It’s been an unusual series of The Voice Australia, with Covid-19 restrictions resulting in the show being filmed without an audience and with two judges working remotely. But the Grand Finale is coming up this weekend and among the four finalists will be ex-Equinox singer Johnny Manuel.
The American vocalist made it after impressing coach Guy Sebastian with his semi-final performance of “A Change Is Gonna Come”. Unlike in previous series, the semi-final was pre-recorded, with the qualifying acts selected by the coaches, rather than the Australian public.
The song was originally written by the American soul legend Sam Cooke in 1964 and remains a powerful civil rights anthem. Johnny explained to coach Guy, “As a person of colour, it represents a lot for me, it means a lot.”
Johnny gave a powerful performance, conveying the passion and fury of the Black Lives Matter movement. Judge Kelly Rowland, watching remotely from Los Angeles, said she found the performance “Extremely moving” and said she “felt like our ancestors could feel it.”
When it came time for coach Guy Sebastian to select his act for this weekend’s Grand Finale, he picked Johnny.
Earlier, Johnny was surprised with a visit from his partner Chris. The Australian was super supportive of Johnny and said he never got sick of hearing his American partner singing.
What do you think? Can Johnny Manuel win The Voice Australia? Should he represent Australia at Eurovision 2022? Tell us your thoughts below!
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