Well in no surprising news, it’s bye bye to Kylie Minogue and Will.I.Am for the 2015 season of The Voice Australia, replaced with one new face, one returning face and one addition to an existing team.
It’s not so confusing once it’s all spelled out.
Ricky Martin is back on board along with fellow judge Joel Madden who this year, will be joined by brother Benji (as one coach), Jessie J (It’s not about the money money..we don’t need the money money…) is this years newest face and the returning coach? Well, it’s none other than our favorite Aussie songstress, Delta ‘Delts’ Goodrem!
We all knew when Kylie announced her Kiss Me Once Tour for 2015 that she’d be a no show…Will.I.Am? Perhaps it came down to a work clash as he’s just started season three of The Voice UK (and not the utterly horrible decision he made by getting involved in 2014 winner Anja Nissen’s winners single – god awful by the way).
The addition of Benji Madden was a no brainer. The two are hugely popular here, have a great following and their work together on The Voice Kids made for great viewing. Jessie J’s addition too was predictable but wise. J has a strong following here offering up a string of hit singles plus her double season stint on The Voice UK gives her plenty of knowledge and ammo to come into our version with.
Ricky. We all love Ricky Martin. Nuff’ said.
Delts. Must admit, I was very surprised by her addition (or re-addition) to this years coaches. Bumped for Kylie last year and relegated to The Voice Kids, Delts is back on board for the 2015 season.
Yes, I was team Jackson Thomas all the way and right up until the end, was getting excited that he could actually take out the prize, but there beside him was the big voiced blonde Anja Nissen who in the end, took out The Voice Australia Season 3.
With rocker Frank Lakoudis and duo ZK bumped out (I blame ZK’s terrible ‘Don’t stop believing’ GLEE moment from last week) many were tipping Team Kylie’s sweet sounding Johnnie Rollins to win with SportsBet placing the 29-year-old at 1.5 odds to win but it wasn’t to be with Johnnie the next to be ousted leaving Jackson and Anja as the final two.
Anja who is the first pop artist to win, looks set to possibly break The Voice winners curse that has seen series one winner Karise Eden go into hiding while promising new music for the last two years and last years winner Harrison Craig, while doing well, pretty much aimed at the nan and pop demographic.
There’s a certain scene in this part two of INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, where you will find yourself saying “Michael really was troubled.” Where part one of this impressive rock biopic was all about the bands early beginnings and rise to fame, this second part is all about INXS’ downfalls, inner demons and ultimately, the heart break caused by the death of Michael Hutchence.
Just like part one, the story works on jumping back and forth between different time lines. We start off in 1997 right before Michael’s death, him alone in a hotel room reminiscing of good times before being ported back to 1988 where the band are having a meeting with their manager and are demanding to take a years break.
It’s towards the end of this break, where we begin to see the cracks starting to form within the band. Rolling Stone magazine wants the band for an interview, but only want Michael for the cover. Their international success has left Australia feeling cold towards the band and the change in the music scene in the early 90’s (where grunge indie bands like Nirvana began to top sell) see’s INXS almost make a reggae album.
Michael’s flurry of celebrity lovers are looked at more closely, though the storyline involving Kylie Minogue (Samantha Jade) is dealt with rather quickly and not given much thought. Instead, we learn more about Michael’s time with supermodel Helena Christensen (Mallory Jansen) and finally, with Paula Yates (Georgina Haig)
Again, Luke Arnold continues to play Michael Hutchence with a reckless, flawless and effortless flair. Whether it’s sitting in on a band meeting dressed in a white suit and dark glasses or struggling to comprehend the custody dispute between Paula Yates and ex husband Bob Geldof (a situation often speculated leading to Michael’s death) or parading around on stage, microphone in hand, enthralling a stadium full of adoring fans, Luke Arnold IS Michael Hutchence. His embodiment of Michael’s cockiness, recklessness and fearlessness only nails in just how perfect this casting decision is.
The same goes for the rest of the cast. Damon Herriman as INXS’ manager Chris Murphy (Murphy actually produced the mini series), Hugh Sheridan as Garry Gary Beers, Andrew Ryan who bears an uncanny resemblance to his on screen alter ego of Andrew Farriss, Alex Williams as Kirk Pengilly, Ido Drent as Jon Farriss and newcomer Nick Masters as Tim Farriss all manage to stand out in their own right and own the material.
The only negative I have to offer: Grant Piro as Molly Meldrum and Brendan Barnett as U2 singer Bono offer quite cringe worthy performances but thankfully, their scenes are minimal and will only mildly distract.
There will be some tears (I know I did – unexpectedly) and Arnold’s final scene as INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence is fitting and honest as it is emotional and heart breaking.
INXS: Never Tear Us Apart – Part 2, airs Sunday night, Channel 7 at 8:30pm.
I’m going to start this off by saying I’m not an INXS fan. Well I am, but in the ‘I really like New Sensation’ type of way. When INXS were in their prime, my music tastes were in a completely different direction (I grew up with Fleetwood Mac and Abba and moved onto Madonna and Belinda Carlisle) and while I obviously knew who INXS were and the music they were bringing out, it’s only just recently that I’ve come to really appreciate the music the band created and understand the turmoil that came from it. I’d expect Kick, Live at Wembley Stadium 91‘ or The Very Best to not only appear in the iTunes/Aria charts, but stay there for some time as fans, new and old, connect with INXS.
So as someone who didn’t really know the story behind one of the biggest bands in the world, what we learn in part one of Never Tear Us Apart is not only intriguing, but interesting and heartbreaking. While I might not have known about the bands beginnings or known much about the band during their prime, this is a story in which everyone knows the ending. From the bands early beginnings, dodging beer cans and restless crowds to songwriter Andrew Farriss’ (played by Andrew Ryan) deep fears of failure to how INXS’s manager CM Murphy (Damon Herriman) took charge of the band and delivered them to the world stage.
Now, to say if Michael Hutchence had half the charisma that Luke Arnold portrays him to have had, then it’s no wonder that Michael not only nabbed women like Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen, but was also able to front one of the biggest bands in the world and do so with an unhinged flair. Luke Arnold, is, for better use of the word, incredible. A scene early on which sees Michael Hutchence ‘taking charge on stage’ in nothing but a pair of tight jeans and a white singlet, busting out signature moves akin to that of The Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger, screams ‘I am playing Michael Hutchence’ and you believe him. He’s got the look, the swagger, the sound, the resemblance is eerily uncanny.
What Never Tear Us Apart is, is an evolving storyline, growing from the small covers band known as The Farriss Brothers to the hard working and chart dominating INXS to finally, the Michael Hutchence story. Told in flashbacks yet opening the movie with the band about to play a packed out Wembley Stadium, we see just how this bands evolution came to be.
Hutchence’s first meeting and relationship with a young Kylie Minogue is also given a look in this first part showing with singer Samantha Jade giving an honest yet shy portrayal of ‘our’ Kylie. That stage between leaving the security of Neighbours and heading into the world of pop music, Kylie’s sweet, bubbly and all-girly persona are nailed by Jade, giving us an insight into the beginnings of what would become one of the most talked about celebrity relationships of the 1990’s.
Never Tear Us Apart, part one, celebrates the high’s and triumphs of INXS’s career. The parties, the booze, the women, the drugs, the successes, the first number one single in France, the domination of the band in America and how Kick became the bands biggest selling album.
I for one, cannot wait to see part two!
Part One of Never Tear Us Apart airs this Sunday, 8:30pm on Channel 7.
We’ve seen the previews, we’ve all talked about the uncanny resemblance between Luke Arnold and the late Michael Hutchence, we’re all hanging to see if singer Samantha Jade can pull off the role of Kylie Minogue and now, we’ll all finally be able to see it all for ourselves when Never Tear Us Apart; The Untold Story of INXS begins it’s two Sunday night run on Feb 9th.
Channel 7 are kicking off the new ratings year with the hotly anticipated INXS bio miniseries starring Luke Arnold, Samantha Jade and Hugh Sheridan. We’ve been teased with promos since late December and it’s only been as recent as last Friday that some of the cast including Georgina Haig and Alex Williams got to see the final result.
The mini-series centres on INXS’s rise to the top and become Australia’s biggest rock exports, as well as the band’s struggles with drugs and fame, which ultimately led to their lead singer’s untimely death.
It’s the ultimate tale of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and the tragedy that comes along with it and it’s shaping up to be one of the biggest television movie events of 2014 . Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS is the uncensored and extraordinary tale of one of the most successful bands to ever come out of Australia.
The first extended preview was released late last year and now, Channel 7 have offered up two more sneak peeks into what will be the event everyone is hanging to watch.
INXS: New Sensations
Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS is expected to air shortly after the Australian Open on Channel 7.
It’s the Neighbours love story that dominated ratings, made front page news and has been voted by fans as their top Neighbours moment and to this day, Neighbours‘ Scott and Charlene Robinson (played by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue) remain a fan favorite couple in Australians hearts and now, the weeknight soap is planning to bring back some of that magic with the introduction of their much heard of, but never seen son Daniel Robinson to Ramsay Street.
Daniel, who would now be in his early 20’s will venture to Erinsborough to see where his parents met and fell in love all those years ago. Neighbours‘ series producer Jason Herbison said: “Charlene and Scott are the quintessential love story who have the happy ending. More than 25 years on, they are still remembered worldwide”
“It is fantastic that we can re-open this chapter of Neighbours’ history for a new generation of viewers.”
In early scenes, it’s being noted that Daniel will be introduced to his Uncle Paul (played by Stefan Dennis – and who is the only original cast member remaining to have shared screen time with Jason and Kylie). Dennis joked: “It really is a significant piece of Neighbours’ colorful past and let’s face it, the kid could not have come from a better gene pool.”
My guess is Daniel will be sporting a blonde curly mullet, have big teeth, can work a guitar and is a master mechanic….just like his folks!
It seems Delta Goodrem has been given a slight kick in the pants after channel 9 revealed they’ve moved her from her coaching position with The Voice to it’s spin off show The Voice Kids which will feature the singing talents of youngsters in the 8-14 year old category along side Joel Madden.
But Delta is not the only face that will be missing from the mentors chair for season three. Singer Seal will not be returning, stating “I wish all the Coaches and contestants well. To my Australian fans, sorry to not be back for this upcoming season but I wanted this window of time to focus on a number of exciting career priorities – a new album, a TV and internet project and, most importantly, precious time with my children.” Rumours had begun circulating that John Farnham and former Spice Girl Mel B could be filling those spots left open, but Channel 9 revealed that Kylie Minogue and Black Eyed Peas front man Will.I.Am will be joining the show.
Both Kylie and Will.I.Am will be fresh off a stint as coaches on the UK version of The Voice.
Said will.i.am of his new gig on Aussie television: “It is an honour to join The Voice Australia as a Coach working alongside Kylie Minogue, Ricky Martin and Joel Madden. Australia is a highly creative country and a place with many good memories that have shaped my music career.” while Kylie followed with “I am so excited to be coming home and being a coach on The Voice. I look forward to spending time in Australia, getting up close and personal with new talent and working alongside the three amazing artists: Ricky, Joel and will.i.am.”
For those 10 people who didn’t watch X Factor last night, you would have missed the brand new preview for Channel 7’s highly anticipated television movie event, the two part Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS.
In a world of rock stars, concerts, photo shoots, hit singles, parties, celebrity romances, mysterious deaths and more, INXS played a major role in connecting Australian music to the international stage and took from it, all the highs and lows the experience had to offer. A constant in the rag mags, Hutchence and his latest girlfriend would grace the gossip sections and in the bands prime, Michael Hutchence committed suicide. Now in this warts and all movie, we will get an access all areas into the life that was INXS.
Following the artistic and emotional relationship between INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence and keyboardist Andrew Farriss, Never Tear Us Apart will trace the bands incredible journey to the top of the international charts, their thousands of concerts, ten hit albums and the subsequent downfall of Hutchence including torrid relationships with Kylie Minogue (played by X Factor winner Samantha Jade) Paula Yates (Georgina Haig) and Helena Christensen (Mallory Jansen) and ultimately his death and the bitter aftermath and shock of it.
We’re Being promised an ‘authentic behind-the-scenes look’ at how childhood mates from Sydney became one of the biggest rock bands world wide. From the raw beginnings of the band in northern Sydney to packed out stadiums of 100,000 fans at Rock in Rio, the music of INXS is the heart of this television event.
Says INXS guitarist Tim Farriss “People have been talking about the lives and times of INXS constantly for years, often getting the facts wrong, speculating on various issues and asking for TV and film rights. It seems that, finally, good people who we trust to do us justice and actually involve us in the project will finally happen. So we are very excited, proud and to be honest a little nervous about helping with a truly fascinating story about our band INXS. We have always felt there is so much to tell about the life and times of INXS that if this were to happen, it should be an accurate portrayal of the ‘facts’. It will certainly evoke every emotion to all involved, from ‘us to the viewer’. Although it may be a hard thing to watch for some of us, I can’t wait!”
In what could only be called as ‘perfect casting’ Luke Arnold (Winners & Losers) seems to perfectly nail down not only Michael Hutchence’s iconic look but gruff rock vocals as well, to the point INXS guitarist Tim Farriss was brought to tears during a table read in which Arnold played out a scene where Hutchence lamented not being around when the Farriss’ brothers mother had died.
Along with Arnold, the cast is rounded out by some familiar names including Packed to The Rafters favorite Hugh Sherridan as Garry Gary Beers, Alex Williams as Kirk Pengilly Nicholas Masters as Tim Farriss Ido Drent as Jon Farriss and Andy Ryan as keyboardist and songwriter Andrew Farriss, but perhaps the biggest casting news was that of newcomer Samantha Jade who had been picked to play a young Kylie Minogue.
During her run with X Factor last year (in which she won), Samantha Jade was constantly compared to Minogue, from her small stature to her vocals, there was no denying a likeness was there. “We knew we couldn’t look past Samantha Jade when we were casting Kylie,” producer Kerrie Mainwaring says. “You just need to look at her face and figure to see she’s a perfect match, and the fact that she comes from a singing background was just an added bonus in our minds.” According the Jade, she originally turned down to offer to audition. In an interview with radio duo Fifi And Jules a few months ago, Jade noted that acting was the last thing on her mind until she finally decided to go for the audition after numerous requests and subsequently, scoring the role.
If you happened to miss the exciting preview on X Factor last night, you can check it out below!