Sydney’s big-voiced diva Anja Nissen from Team will.i.am has been named The Voice of Australia for 2014
Last night’s Grand Finale saw Australia vote Team Ricky’s Jackson Thomas runner-up to Anja, with Johnny Rollins from Team Kylie in third place. Team Joel’s Frank Lakoudis and duo ZK from Team will.i.am rounded out the top five.
In an amazing twist, Nissen went on to win by becoming the fifth artist into The Voice Grand Finale after being saved by the new instant public vote via the Vodafone HomeCoach App.
As the winner of The Voice Australia, Nissen, 18, wins a recording contract with Universal Music, $100,000 prize money and a Ford EcoSport. She will also headline The Voice on Tour upcoming concerts with her fellow top eight artists
Anja’s first single as winner of The Voice, My Girls, will be released on Friday, July 25, and after tonight’s win she will begin working on a follow-up single produced by her Coach, will.i.am. The winner’s album will be released on Friday, August 1, and is available for pre-order.
Anja said: “I cannot believe that I am the winner of The Voice 2014. It feels like I have been preparing for this for a long time. I started singing when I was six and always dreamt about my career kicking off, but I never thought it would happen this early, and The Voice has given me an outlet to do that.
“It’s been the most amazing experience of my life. And getting to work with will.i.am – he has taught me so much and pushed me beyond my boundaries, which I really needed.
“Thank you to Australia for voting for me and believing in me. Thank you to my family for always supporting me even when I thought I couldn’t do it. This is what I was born to do.”
Anja blew the Coaches away in the Blind Auditions with her powerful rendition of Vanishing by Mariah Carey. Her extraordinary vocals made all four Coaches – Ricky Martin, Kylie Minogue, Joel Madden and will.i.am – hit their buttons. Coach will.i.am’s first observation of the songstress was: “I wasn’t expecting that when I turned around.” Despite her age, Anja’s vocals are often mistaken for the mature artists she draws inspiration from, including Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin and Celine Dion.
In the Battle Rounds, Anja was paired with fellow Sydneysider Sarah Hamad in a battle of the big voices, singing When Love Takes Over by David Guetta. Anja was victorious and moved through to the Showdowns where will.i.am brought in his Black Eyed Peas co-founder apl.de.ap to mentor her through an emotional performance of His Eye On the Sparrow by Lauryn Hill, which saw her progress to the last 16.
During the four weeks of Live Shows, Anja expertly performed songs by some of the great divas, including I’ll Be There by Mariah Carey, Irreplaceable by Beyoncé, I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston, and Wild by Jessie J.