It was The Voice Australia like we’ve “never seen before”, as the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures featured on Sunday night’s episode for the first time.
The two international coaches - Boy George and Kelly Rowland - had to ‘tune in’ via video as they remained on opposite sides of the globe, while competitors sung to an empty room with the usual cheering audience also there only virtually.
“Since we filmed the battle episodes, the world has changed – and so has the way we make our show,” host Renee Bargh explained at the beginning of the episode.
“From now on it will look and feel a little different – we’re all social distancing,” co-host Darren McMullen added.
Indeed artists and hosts stood the mandatory 1.5m away from each other and crew could be seen wearing face masks. And while Aussie coaches Delta Goodrem and Guy Sebastian were still able to be present in person, they also kept their distance from each other and their singers.
“Incredible how our talented and hardworking crew pulled this season together under such circumstances,” Delta wrote on Twitter.
“Amongst all the shadows Covid-19 has cast, there has been sheer determination & innovation! Thankful to all who made this season happen.”
Boy George and Kelly did enlist the help of two local artists to help their teams in person with The Veronicas stepping in on Team George and Marcia Hines helping out Team Kelly.
Viewers seemed impressed with the way the show had adapted, taking to Twitter to share their thoughts.
“Very impressed by the way tonight’s episode of The Voice has adapted to pandemic restrictions,” one person wrote. “Can’t have been easy and result is as good as could be expected. Congrats to all involved.”
“After watching the American version of the voice, I have to say the way the Aussie crew have adapted to filming a show during COVID-19 has been amazing. The way they have George and Kelly judging is technology at its best,” another agreed.
While The Block judge Shaynna Blaze also said: “I am so not missing the audience on The Voice. This feels so intimate and personal.”