It was a musical theatre number – ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman – that would prove to be Halimah Kygrios‘s last on The Voice AU stage.
Despite the applause and admiration of the audience and other coaches, coach Rita Ora decided not to proceed to the finals with Halimah on her team.
For the older sibling of tennis star Nick Kygrios, it was a bittersweet moment.
Despite saying the song related to her as a musical theatre artist, Halimah does wonder what would have happened if she had sung a more commercial song.
“I was very happy with the song as I hadn’t been expecting to get a musical theatre song in this competition – just because it’s more commercial in nature.
“It was a relief in a way as it’s something that I’m very familiar with,” she said.
Upon making her decision, coach Rita referred to Halimah’s future as being firmly in the realm of musical theatre.
“Your voice is so strong and so persistent. I’m thinking in my mind, ‘What can I give you, now that you’ve had this amazing moment?’
“I know that as a musical director watching at home, I would give you a lead role in a heartbeat. But that’s honestly where I see your future and I feel like your career’s just taking off.
“So, with that in mind, I’m going to have to let you go,” she said.
But while Halimah is feeling more confident hearing what Rita had to say to her, she isn’t convinced that musical theatre is the only place her future lies. Especially given much of the world’s musical theatre is on hold due to COVID-19.
Going forward, Halimah now has the confidence she gained from the show and the belief that she can be both a lead role in a musical as well as find her own voice commercially.
“I’m inspired by artists like Rita [Ora], Rihanna and Kehlani, and I’d love to get into a style like that,” she said.
Right now, she’s keeping both options open – waiting for musical theatre auditions to reopen and simultaneously looking for songwriters and producers to collaborate with on a potential album.
Coach Guy Sebastian had also applauded Halimah’s “courage” and said he had been blown away by the power of her vocals.
“There is an elephant in the room whenever there’s a famous sibling, and then sometimes you are sitting there going ‘I’ve got things I want to do as well’ – and you did it”, he said.
Halimah was surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response she received on social media, unlike the often negative media attention her younger brother Nick often receives.
“I was nervous about going on the show because I’ve seen what he deals with – there’s more negative than positive regardless of what he does, and I was scared of that happening to me,” she said.
She also says it’s made a nice change to be addressed and congratulated by people using her own name and on her own successes, not those of a sibling.
This year’s season of The Voice Australia was different from previous ones in that it’s been set at a much faster pace than normal.
For Halimah, however, this wasn’t noticeable as a contestant.
“Watching it back, though, I couldn’t believe how quickly it all happened, and I know a lot of viewers were shocked too,” she said.
She laments not having spent more time with the coaches and work on the song more.
However, the format this year, with callbacks rather than battles, suited her with her musical theatre background as she says that’s how auditions generally run.
Continuing through to the semi-final on Rita Ora’s team is girl-group GNat!on and 16-year-old Sian Fuller – whose brother Jordan is also on Guy Sebastian’s team.
The Voice Australia continues Sundays at 7:00 pm, and Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:30 pm on Channel 7.