While singers like Guy Sebastian, Samantha Jade, Dami Im, Casey Donovan and Jessica Mauboy continue to have high-profile careers following their time on Australian Idol or The X-Factor, the same can’t be said of any of the winners of The Voice Australia. For the six victors of the Nine Network singing competition, ARIA chart success quickly petered out after the initial burst of post-show activity, and they’ve mostly flown under the radar in other respects as well.
Season one, 2012
The inaugural winner of The Voice Australia, Karise Eden was still a teenager – just! – when she debuted at the top of the singles and albums chart with music she’d performed on the show. Despite a lengthy delay in further recordings, she enjoyed a top 20 single (“Threads of Silence”) in mid-2013 and top 5 album (Things I’ve Done) in late-2014, but hasn’t been able to sustain her initial, record-breaking momentum, with only a 2015 cover of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” being released since then. These days, Eden juggles looking after her young son, Blayden, who was born on Christmas Eve, 2014, and regular small gigs.
Season two, 2013
After racking up nine top 50 hits in just over two months as his season reached its climax, then-18-year-old Harrison Craig looked even more certain to enjoy a fruitful post-show career. And sure enough, his debut album reached number 1 in July 2013. Since then, Craig’s stuck with the covers, but his two subsequent albums have seen diminishing returns, with 2016’s King of Vegas barely making the top 40. In 2017, he released children’s book Harrison’s Song and has recently shared photos of himself on a songwriting trip to Europe.
Season three, 2014
Unlike most winners, Anja Nissen, who was 18 at the time, didn’t put out a winner’s single in the wake of her Voice victory. Instead, “I’m So Excited” (featuring her mentor, will.i.am, and Cody Wise) wasn’t released for three months – and missed the top 40. Follow-up singles performed even more disappointingly, although a remake of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” from the soundtrack to TV series Love Child made the top 30 in mid-2015. In 2017, Nissen represented Denmark, the birthplace of her parents, in the Eurovision Song Contest with “Where I Am”, placing 20th in the final.
Season four, 2015
The youngest champion to date, Ellie Drennan took out The Voice Australia as part of Team Jessie when she was just 16. Winner’s single “Ghost” charted at number 25, while her debut album, Close Your Eyes, peaked at number 14, making it the least successful album by a winner released immediately following the show to date. In 2016, Drennan released two singles, “Living Inside a Dream” and “Hard Love”, but neither set the chart alight.
Season five, 2016
At the other end of the spectrum, oldest winner Alfie Arcuri – he was 28 when he triumphed in season five – did manage a top 5 album with Zenith but his debut single, “Cruel”, didn’t get anywhere near the top 50 and has the ignominious honour of being the least successful winner’s single to date. Two further singles, “If They Only Knew” and “Love is Love”, have also failed to find their mark.
Season six, 2017
The most recent victor – and The Voice Australia’s first country-influenced champ – scored a top 20 debut single, “Count On Me”, and top 3 album of the same name. But, like all his predecessors, things ground to a halt pretty quickly. In early April, Kelly posted a video to Facebook showing him starting work on his second album.