Cheating scandal rocks The Voice
The Voice judges have been caught up in a fiery exchange with one accused of "cheating" and a producer forced to intervene after an unexpected breach of the rules.
Things became tense on set during Monday night's episode after a powerhouse performance by Wolf Winters, who delivered an intensely dark cover of Simon & Garfunkel's hit The Sound of Silence.
Guy Sebastian couldn't help but enthusiastically spin his chair - despite having no positions left on his team of contestants. The unexpected move sent shockwaves through the audience and judges' panel - and particularly irritated Kelly Rowland, who was the only one left with an available slot.
"Wait, you can't do that!" a gobsmacked Rowland told Sebastian, as Boy George reminded him: "You're full, you can't have this man anyway."
After a sheepish Sebastian admitted to Wolf that his team was already complete, he added to Rowland: "I just can't believe you didn't turn around for that!"
Rowland, who'd explained earlier that she was looking for another female to balance out her numbers, was clearly furious: "I'm looking for something specific, how're you going to tell me what to look for my team?"
She added: "You're cheating. You are cheating."
With the judges in uproar, the shows's executive producer, Leigh Aramberri, was forced to step in to try and resolve the awkward situation.
"The problem we have is that unless we get Kelly to take him, we potentially have to tell him that he's not through anymore," he told Sebastian, who apologised for causing the drama.
As Sebastian attempted to smooth over the awkwardness by making small talk with Wolf, the other judges huddled with Aramberri to figure out a solution.
The EP attempted to beg Rowland to take him for the last spot on her team by telling her "otherwise we'll be forced to tell him he's not through anymore," but she wouldn't budge.
"I just really wanted a female," she insisted.
Rowland then stormed back over to Sebastian, asking him: "Do you see what you started?" before apologising to Wolf and explaining her reasons for not taking him on, and pointing out that her fellow judge was "not playing by the rules".
"Don't make me look like the bad guy," she told Sebastian. "You're the one who ain't following the rules."
Meanwhile, after the crowd repeatedly chanted "let him stay" - a compromise was finally reached.
Sebastian was offered the opportunity to let Wolf on his team, on the proviso that he is forced to eliminate not one, but two of his contestants in the next round, where teammates are pitted against each other in a battle round.
"The good news is, you're going to go through to the battles. And welcome to Team Guy," Sebastian told Wolf.
Over on Twitter, viewers were divided over the controversial move:
He may have cheated but I’m with Guy one this one. How could Kelly NOT have turned for that?!?! #TheVoiceAU— Tyler (@OldGoldenSnitch) June 15, 2020
The Voice continues 7.30pm Tuesday night on Nine.
#TheVoiceAU Get Guy to kick off one of his team. No brainer. He turned. His problem. Not Kelly’s.— Kev Hearn (@Kev_Hearn) June 15, 2020