Last night (3 September) marked the end of The Bushwackers’ journey on The Voice Australia. The singing and songwriting pair, Roger Corbett and Dobe Newton, both in their seventies, relinquished their position in the competition under Team Jessica Mauboy, surprising their coach and fans across the country.
The shock decision arrived as Mauboy had to choose between The Bushwackers and Ezra Williams (sister of Mauboy’s former Young Divas bandmate, Emily Williams) to send one contestant to the Battles round. The Bushwackers performed the Paul Kelly classic Dumb Things, while Williams took on Pat Benatar’s Love Is A Battlefield.
“I think we can make this easier for you,” Newton told Mauboy. “This show and the challenges to come, we think, are about people just beginning on their career journey, so Roger and I have decided you need Ezra in your Battle team.
“As much as we’re having a wonderful time, this is about the future and Ezra’s the future.”
Before they left the competition, though, The Bushwackers performed I Am Australian one last time. You can re-live that performance – which they auditioned with and got into the competition in the first place – below.
Taking to social media last night, Corbett explained that they went on The Voice Australia “to reconnect with our long time audience, some of whom didn’t realise we’re still out here doing shows, having a great time and still making new music.”
He added, “We’ve had such lovely feedback from so many people. The Voice folks have been so supportive and respectful with our music. We feel truly grateful for this opportunity.”
Newton wrote, “We took some persuading, but so glad we did it. We got to hang out with some wonderfully talented performers and met so many lovely, supportive people on the production teams.
“Thanks to all of you for getting involved in our journey. Go team Jess! We'll be watching and cheering”.
All four judges were moved by The Bushwackers’ all-Australian spirit following their audition, with the local coaches – Mauboy and Guy Sebastian – and international judges Jason Derulo and Rita Ora – applauding the duo’s dedication to inclusivity and community.
The Bushwackers formed at Melbourne’s La Trobe University in 1971. Since their formation, the legendary Australian country-folk group have released 20 studio albums, two live albums, multiple compilation albums, and taken home three awards from the Country Music Awards of Australia and three-time Best Country Group winners at the annual Mo Awards.