Interview: The Voice’s Isaac McGovern and Frank Lakoudis #teamjoel

Thanks to Channel 9, we got to chat to two of the Voice competitors, Isaac McGovern and Frank Lakoudis, about the impending live finals and the pressures of the show.

Undoubtedly the biggest reality show at the moment, Nine Network’s The Voice has everyone talking and the series is only set to heat up. With bigger performances from both the contestants and guest performers, that includes one of the world’s biggest bands at the moment, Coldplay, performing on Monday’s show – the ratings are set to skyrocket.

Now with just 16 competitors remaining, we wanted to find out what life is like behind the scenes and whether the nerves are starting to kick in: “Yeah I’m nervous this week as I’m really out of my comfort zone. I don’t have any instruments on stage with me – it’s just me and the microphone. Even the styling is not my usual style. I’ll be wearing double denim and I’ve never worn double denim before – we’ll see how it goes,” says a very likeable Isaac.

Each show is only a glimpse into the lives and relationship of the contestant and the coaches but behind the scenes, the real work begins: “We get a lot of Joel’s time which is something that I don’t think the show gets across to the audience. When the camera’s aren’t rolling we’re still working with Joel helping each of us to be our best. I might feel a bit uncomfortable with this weeks song choice but Joel has confidence in the song and I have confidence in him,” he continues.

Isaac is no stranger to performing having been on the road since the age of 12 performing across the country and playing no less than 14 instruments – a remarkable feat for a man of only 19. The time on the road has evidently seasoned him and he is as talented as he is humble.

“I didn’t even apply for The Voice as I was not sure if I was good enough. My cousin came to me one day and said she needed me to sing on film for a project she was doing. She then sent it in and I got asked to audition and here I am. Wherever this journey takes me she’ll be getting free tickets to my shows for life.”

Despite his youth he has wisdom beyond his years and understands that this opportunity alone is not enough to guarantee a successful career: “Touring from such a young age and seeing musicians struggling to make it, gives you the drive to make the most of this opportunity. I’ve been learning all that I can from Joel and I have shown him some of my own material, which he has helped me refine.

“Over the years I have worked to develop as a musician learning new instruments and the craft of song writing, so that I can adapt to changes in the industry,” he finishes.

At 22 Frank is barely Isaac’s elder (and both leave me feeling very, very, very old), but imagehe too is no stranger to performing having started singing since the age of three: “I come from a Greek family and we’re used to having big celebrations. My uncle is the only one who would sing regularly and my family tells me that when I was younger I used to sing with him. I can’t remember that far back and he has since passed away – but my family said I take after him.”

The years of performing have undoubtedly honed his unique vocals that wowed the judges with his performance (and range) in his first audition, tackling Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’. Over the years he, too, has had to adapt and not so much to the industry but to his own changing tones and vocal ranges: “My voice is different to what it was 5 years ago and will be different in 5 years more. I can’t hit the same pitches as I used to, so I always have to be aware of my limitations and focus on my strengths.”

Frank is sticking closer to his roots this week with a true rock classic from one of the biggest bands on the planet. But styling for the show has thrown up some issues: “The song I am performing comes from a band that are distinctive both vocally and in appearance. In rehearsals we tried to mirror the band as much as possible including their makeup.

“But when I spoke to Joel he said that the focus should be on the performance and that the makeup made it more of a ‘gimmick’. So we’ve gone for a stripped back version that I think puts the focus back on my vocals – although I might keep the eye liner.”

Indeed, as we spoke his eye lashes did stand out and looked like they went on forever, much to the amusement of his fellow competitors.

No one can predict what Monday’s show and the ensuing votes will hold for Isaac and Frank but after sharing the briefest of moments chatting with the two, we’re certain that their talent, humble natures, grounded persona’s, like-ability and drive will serve them well in an industry that is notoriously cruel.

Good luck guys and go team Joel!