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The Voice of Ireland semi-final – cartoons, skullcaps and secret fiddling

With just six contestants left, things are hotting up. Plus *very special* performances from the judges.

TONIGHT BROUGHT US the semi-final of The Voice of Ireland. They grow up so fast, don’t they?

It’s Michael Freeman here, taking the reins of the blog back from my colleague Emer McLysaght. She’s still lying down in a darkened room with a cold flannel over her eyes after liveblogging the last three episodes.

We saw the remaining six contestants battle it out for a place in the final, and some – how can we put this? – ‘special’ performances from the judges.

Here’s how it went down…

(It may be over, but we still want to hear from you! Tweet us at @dailyedge or leave a comment below.)

Before we get started properly, RTE have helpfully revealed in advance what each contestant is going to be singing.

For Team Kian, Shane is doing Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On It, while nine-months-pregnant Kelly belts out In The Arms Of An Angel by Sarah McLachlan. If anything’s going to induce labour, it’s that.

Keith (AKA Ireland’s Toni Braxton) will be having a stab at Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy for Jamelia.

Over on Team Bressie, Shannon’s going to do High Hopes by up-and-coming Irish outfit Kodaline (See? Bressie’s so darn hip) and Katy’s doing David Guetta’s She Wolf.

And Sharon’s last hope John will be doing his best to get the audience sniffling with Damien Rice’s Cannonball.

We’re also going to be treated to a performance by the lads in The Coronas. And all four judges will be singing a “unique rendition” of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance.

Let’s just take a moment for that. Kian, Sharon, Bressie and Jamelia belting out Bowie. It’ll be a unique rendition alright.

WOOOOOOWWOOOOOAHHH THIS IS THE THIS IS THE VOICE. Yes, it’s the yelling lady that tells us which programme we’re watching.

And here it is! The judges singing Let’s Dance. It’s pretty unique alright. Er, why are all those tap dancers on the stage? Is this some kind of horrific scheduling mix-up?

OK, no. It’s actually Prodijig according to Kathryn. Still, bit of a weird one.

Bressie looks mortified anyway:

OK, Eoghan has just told us that they’re going to be running a “talent show within a talent show” tonight. They’re calling it “The Voice of Ireland’s Got Talent” and it involves all the contestants having to do basically a party piece in the so-called Engine Room.

This is what happens when you come up with ideas at the last minute.

Shane’s first up, and we’ll be the first to admit that he rocked out pretty hard.

He’s also admitted that he got booted off the Luas this week for not having a ticket. He’s spinning some yarn about having “misplaced” it. Whatever, Shane, you rogue.

He’s storming the judges. Sharon says he was “very very very very good”.

She’s given him an eight. How many verys would she use for a ten?

The falling anvil sounds tell us that Shane’s copped 22 points. Not bad, but not good enough to avoid Kian getting miffed at Jamelia for only giving him six.

During this ad break, can we just take a minute for Kathryn’s hair? It’s… well, it’s this:

What’s happened here? Did her curling tongs get stuck on ‘turbo’?

Shane’s first up in the Engine Room for The Voice of Ireland’s Got Talent. He’s gone with “traditional Russian dancing”.

And the results? Let’s just say he has brought shame upon the proud heritage of the Cossacks.

Shannon’s given us our second performance with a bit of Kodaline. We thought she did pretty well frankly.

Jamelia wasn’t impressed though.

She’s got 24. Bressie says she “needs to believe” that she’s a winner. See? This is more than just a talent show – it’s a guide to life.

Back to the important matter of Kathryn’s barnet. We asked for your suggestions on Twitter, and Orlie has a plausible theory:

Keep them coming, guys. We’ll get to the bottom of this mystery yet.

Katy’s done a decent job of belting out She Wolf.

But Kian says he doesn’t think a David Guetta song will come across well “through the TV”, in a tone of wonderment. Do you think he understands how TVs work?

We’re betting he sometimes refers to things as being “in the computer” too.

Mister Jingles has a question:

And I can confirm to Mister Jingles that I am writing this liveblog while perched on top of a giant pile of money. Meanwhile, over in the offices:

Kelly is now up. The nation waits on tenterhooks. Will she drop the baby live on stage? Are we the only ones praying that won’t happen?

Kelly hasn’t really impressed the judges, who seem more interested in whether they’ll have to pitch in with some obstetrics.

When Sharon gave Kelly a six, Kian shouted “WHHAAAAATTTTT!?!” and Kathryn had to tell him he was being too loud. It was like getting told off by your friend’s mam. Bet he’s dying inside now.

Here’s Wee John with a bit of Damien Rice.

This may be the ultimate bed-wetting song, but John’s little face won our hearts weeks ago so we’re going to let that slide.

He also took his French oral exam this week. John, la piscine et a cote de l’auberge de jeunesse.

While we’re on a commercial break: John has our heads wrecked with his resemblance to a specs-wearing cartoon character. But we can’t think of which one.

Can anyone help? Please? It’s torture.

(Pic RTE)

It’s time for Keith – Ireland’s Toni Braxton.™

Keith, as always, has the MOVES. But we’re not sure this is his best performance. He’s also a bit let down by the dancers, who look like extras from a Bananarama video.

And the voting is open. A handy montage of all the performances is now coming “through the TV”, as Kian would say.

My girlfriend has just intervened to inform me that Keith’s rendition of Crazy was “a car crash”.

I’m going to call this one and say she’s just jealous of his moves.

Here are the Coronas singing us a song, so everyone can just relax for a while.

The cameraman keeps doing panning shots of the giant The Voice fist at the side of the stage. Wouldn’t this show be more fun if every time a contestant got eliminated, the giant hand gave them the finger?

Paul Francis Quinn has a reaction to The Coronas:

Steady on, Paul.

Various people are suggesting that John looks like Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory.

It’s close… but it’s not the resemblance that’s STILL wrecking my head. Any more ideas?

While The Coronas are having another go at making the Sunday-night RTE audience swoon, we bring you this photo of Kelly after winning The Voice of Ireland’s Got Talent competition.

Look at her, the poor love. She is going to literally burst at any second. Women in her condition should not be in the same room as Bressie.

Hold up. Here’s Sharon Corr singing a song, and it’s only an EXCLUSIVE new single. She’s got a new outfit on and all.

She appears to have delegated the fiddle-playing to four young wans. HANG ON, no, she’s produced a fiddle from somewhere. She wasn’t holding that a second ago. Where on earth did she have it hidden?

OK, let’s agree not to think about that.

Can we take a minute for Bressie’s socks? Look at them there, shining like beacons under his trouser legs. He’s all business over the top, but party round the ankles.

The voting has now closed. Meanwhile, Ronan Kavanagh has the most convincing explanation yet for Kathryn’s hair:

Nailed it.

Here’s Team Bressie – Bressie, Shannon and Katy Anna – doing an a cappella song.

Is it just us, or are they actually a bit good?

We’ve gone to the Engine Room, where an expert has been monitoring the online reaction. Finally, some insight. So what’s his expert opinion?

You actually can’t tell who’s getting the most support.


Shane, Kelly, Shannon and Keith are through.

That means Katy Anna and wee John are going home.

Katy Anna is crying. Sharon Corr is crying. John isn’t crying, but that’s because he’s a real man inside that little body.


“Oh, it is a rollercoaster of ups and downs,” explains Kathryn. Right then.


That terrifying woman will shout at us in our dreams until the final, which is next week. Thanks for joining us for this liveblog, and see you then!

Check out all our previous The Voice liveblogs here>

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