Bella Taylor Smith And Guy Sebastian Shine On Their The Prayer Duet

When was the last television talent show without controversy? With The Voice Australia 2021, the issue was finalist Bella Taylor Smith’s links to the Hillsong Church (a Charismatic “mega-church” based in Australia). Many viewers feared a setup, as Taylor Smith’s coach, Guy Sebastian, is known to have links to the church. To add fuel to the fire, Sebastian’s brother, Chris, controversially won the 2020 series of The Voice Australia, and in 2021, Guy Sebastian was the only returning judge.

We’ll get back to Sebastian’s perceived clout on The Voice Au presently. For the moment, what we need to know is that when Bella Taylor Smith took the stage for the grand finale, there were two lively camps on Australian social media. One group railed against the Hillsong conspiracy, the other insisted that Taylor Smith was the fair dinkum favourite to win. Here is Smith singing The Prayer with Coach Sebastian as her grand finale performance. Grab the popcorn, Music Man readers!

As you would expect, this performance confirmed the opinions of both the Hillsong conspiracy crowd and Bella Taylor Smith fans. The Daily Mail reported that the song caused The Voice to be “slammed for promoting Hillsong”. Here is a Twitter comment quoted in the article: “Hillsong Church member auditions for a Hillsong coach, then Hillsong coach has to act like the Hillsong connection isn’t there until grand finale night, but OK”. “Yes, yes, yes”, you may say, “but what did the fans think?”

“She sounds like a Disney princess. He is so good technically. These riffs, that performance wow!” one fan commented. Another enthused, “This is the best coach/contestant duet I’ve seen on any Voice show; amazing!” “One of the best interpretations of The Prayer that I’ve ever heard. Goosebumps!” Stuckster exclaimed. Okay, enough with the story, who won the season? Winning isn’t everything, especially on The Voice, where few winners become music stars, but relax, here is the grand announcement.

That was moving, wasn’t it? A real television moment! Now here’s the thing. Bella Taylor Smith was sitting on her couch at home when she found out that she had won The Voice AU. The entire 2021 season was recorded months earlier – the finale was recorded in April and broadcast in September. Since viewers vote for the winner, four different versions of the announcement of the winner were filmed. I don’t know about you, but it makes me wonder about the extent to which the show’s production team was able to manipulate the outcome of the popular vote through editing choices. They had plenty of time.

I promised to get back to Coach Sebastian’s perceived influence on The Voice AU. We know that he won the 2020 season. In 2022 the show was rocked by another “huge cheating scandal”. After their battle round performance, Sebastian asked if both of his team members could go through. This was against all precedent and apparently against the rules. Host Sonia Kruger said she’d have to consult with the producers. Sebastian quipped: “I know people at Seven. I can text them if you don’t have access.” When the answer came through, Sebastian prevailed. Jordan and Celestial both went through. Australian social media lit up. “#rigged” trended on Twitter, with fans arguing that it was not fair to the other contestants.

After winning The Voice AU, Bella Taylor Smith participated in three Australian tours (with Sebastian, with the US a cappella group Pentatonix, and as the headliner). In 2022 Bella Taylor Smith was nominated for the ARIA Award for breakthrough Australian artist. In October 2023, Smith announced that she was returning to her first love, inspirational Christian music.

If you are captivated by Bella Taylor Smith’s incredible singing talent, consider subscribing to her YouTube Channel for more enchanting performances. You can also keep up with her latest updates by connecting with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Please be aware of people impersonating The Music Man. Click here to see our brands so you know who to trust.