Congratulations on your win! How are you feeling about it all?
Thank you! I’m over the moon. I’m still a little bit shocked because I genuinely didn’t think I was going to win so I’m on cloud nine right now.
You must be! How did the other top four artists react to your win?
I got calls straight away. We’re all really close but not in like a clichéd way. I probably talk to Stellar [Perry] everyday and Johnny [Manuel] if not everyday, multiple times. We’re all super, super close so I spoke to all of them straight away. Obviously we’ve all seen how much we’ve all put in, they knew how much it meant to me. And I was the same, I knew how much it meant to them so we had a really great chat.
In her Instagram Stories, you sister-in-law Jules Sebastian showed off a glimpse of what looked like a grand finale party for The Voice. Were you guys all watching it together?
Yeah! We had a little family COVID-safe get-together last night so it was obviously just family and a couple of really close friends watching together which was the best because we were finding out in real time. Like, I didn’t know the result until everyone else in Australia did so that was really great to have them there for that.
And kids get so excited, how did they react?
My little niece had written me a hand-written note, it was the sweetest thing! And we had a little group hug with all the kids. My daughter, which was crazy, she’s normally fast asleep at that time – she’s only four months old - she woke up about three minutes before the decision was read. I didn’t realise she was brought into the room and when they said my name, everyone just screamed and woke her up. But I was happy that she could be awake for it.
That’s so cute! This year was a bit different because it wasn’t live like previous year. Were you excited that you got to watch it at home with your family or do you feel like you missed out on the live aspect of it?
That’s a good question! I love having my family here but obviously we [myself and The Voice artists] all got so close, it would have been really great to be around everyone else. The way that it works is we did four alternate endings and whoever had the most votes, they played that ending so we had to act and pretend. Out there is a version of each of us winning which is great. I think I liked being with my family as much as I would have liked being with everyone else.
What was it like watching back a scene of you pretending to win when you hadn’t actually won yet?
You know what, I’m waiting to get approval because I really want to release the footage of me actually reacting because when I saw it on TV, that was real. Guy didn’t know, no one knew [who won]. The executive producers found out then, three minutes later, the rest of Australia found out so no one was in the know. And when I say I didn’t think I was going to win, that’s genuine, I really didn’t think I was going to win.
There’s been a lot of backlash with a lot of viewers declaring the show was “rigged” and claiming you only won because your brother Guy was one of the coaches. Do you have a message for people who are criticising you with statements like that?
I think the most important thing to know is that the show is a public vote, it’s audited by lawyers, it’s illegal to do any kind of rigging like that – that’s the technical way of looking at it. But for me, personally, there’s something that Guy said to me. He said, “At the end of the day, there’s going to be people who think that, they’re going to think that it was rigged, they’re going to think that there was favouritism or nepotism but at the end of the day this is a public vote.” And I am so lucky that enough people in the public voted me in. So I focus on the people that want me there as opposed to people who are angry at me. While I’m aware that there is a backlash, I’m focusing on the people who put me there. And I love that people are going in and defending me, that’s so sweet.
Was that something you were worried about when you first auditioned?
One hundred per cent. Absolutely! I knew going in. I mean, I wasn’t even thinking that far ahead. I was like “If I audition, they’re going to be mad, let alone if I win!” My gosh! But I had a little girl four months ago and she changed me. She was the reason I said to myself… I’ve been doing this a long time. People are under the impression that “oh if he’s Guy’s brother, couldn’t he do this?” I’ve been trying! I’ve put records out, I’ve done tours and I haven’t made it to where I wanted to – not for lack of trying. I was definitely trying. But The Voice is such a great platform and honestly probably the best platform for musos right now. And I said to myself I will cop some criticism if I can give my family, my wife and kid the life they deserve. I think that’s really my only motivation.
Speaking of your family, what was it like juggling a newborn, being on The Voice and a pandemic all at the same time?
She was born in lockdown. She was born and then two days later we went into the whole “you can’t really go out unless it’s for medical or groceries” so she hasn’t really been around anyone. She was filmed two days before my Battle round so I was very sleep-deprived. But this is where I give a shoutout to my wife because she has just been the biggest legend throughout all this. She knew that I needed a sleep and I needed to be well rested for the performances so she’s been taking on all the night feeds so I definitely owe her a holiday. Well, we can’t do a holiday yet but I owe her something special.