Noughties Star Lee Harding Rocked Up For A Surprise Shred On ‘The Voice’ Last Night
The 'Wasabi' singer put his distinct spin on a Rage Against The Machine classic.
The year was 2006. George W. Bush was the President, heelys and yo-yos were still sure fire routes to total playground clout, and a young punk rocker named Lee Harding was just dropping his first album, What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Harding had first burst into the public consciousness by appearing on Australian Idol, performing everything from ‘Jailhouse Rock’ to The Monkees’ ‘I’m A Believer’ for the benefit of a growing fanbase and the show’s stern but tender judges. He ended up finishing third in that particular contest, but first in the hearts of the public — which goes some way to explaining the success of ‘Wasabi’, the first single from What’s Wrong With This Picture?
A fiery, over-the-top punk tune, ‘Wasabi’ sat at the top of the charts for a whopping five weeks, and its accompanying music video was so successful it was voted number 63 in the Video Hits Australia Top 100 Video Clips. Harding’s ascendancy seemed guaranteed.
But the winds of the music industry are fickle indeed, and before long Harding’s influence began to wane. Unlike fellow Idol alumni Shannon Noll, who has managed to turn his reality music career into an ironic paycheck, finding new, distinctly rowdy fans, Harding has mostly spent his time playing shows with his covers band Bedrock.
Now that the nostalgia machine is fully underway, however, Harding has spied the perfect chance for a comeback — last night, he took to the stage for the blind auditions of The Voice, and absolutely shredded a version of Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name Of’.
He sounded good! So good, in fact, that each of the judges smashed their buttons and turned around for him, a nice little moment of success for a pop singer who hasn’t had a televised thrill like this in over a decade.
Of course, we’ll see how the rest of the competition plays out for the star, but in the meantime, let’s all bask in the cognitive dissonance of a one-time reality TV icon singing a song about police corruption and systemic racism.