The Voice Australia returns to Seven as Keith Urban takes aim at ‘shine blockers’ and ‘naysayers’

Keith Urban took aim at the world’s “ray blockers” as Channel 7 fired its first shot at the reality TV giant battle on Monday night.

Network started Voice 7 p.m., half an hour before MasterChef on Ten dan lego master at Nine started their season. It provided a strong debut that was big on laughs, drama and, yes, vocal talent, even if cycling through just seven blind auditions across nearly two hours of television.

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Voice returns on Monday with judges/coaches Rita Ora, Guy Sebastian, Keith Urban and Jessica Mauboy.Credit:Seven

In response to the opening performance by 19-year-old Ally Eley, from Melbourne’s western suburbs, judges asked why she chose to cover the song. Teen Poop Bagsa hit for New York alt-rocker Wheatus in 2000. He explained by telling a story about a teacher he admired in elementary school, but who responded to his first appearance, in front of the class when he was only nine years old, laughing and saying: “I thought you said you could sing”.

“People talk a lot about the people who pushed us from the start, the cheerleaders in our lives, the believers and all that stuff, and we get a lot of fuel from those people,” Urban said. “But guys, we get a lot of fuel from the naysayers, the shine blockers, who tell us ‘you’ll never mean a thing’.

“In life it’s not what happens to us, but how we deal with it,” he added. “Do you know who your music teacher is? He’s intimidated and scared by your talent, and he’s very jealous.”

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Despite the words of encouragement, she chose to go with Guy Sebastian.

Ally Eley, 19 from Melbourne, is the first player of the season.

Ally Eley, 19 from Melbourne, is the first player of the season. Credit:Seven

This season’s debut also featured a hilarious exchange between country singer Danny Phegan and Rita Ora, a Kosovo-born British judge, where the cultural gap looms large.

Prior to his appearance, Phegan, a 45-year-old father of six from Walla Walla in rural New South Wales, played down his prospects.

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