EntertainmentThe Voice 2019: All-Star Sheldon Riley reveals real reason he wore a mask during comeback audition
What happened to Nathan Foley? Hi-5 star spent a decade as a cruise ship entertainer after leaving the children's band in 2008 - as he prepares for a career comeback on The Voice
Nathan Foley is set to appear as a contestant on The Voice Australia later this week. And speaking to New Idea on Monday, the former Hi-5 star revealed his 'fears' about returning to television after 11 years away from the spotlight. A member of the original Hi-5 lineup from 1999 to 2008, Nathan has spent much of the past decade working as a cruise ship entertainer. 'I had all these fears,' the 39-year-old singer said, when asked about his career comeback on The Voice.
The masked singer has been unveiled and it's none other than last season's grand finalist, Sheldon Riley.
On Sunday night's final Blind Audition, the 19-year-old made aas an All Star, belting out Madonna's hit 'Frozen' behind a stunning crystal mask and wowing both the coaches and the audience.
But there was a reason Sheldon chose to go incognito on the stage — the same stage where he lost toduring last year's Grand Final, under the guidance of his idol, Boy George.
Here, he tells 9Honey Celebrity the significance of the mask, and why he chose Delta Goodrem as his coach this time around despite the tense exchange they had last year.
The Voice 2019: Former Hi-5 star Nathan Foley's surprise return to Australian TV
You know the name and you know the face, but former Hi-5 star Nathan Foley says Australia doesn't really know him as a solo artist.
How exciting to see you back onThe Voice! But first let's revisit last year. How disappointing was it to come so far and not win the title?
It was just so close — I really didn't know if I had it in the bag. It was definitely devastating, but I was just really proud of Sam because I'm always one to stand up for diversity and a bit of a change in the game.
What have you been up to since last season?
I've been doing a lot of stuff. I've been able to jump in the industry and meet some amazing people and work with some crazy celebrities. I've been recognised by lots of people as well, which has got me some really great work. I got followed by Sam Smith, Adam Lambert and different drag queens [on Instagram] and got some really cool exposure from different people.
'I don't feel like you're listening to any of our advice': The Voice Australia contestant Kirrah Amosa dramatically storms off stage after none of the judges turned their chairs
The Voice Australia coaches clashed with a contestant during a very awkward audition on Tuesday night. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Clash: 'I don't feel like you're listening to any of our advice,' coach Delta Goodrem (pictured) said, prompting Kirrah to abruptly walk off Kirrah Amosa stormed off the stage after clashing with all four coaches because none of them turned their chairs during her audition. 'I don't feel like you're listening to any of our advice,' coach Delta Goodrem said, prompting Kirrah to abruptly walk off.
You're back this year with an All-Star tag. Were you nervous about returning?
Yes and no. Yes because it's so much pressure — you know what the stakes are, and just because you're an All Star, doesn't mean you'll turn a chair. That magical moment I turned four chairs the last time might not be there this time. I think to turn a chair shows that you still have that passion, that fight, that talent. And that was really scary for me because I didn't know if anyone would want to take a chance on me again.
My heart would've broken for you had no chairs turned!
My heart would've broken for me! But at the same time — and I stand so strongly on this — I can't stand up on a stage all of last year, saying that it doesn't matter how many times you get knocked back you can't give up, and then completely give up after this time. Having that in the back of my mind, whatever happens on the stage, I know it does not define whether I'm a success or not.
'We don't have history together': Guy Sebastian awkwardly SNUBS The Voice All Star Sheldon Riley ...despite already knowing him from X Factor on which he'd dubbed the budding star 'a young Bruno Mars'
Guy Sebastian turned his chair for All Star contestant Sheldon Riley on The Voice on Sunday night. But Guy's claim that he has 'no history' with the 19-year-old, who came third in last year's Grand Final, under the guidance of mentor Boy George. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 'We don't have history together': On Sunday night, Guy Sebastian awkwardly snubbed The Voice All Star Sheldon Riley (pictured) ...despite already knowing him from X Factor in 2016 Guy was not a member of X-Factor judges last year, but he was a judge on X Factor Australia in 2016, when a then 17-year-old Sheldon auditioned.
How did you feel being grouped with so many talented All Stars?
There's lots of pressure, but I always tell myself that if I'm not competing with the absolute best, and if I'm not threatened at least once on the show, then I'm not in the right place. Last year was so great but this year, I have to say, the talent was just out of this world. I'm just so excited to jump into it.
Who do you think is your biggest competition among the All Stars?
I think there's bigger competition in the new people that have come through. The All Stars are extremely talented, don't get me wrong, but my eyes aren't on them. We've all got our own journeys to walk but sometimes I see the new people on stage and go, "Wow, you're insane!" It's really great to see new talent come through.
We need to talk about the mask during your audition. Did anybody in the audience recognise you under those crystals?
The audience didn't know! The strange thing is I had this beautiful mask on all day but you really can't see anything through the crystals. Unless you're a diehard Voice fan, you wouldn't know. But I walked up on stage and some people were like, "Is it Sheldon?"
'Time to switch to another channel': Outraged fans SLAM The Voice judges after former Hi-5 star Nathan Foley is cut in the first knockout round
Nathan Foley made a triumphant return to the spotlight with a thrilling blind audition during last Monday's episode of The Voice. But the 39-year-old's star turn was quickly extinguished as he was cut in the first knockout round. Delta Goodrem picked All Star contestant Sheldon Riley to stay on Team Delta, while Kelly Rowland saved Luke Zanc, eventually pairing him in a duo with his wife Tannah.
Why did you wear the mask?
The whole mask hiding thing was more just a testament from last year. Last year I was always looked at as, "It's just his clothing, it has nothing to do with his voice," or, "Sheldon was getting away with everything because he was Boy George's favourite." That was said to me so many times. When actually I worked really hard to be there. I did just as much vocal stuff and each night I stayed up even later than everyone else getting all the stuff done.
So for me I wanted to walk out, not show my face and just really go on with my voice and the outfit I created. The whole point was when I sing the last words to my song, the mask comes off. I wanted to show them this is me, I'm taking the mask off. I'm ready this year, ready to fight.
George recognised your voice and turned around immediately, but his team was already full. Would you have gone on #TeamGeorge again, or was it a case of new beginnings this year?
As soon as I saw his face pop up, George just makes me feel at home. There's this feeling that I'm in the right place. But I wanted to hear the pitches. Last year, I was infatuated by George — he was really the biggest influence in terms of me choosing him, and I didn't really hear anybody else.
So I was going to listen to the pitch this time — I want to hear how they're going to bring me further than last time. When Delta and Guy [Sebastian] both turned around, I don't know about Guy, but I just knew right away that Delta was the right person for me. I would've considered George, but it's more fun to shake things up a little bit.
New couple alert! The Voice Australia's Jack Vidgen and Sheldon Riley are 'dating' as insiders say their backstage romance is 'the talk of the set'
Is Jack Vidgen dating Sheldon Riley? All signs are pointing to 'yes'. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited New couple alert! The Voice's Jack Vidgen and Sheldon Riley (pictured) are rumoured to be dating and their backstage romance is 'the talk of the set', according to insiders The Voice contestants are getting close backstage and producers are convinced they are an item, according to Woman's Day. A source told the magazine that Jack, 22, was previously overheard talking about Sheldon, 19, and asking others if he's single.
Backstage your mum expressed concerns about you going with Delta, who you had a tense exchange with last year when she said you weren't being true to yourself. What made you go with Delta in the end?
Mum's always looking out for me. She took it hard last year when she heard what Delta said to me. But after working with Delta now, I know that she never meant any harm at all. Knowing her now, she was just looking out for me completely. She could see right through me even more than anybody else was. Mum has really come to terms with Delta now and Mum's like, "That makes so much sense," and it's great.
What's the difference between George and Delta's coaching styles?
Both beautiful coaches but such different coaching styles. George has always got great things to say. It was this, this and this. I wanted to take it all in, but I don't think I was ready for that last year — I wasn't ready to take on so much all at once. Whereas with Delta, she really pinpoints what needs to be worked on in the moment. And she knows there's so much more to work on — and I know there's so much more to discover — but she's like, "This is exactly what you need to work on this time, and if you progress through the show, we'll work on the next thing and then the next thing."
You what I think it is? I think George and I just have this friendship kind of vibe between us. It's really hard to learn a lot when you're having fun with someone like George. Whereas with Delta, she really does take on the coach role — you cannot lie, you cannot hide from Delta. She does call me out on a lot of things and I think that's really good.
George is a great coach to have when you want to express yourself and find who you are. But now that I know who I am, I need a coach you tells me, "OK, this is how we're going to do it."
One person who's helped you find yourself is your boyfriend, Zachery Tomlinson, who you started dating after last season. Tell us about your new relationship.
It's really strange for me because last season the biggest adversity I had to cross was just learning that I am lovable, which is really full on. So coming off the show and meeting someone who is so different from me has taught me so much.
I think the biggest thing since coming off The Voice is just to work on trying to find myself. Because I spent the whole season telling people to love themselves and I wasn't really doing that for myself. So I think it's really great for me now on the show to prove to everybody that I'm a completely different person and I've got so much more to share.
Has The Voice's 'All Stars' experiment paid off?.
Following Tuesday night's final battle, almost half of the season's top 16 are names previously recognisable to TV-viewing audiences. © Nine The Voice's top 16 finalists this year include four former contestants. © Channel Nine Jack Vidgen on The Voice Which begs the question: is The Voice even pretending to uncover the industry's next bona fide star, or simply retreading quite recent pop chart missteps? "People always ask questions about why should this person be on the show, or why shouldn't this person be on the show," says Aramberri.