It's the final of The Voice UK on Saturday and coaches Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs and will.i.am are each hoping that their last remaining act can win. We chatted to them ahead of the big night...
Coaches Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs and will.i.am spill the beans on The Voice UK's grand finale…
After singing their hearts out at the blind auditions, battles, knockouts and last week's semi-final, just four singers remain to compete for the title of The Voice UK champion 2018 in the live final on Saturday night.
With just a few more performances standing between them and the chance of bagging a record deal with music giants Polydor, the pressure is on our final four to sing like they’ve never sung before. Watching their every move as always will be coaches Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs and will.i.am – but only the viewers will have the power to decide who wins.
TV Times caught up with Tom, Jennifer, Olly and Will to find out how they're gearing up for the big night…
Olly, how are you feeling about your first ever live final of The Voice UK?
Olly: "I can't wait! The coaches get to perform together as a group again, which is awesome. We all performed Feeling Good on the first show and I’ve watched it back hundreds of times, I just love it. We also get to do duets with whoever our finalists are. So I’m really excited about all that."
What do you all enjoy about the fact the show is live?
Tom: "Well, it is exciting but, because it’s live, you’ve got to watch your Ps and Qs and not swear… like I did last year! I didn’t know the camera was on me and I swore. I had to apologise right away. But that’s live TV for you."
Will Tom be able to watch his Ps and Qs at The Voice UK grand finale?
Jennifer: "I love anything that’s live, because you know it’s real and raw. You experience it as it’s happening and I prefer it that way. In fact, that’s what I love about The Voice UK versus the US, where I’m also a coach. I love that they just let the cameras roll and catch us being 'us', like at the blind auditions when me and Tom started singing. The US version is slightly more ‘managed’." Will: "I like it live, too. I was born live. I just like to be able to improvise and call it as I feel it. I come alive, when it's live. And I’ve always got a whole new bag of competitiveness going on at the final." Jennifer: "You never know what’s gonna happen at the final… but at least now I know I gotta watch Will!"
What mischief will will.i.am be getting up to on Saturday night?
You've each got one act in the final. What advice will you give them?
Will: "Be relaxed, have fun and don’t try too hard. The more natural you can be to connect with the audience, the more joy you’re gonna bring to the folks at home." Olly: "You've got to live it and enjoy it. When I look back at The X Factor final in 2009, I can't actually remember anything that happened, it’s all a blur. But it was horrible – I had no preparation, I was stressed, singing one song after another with all these cameras in my face. So I lost AND I never really enjoyed it. So I'd say relax, soak it up and embrace it for what it is, because it will be their biggest moment." Tom: "And learn that song. Get it into your head so you don't have to think about that, just about performing. And it has to be a song that will make the viewers go: 'Wow, there's the winner!’"
Olly, as the new boy, how much do you want to be the winning mentor this year?
Olly: "Honestly, I’d love to win because I know Jennifer won in her first year last year. It would be great if one of my acts could win but there is SO much talent, so if I don’t win, I don’t win. Whoever the winner is, I just hope they’re the best."
Will new boy Olly Murs have the winning act?
Jennifer, you won last year with Mo Jamil, who was also your guest mentor during the knockouts this series. Are you pleased with how his career is going?
Jennifer: "Mo has so much potential and to see him grow and now have a record out is amazing. When we filmed the knockouts, he was shocked to have a dressing room and I was like: 'You’re here, Mo! This is your time.'" Will: "Mo is the kind of person who, if he can just sit at the table long enough, in five years he’s gonna be one of those artists that will last 15 years. In this business, the quicker you’re in, the quicker you’re out. Look at the amount of work Jennifer had to do to become J-Hud. This appetite in popular culture to have ‘quick results’ is bad for the industry. I’m not trying to make excuses for the fact that The Voice UK hasn’t produced a big ‘star’ yet, but it’s hard for people who already have record deals to be stars, let alone the singers in this competition. That’s the reality of the business."
Can Jennifer make it two years in a row and be The Voice UK's winning mentor?
So, for all the acts in the final, The Voice UK marks the start of their journeys, not the end?
Olly: "Absolutely. When I did The X Factor, I saw it as just the first step of a long, long journey; I thought: ‘They’re taking me to the ocean, now I need to swim’. After the final, I knew I needed to go and find where I needed to go and I never relied on [X Factor boss] Simon Cowell for that. I never relied on anyone around me; I had to have that desire and belief in myself. All of us can only coach these acts so far, then it's up to them."
The final of The Voice UK can be seen on Saturday April 7 at 8.30pm on ITV.
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