Holly Byrnes, The Daily Telegraph, reports
It was The Voice Australia's Susan Boyle moment - 90 seconds of sensory overload that almost floored vision-impaired singer Rachael Leahcar.
With a degenerative disorder robbing her of 90 per cent of her sight, the 18-year-old had the nation in tears after being led on stage and then stealing the show.
The irony of being discovered during the "blind" auditions of the hottest new talent search series in local TV history is not lost on the cheeky teen, who won over the superstar coaches with her voice before they heard her inspiring story.
The emotion-charged episode touched local diva Delta Goodrem, moving her to share her own against-the-odds victory over cancer.
Goodrem went on to say: "Rachael is an extraordinary human being who has a very unique talent - her voice. Her voice left me no other choice but to turn my chair.
"Rachael has a gift which is truly special and her story is an inspiration. I have no doubt that we will be a great team and I am honoured that she chose me as her coach."
It was a mentoring match made in TV heaven - with Leahcar's angelic performance of Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose now set to be a guaranteed YouTube and iTunes hit.
While SuBo struggled with her instant fame at 48, the Adelaide teenager has embraced her reality TV opportunity with humour.
"I was the first to draw their attention to the irony of (the blind auditions). I think it's hilarious," she said last night.
But the overwhelming reaction from the live audience was almost the young singer's undoing.
"When I first heard them cheering I was just overwhelmed with emotion that people would be cheering for me," she said. "It was the best feeling in the world, ever, for anyone to experience."
Her performance should also cement The Voice as the breakout hit of 2012, setting a ratings record for the biggest audience ever for a talent show on debut.
Despite competition from Channel 7's stalwart celebrity series Dancing With The Stars, Nine has fought its way back in the ratings race with The Voice peaking at more than 4 million viewers nationally on Sunday night (averaging 2.18 million for the five-city metro audience).
Even with the sensational return of Kerri-Anne Kennerley to the small screen and a stunning routine by Mrs Russell Crowe, Danielle Spencer, DWTS was forced to settle with just 1.076 million viewers.
The Voice's second song just as strong
Pulling at heart-strings during The Voice premiere, Central Coast teen Karise Eden, a former State ward turned soul singer, scorched her way into Team Seal on Sunday night.
Chanelling every dark moment of her disrupted childhood, Eden said her success on the show had even brought her to tears.
"I've actually been getting a bit teary watching it back, going 'gosh that was me...I'm one of those people off TV now.'''
With a sound compared to Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone, the 19-year-old found herself flying up the iTunes single charts with her performance of Joplin's It's A Man's World.
The sales response, sitting her at number 20 last night, at one stage put her ahead of established music names including Justin Timberlake, Flo Rida and Chris Brown.
The power of the program also pushed Regina Spektor's Samson single back into the charts, after it was performed by The Voice contestant Casey Withoos.
Eden was at the centre of a four-way battle between the celebrity coaches, with Seal winning out and sweeping the teen up in the air.
"He picked me up and I felt like Simba (in The Lion King). In my head, I was singing (starts to hum Circle Of Life). I felt like Simba and he was presenting me, in a sense, to the world. It was pretty awesome,'' she laughed.
Eden says "pure determination'' is what has helped her turn her troubled past into a brighter future.
"If anything I know this has helped grow me. I wouldn't be the singer I am today if I didn't have the life that I've lived. I wouldn't have the emotion, I wouldn't have the baggage...I wouldn't sing from that spot that brings the raw emotion.
"At the end of the day, as much as it may depress me what's happened in my past, to just stand here and see there's a lot of people who like how I sing and what I do means it did me a greater good...to channel that emotion.''
More raw talent was uncovered in episode 2, with these six singers moving through to the battle rounds:
SARAH DE BONO, 19, Melbourne for Team Joel
PERFORMED: Jessie J's Price Tag
Sarah De Bono and Zak Mason sing Jessie J
SARAH'S passion for music and bright personality were hard to miss when she took to The Voice stage. With a shock of dyed scarlett hair and a voice to reflect her pop, soul and R&B talents, the primary school music teacher is determined to leave her mark.
CAM TAPP, 40, Melbourne for Team Keith
PERFORMED: Five For Fighting's Superman
CAM the family man loves his life as a stay-at-home-dad to twin sons. But the desire to chase his musical dreams lead him to audition for The Voice. Winning early attention from Seal and Keith Urban, he caused some friction when he finished his performance by singing "I'm so glad that's over.'' Seen as a negative by Seal, it was explained later by Joel Madden as Australians "taking the piss out of themselves.''
LAURA BUNTING, 24, Sydney for Team Joel
PERFORMED: Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights
Laura Bunting sings Florence and the Machine
LAURA has found herself a place on the stage, scoring roles in the recent production of Wicked. But is ready to take the next step in her musical career. Inspired by the style of Kate Bush, herself the discovery of UK talent series, Opportunity Knocks, Bunting will add the quirk factor to The Voice Australia.
BRETT CLARKE, 26, Tamworth for Team Keith
PERFORMED: Keith Urban's Making Memories Of Us
Cowgirls don't cry
BRETT has idolised Keith Urban almost his whole life. So to stand in front of his musical hero and perform one of the global superstar's biggest hits was a risk - that paid off. Urban praised his bravery for attempting the song he penned and making it his own. The road to Nashville for Clarke starts here.
YSHRAEL PASCUAL, 33, Melbourne for Team Seal
PERFORMED: The Rolling Stones' Miss You
YSHRAEL has been a carpet cleaner in his family's business since leaving high school. It's not the life or the dream he wants to follow, braving The Voice audition for a new shot and new direction. With a flamboyant style, reminiscent of Adam Lambert on American Idol, the singer has come close to musical fame before: offered a publishing deal with Mushroom Records in 2008. Will he make it this time around?
CHRIS SEBASTIAN, 33, Melbourne for Team Seal
PERFORMED: Beyonce' Halo
CHRIS is desperate to step out from the shadow of his famous brother, Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian. A singer in his own right since the age of 15, it has been difficult to establish his own career outside of his semi-professional roles as a singing teacher and music producer. Recognised instantly by Guy's gal pal Delta, he instead chose Seal who promised to make him work hard to win the competition.
RACHAEL LEAHCAR, 18, Adelaide for Team Delta
PERFORMED: Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose
RACHAEL is the first to joke she put the blind into this series' blind audition. With just 10 per cent vision, the sometime wedding singer took to the stage with the aid of a producer. Her angelic captivated all four coaches who turned their chairs around before discovering the young singer had no idea if she had been successful. Her inspiring story touched Delta Goodrem, who bonded with her young fan over her own battle with cancer.
Watch Rachael Leahcar's video below: