“The Voice Australia” has found its own Susan Boyle in the person of Jess Berney during the blind audition on Sunday, but some of the viewers were not impressed.
With her Mohawk hairstyle, 24-year-old Berney from Adelaide gave audience the impression that she was there to sing a rock song. But instead of loud tunes, she belted out a hypnotic melody with her rendition of “Pie Jesu.”
Her angelic voice was unexpected to say the least. She even admitted herself what everybody must have been thinking, “I don’t think my voice matches my look at all.”
As the blind audition has never been about a person’s appearance, the coaches had no idea that the impressive voice was coming from her until they all turned their chairs to express their interest.
Will.i.am, Kylie Minogue, Joel Madden and Ricky Martin all thought the young woman was phenomenon. They all delivered their pitch to Berney, telling her how much they wanted her on their team.
Martin, who was the last to turn after some cajoling from the three, was the fortunate one to be picked by Berney, though.
According to Berney, she has had no formal voice training, and she only learned to sing as such in their local parish where her father is a minister. She was joined backstage by her mother and her fiancée.
Her audition was reminiscent of Boyle’s audition on “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009. Boyle’s modest appearance provoked the audience members and the judges’ cynical attitude when she entered the stage, but she quickly changed their minds after belting out her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.”
The YouTube video of her audition became viral, garnering millions of views in just a few days.
However, while Boyle’s audition was met with almost unanimously positive reaction on social media, Berney’s was divided. There were some people who weren’t impressed with her operatic vocals.
When last year’s runner-up Luke Kennedy frankly tweeted, “I did not dig that,” his followers agreed, with some saying that Berney’s voice was a bit “screechy.”
@lukeckennedy - Nice voice but not "the voice" Very sharp in the high notes and not a real opera voice. Not bringing it up from the toes!!
— Kylie Pickett (@Lavishka) May 11, 2014
Some viewers simply thought that Berney’s voice was amazing.
@TheVoiceAU so angelic... Beautiful
— Rachel Sumaru (@rsumaru) May 11, 2014
Watch Berney’s performance: