“We had filmed half of the season and were a good way through editing those episodes when COVID-19 hit. Conversations changed daily based on how things were looking … it was certainly the greatest challenge I have faced in my time working on the show,” Aramberri said.
The Voice’s other two coaches, Guy Sebastian and Delta Goodrem, are based in Australia and this year’s season will also draw on guest mentors including pop duo The Veronicas and Marcia Hines. Fans will be able to record themselves cheering as producers hope to piece together a “virtual crowd” for future episodes.
The show isn’t the only Australian reality program to be affected by the closure of international borders. The tenth season of Australia’s Got Talent was due to start filming earlier this year but was pushed back given there are several international acts among the cast. Production remains suspended, a Seven spokesperson said. The network is confident it can deliver Australia’s Got Talent this year as long as international borders reopen.
Meanwhile Network 10 isn’t ruling out filming Lindsay Lohan remotely for the second season The Masked Singer Australia.
“Based on current government regulations and border closures, we are working through a variety of broadcast options in regards to our judging panel,” a network spokeswoman said. “We will unmask more information soon.”
MasterChef too has had to adjust to social distancing requirements, which were introduced about half way into the filming of its current season and have resulted in judges no longer sharing the same plate and contestants not being allowed to hug
Boy George, speaking from his home in London, said the tone of The Voice will inevitably change halfway through the season due to the changes on set.
“There’s nothing quite like doing something in person,” Boy George said. “Virtual bitching. That’s going to be a new one.
“[But] we’re just going to try to make it work. I’ll still be able to enjoy the performances, still give my advice in terms of mentoring. And I’m going to entrust The Veronicas to carry that message. At the end of the day, we’re going to do everything to make it as fun and as entertaining as possible.”
The British pop star said he had been on his own for the best part of the last three months, spending his time recording, meditating.
“I’m weirdly missing the other coaches which is unexpected,” he said. “I can’t wait to dress up [for the livestream].”
The Voice airs on Sundays at 7pm and Mondays from 7.30pm on Channel Nine.
Broede Carmody is a culture reporter at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald