the musical style they fashionably prefer.

The finalists coaches Kylie Minogue, Joel Madden, Ricky Martin and Will.I.am, all performed together, opening the finale in spectacular style beckoning us all to ‘Come and See the Real Thing.

The coaches produced a sight and sound that revealed what great entertainment can be achieved when people of mixed and very diverse musical styles, ideologies and voices collaborate together as effectively as they did. With fireworks exploding everywhere, the finalists joined their coaches on stage for the first time collectively.

Then as the show progressed, they each came back to sing with their coaches. First up Kylie with Johnny – ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head – “he’s the real deal” she said.

Next up was Will.I.am with Anja and ZK – Will rapping while Cody Wise and the others were right on tune, practicing what they preach asking – Where is the Love, a Black Eyed Peas favourite, keeping ‘love alive until it can be found.

Intervening were the smash hit artists Sheppard with Geronimo, the biggest selling song by Australian artists this year.

Then followed Ricky and Jackson, the artist Ricky ‘saved’ with his precious vote ensuring Jackson would have his chance to be a finalist.

They sang – Every Breath You Take! Awesome.

Finally Joel and Lakoudis got to rock out together, taking the arena by storm – Radioactive! Gotta love Lakoudis!

Then the five became three, with Anja, Jackson and Johnny left to battle it out. The winner Anja is now reflecting certainly on what has past, while looking forward excitedly to what lies ahead.

The 2014 production of The Voice Australia had an enviable team of celebrity coaches, who were all hoping they would be the one to discover and groom Australia’s next great voice.

The week prior on the night of the final many great voices were eliminated leaving just three soloists, all guys, and for the first time, one mixed duo still standing.

Then the public were given one last chance via a specialised app to vote for just one more to be saved and Anja the stunning blonde beauty joined her colleagues.

The five performing grand finalists were gleaned from a bounty of choices of mind-blowing talent during ‘blind auditions’. Coaches selected the contestants they wanted by just ‘listening’ to their voices, backs turned.

Gradually over the ensuing weeks the numbers were reduced from nine to just one, each based on votes from the public. During that time the coaches could choose to ‘save’ just one, which they did and then the finale group was subjected to the public vote again.

Anja Nissen is an Australian Nordic blonde beauty and bombshell in the nicest possible way. Her ancestry is from Denmark, a country ranked as the happiest in the world. Its peoples descend from the interglacial period 130,000 years before Christ.

They include the peoples collectively known as the ‘Vikings’ (Danes, Norwegians and Swedes) and it is entirely possible to believe after hearing Anja sing that she would be able to beckon us all out of Valhalla itself with the power and majesty of her voice.

It resonated loudly and lingered long after she was gone.

She certainly has the extra elements required to be a great performer; courage and persistence. She grew up in the glorious surroundings of the Blue Mountains in NSW, which must have inspired her on a daily basis.

It’s reported she began charming others when she was just six years of age.

Her tone is rich and resonant, with perfect pitch and a strength that enables her to sing the really big songs such as Whitney Houston’s fabulous

At 18 Anja is a young lady with a superb voice who needs good guidance, which she will achieve through Will.i.am her coach whose mentoring I am sure, will be ongoing.

She was fantastic, causing all the coaches to turn and give her a standing acclamation, hypnotising with her radiating performance of Vanishing.

Ricky Martin said upon hearing Anja’s voice that it was a ‘gift to the world’

She was certainly ‘Born to Sing’, the title of an emotive ballad she has recorded, revealing the silky overtones of a voice that can reach such heights it leaves you breathless with excitement.

Good thing that she was saved to be in the grand finale by the public who championed her alongside her colleagues, each of whom had distinctive extraordinary voices as well.

For me Anja’s ‘voice’ certainly deserves to be nurtured, not overworked, allowing it and its lovely owner to grow into being something really extraordinary in maturity.

There is no doubt she will explore how to plunge the very depths of her very big heart to find yet more as she gains both experience and age.

She has a voice that certainly deserves more than ten minutes of ‘pop art’ fame.

You have to believe it when Anja Nissen sings His Eye Is On The Sparrow. She is The Voice Australia.

It was the coach Ricky Martin who ensured that his choice of the voice to save to go forward to the finals would be the quiet achiever surprise that originally Kylie Minogue had turned for.

When he was nearly eliminated in the next round, Ricky stepped and guaranteed him a shot at the finals.

Great to see him as the runner up and wonderful that he will go on tour next year with his coach.

Hair flowing, or pulled back in a ‘bun’ the classically trained voice emanating from Jackson Thomas energises as he takes your breath away.

Based on the songs viewers and the audience have enjoyed to date, going forward he is guaranteed to continue to steal hearts, whatever the Grand Finale result.

Just those piercing blue clear eyes alone will draw eager fans in, but the added bonus is the voice, which on its own is enough.

It softly shines silky smooth, sleek and incredibly soulful, plunging the depths of the soul in heart-stopping fashion.

Jackson has the power and the passion, that extra something that sets him apart in a category of his own.

Sharing a Win in the Geelong Rotary Club ‘Annual Star Search’ competition with Australian singer-songwriter Missy Higgins, must have been both a defining and definitively ‘encouraging musical moment’.

Jackson certainly taps into his emotions, which is the only way to connect to the audience you are endeavouring to win over to your particular cause.

Jackson consistently delivered performances over the weeks of the battle rounds, many of which were of mind-boggling thought provoking intensity and beauty, reflecting his years spent gathering an abundance of singing experience, even if he is only 24.

He is a third generation Victorian sparky, with a ‘pure tone’ as revealed in his ‘Kiss From A Rose, shining brightly amid showering petals as he ‘owned’ the performance and there is no doubt he has throughout the series electrified us all.

Johnny Rollins was third, he is a dashing new-wave style of hearthrob, one who plays drums divinely and sings smoothly with his own unique style.

He has a voice that he brings forth from deep down in the roots of his ancestor’s ‘blues’ soul.

Johnny has become a favourite with the crowd in the audience, even if he is ‘tall, dark and definitely taken’.

Kylie Minogue was the coach who turned with his audition rendition of ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’.

She could more than the other coaches, feel his potential, recognising that the only thing wrong was what seemed to be lack of confidence in his own ability to captivate the crowds and mesmerize.

Can’t help wondering if he inspired the cappuccino crowd with his moves as a Barista back in the day.

They would certainly love it I am sure if he was back behind the counter now crooning his new tunes.

But there is little doubt of that happening. He’s going to be in great demand from now on.

Johnny Rollins will go on to better things, as long as he continues to believe and have the courage of his conviction to become the best that he can in his chosen career of singing.

He has people now who have faith in his abilities and that’s half the battle.

Must admit I certainly did enjoy best the night that Kylie put him back behind the drums to sang a wonderful rendition of Nico & Vinz’s hit single Am I Wrong.

He certainly ‘owned the stage’.

He made it seem effortless and Kylie was right, it was fun for everyone.

Frank Lakoudis at 22 years of age re-visited the 70’s rock idol. Lakoudis has Greek ancestry, descending from a land with an ancient landscape where music, myth and acoustical magic first melded together.

Ancient Greece is where the music of the legendary musician, poet and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth Orpheus stopped the flowing of rivers, moved mountains and becalmed savage beasts.

Lakoudis is a visual artist by day, involved in the world of 3D animation where things are never what they seem. On stage at first known as Frank became known with each powerhouse performance.

He rocked out to rhythms that previously, and quite literally, would have scaled the heights of Parnassus, the mountain that was home to the Greek God of Music Apollo, the nymphs and the Muses.

For ‘oldies’ he has taken them back to a world they grew up in. For today’s teens, he has introduced them to the original ‘rock’ genre helping them to understand why their grandparents really are so cool.

Must say I enjoyed his fun performances, his ‘American Woman’…  making coach Will.I.am speechless with his sexy show stopping entertainment piece, accompanied by pole dancers

Legendary group by Led Zeppelin originally recorded Frank Lakoudis audition presentation ‘Immigrant Song’ to become a big hit.

It couldn’t have been more apt for the boy whose ancestors traversed a path from antiquity until today …’so now Lakoudis you’d better stop and rebuild your ruins, for peace and trust win the day’.

The duo ZK features two singers with a very special sound, brought about by the perfect melding of voices meant to be together.

They give each other strength of both purpose and beauty and have become a beacon for the aspirations of other indigenous Australians, endeavouring to rise above the sadness of the past to explore success in the future.

Soulful singers, they may have struggled to have their voices heard, but now they have a promising future ahead of them.

Their coach Will.I.am believes they are ‘unique and authentic’ and they have expressed their ‘burning desire to inspire and educate the world about Aboriginal culture’.

They are the first duo to make it into the Grand Final, with the weight of their culture on their shoulders and their nationhood standing behind them they have reached a pinnacle of wholeness that perhaps they would have not previously perceived.

They need to believe that they are equal to everyone else and get past being in awe of other celebrities, it’s already given them some awkward moments.

They need to understand that now they have become part of the celebrity circle in their own right and so must take up the load of responsibility that goes with being in that lofty position.

They must be humble, heroic ambassadors celebrating their passion and cause as they surmount the obstacles ahead traversing the often complex and challenging world of musical performance.

They need to reflect their clear commitment and ability to understand the peacemaking mantle Jessica Mauboy their stated inspiration clearly has put on since becoming revered and respected as a person in her own right.

What she has achieved is transcending issues of race to become integral to the whole of Australian culture.

ZK also deserve to be heard Time After Time

The Voice Australia 2014 introduced the audiences both in the room, and on the television to styles and types of voices and music they perhaps have not ever encountered before.

The cultural mix too has been very impressive. Really great voices reflecting with passion all that is good about Australia.

Vital to our inner wellbeing, music imparts a rhythmic connection to each other, giving an insight into both our society and culture.

The Voice Australia 2014 winner Anja Nissen will provide impetus for future contestants and is sure to encourage other to ensure the continuing development and success of Australian performance artists both locally and internationally.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014

References: The Voice Website – Images: courtesy Channel 9/WIN

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