The Bushwackers won the hearts of the country and the judges on The Voice Australia last night (21 August), earning a four-chair turn and a place in Jessica Mauboy’s team following their Blind Audition.
The longstanding members, Roger Corbett and Dobe Newton inspired the in-studio audience, particularly Mauboy, with a stirring performance of I Am Australian, written by Newton and The Seekers’ Bruce Woodley in 1987.
Appearing on The Voice stage must be intimidating, but it sure didn’t look it for The Bushwackers. Newton didn’t just sing I Am Australian but also led a massive crowd singalong as Corbett played the acoustic guitar and harmonica.
All four judges were moved by The Bushwackers’ all-Australian spirit, with the Australian coaches – Mauboy and Guy Sebastian – and international judges Jason Derulo and Rita Ora – complimenting the duo’s dedication to inclusivity and community. You can watch the performance below.
“We thought we'd know what to say in this moment, but we're both feeling rather overwhelmed and seem to have leaky eyeballs,” The Bushwackers wrote on Facebook last night. To process those feelings, Corbett and Newton wrote separate statements about their The Voice Australia Blind Audition.
“The Voice Australia was an interesting choice for us. I wanted to take on the challenge as it was a chance for a much wider and diverse audience to engage with our music, and I also wanted to see Dobe get the chance to play "I Am Australian" and be recognised for his part in the creation of such a unifying song,” Corbett wrote.
“’I Am’ is truly a national treasure of a song and it is so humbling and special to see it greeted with so much respect, love and joy on national TV. We are excited for the next chapter in this crazy ride.”
Newton added, “Some of you will know that on rare occasions I may come across a tad cynical. I know - what a shock!
“Anyway, that night on The Voice Australia was totally memorable and involving. All the people on the story, wardrobe, artist and production teams were a joy to work with, but I certainly didn't expect such heartfelt (and they were) words from the judges. A unique experience... straight to the pool room!”
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.
The Voice Australia continues tonight (22 August) at 7 pm AEST on Channel 7 and 7plus, continuing each Monday and Tuesday, airing weekly.