One of the country’s biggest entertainment series – The Voice UK – is back for 2015. Superstar coaches will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones and Ricky Wilson return to welcome international pop superstar Rita Ora to the famous spinning chair panel.
Here, she tells us why she can’t wait to get stuck in…
How’s it going as the newbie coach?
Oh I love it. I think it’s so interesting learning about people, learning about myself and being in the show that is so powerful for one person. I mean if I can help one person, why wouldn’t I? That’s what this show is about. I love it.
And how did the blind auditions go?
I was really excited. I wanted to see everybody and then realised I was running really out of spaces. But the first time I turned around was very memorable, it was very loud! It was a moment for me.
What made you decide to do The Voice?
will.i.am was actually the person who convinced me to do the show. We’ve been close friends for a while and I was like, ‘Yo! They’ve asked me to do The Voice and I don’t really know what to do.’ And will.i.am said: ‘If you do do it you are going to give these people something’. It took me to understand that I do have a voice and I can use it to help people.
How did you feel when you said yes to being a coach?
When I first said yes, I thought, Ooh my God, what have I done. I hope this is as fun as I think it’s going to be – and I just trusted will’s honesty 100 percent. Then I started really looking forward to it, because I have always worried about what’s coming next on my album, or now I’ve got to focus on this movie, or now I’ve got to focus on my clothing line, and I thought, now I’ve got to focus on this show, whoah, cool, I’m just going to be on TV. It was that whole thing of being on TV and having opinions. Nobody’s really seen me this much – I’m almost opening myself up. I’m just looking forward to it.
Being only 24 can you still remember what it’s like to desperately want to make it? Have you used it to help your team?
Once I got my team, I sat them down and said, ‘You know, I’ve been said no to a lot of times in my career and it didn’t stop me. It’s about having a story to tell and it’s about using that story to bring out the best in you.
Did you find the part where you rejected people hard?
I’m not going to lie, in the beginning I found it really difficult. I don’t say no a lot in my everyday life. I always try and please people and make people happy, and even when I know I can’t do something I wouldn’t say no. I had to learn about myself a lot. I have to give it to the boys, they really taught me a lot about my instincts and my gut to just go for things again.
In previous series you were allowed only one steal in the Battle rounds, and now you are allowed two. Has that changed things?
Yes it makes it much better, it also causes a bit of controversy between coaches. It’s kind of like, ah, so that’s who are you really wanted – so it’s interesting (laughs).
You knew will.i.am before but how welcoming were Ricky Wilson and Sir Tom Jones?
What’s it like working alongside Sir Tom Jones?
Sir Tom is probably the one I like talking to the most out of all of them. He always has a reason for everything and it’s like when Tom turns around for anyone there’s always a reason for it and you just have to kind of do it because Tom’s doing it! No, he’s so smart and he really trusts his gut and I guess because he’s been doing it for so long, he knows how to now. I’ve learned a lot from Tom.
Are you desperate to win?
Yeah, I would love to win!
Is there some rivalry between the coaches?
We get on really well, but at the end of the day you pick three greats. But then it’s up to those three greats who wins the show, and the best talent is going to win. So we can compete as much as we like but then we come to the understanding that it’s kind of out of our hands.
How do you prepare before you go on The Voice?
I take some throat spray for my voice and I do a little prayer in my head and then I just go for it. Everyone has their own little rituals though, I’ve noticed. Will’s constantly on his phone, Tom does his vocal exercises for his throat and some throat spray and Ricky has really fast conversations. Then he goes out and he’s kinda calm.
Do you think if you auditioned they would turn for you?
Oh gosh. I hope so! Can you imagine? I hope so.
Does it make you think?
It’s all about the song. The song is so important. I’ve been learning that even now, through the stages and the battles and all that. You really have to pick a good song for these artists.
You are known for your great outfits, what can we expect on The Voice?
Trust me, I’ve thought about my outfits for this show. As soon as I said yes and I got over what I was meant to do, I thought, now, looks. We need looks. And you know me, I always get dressed up. Definitely expect some great looks.
The single comes out in March and the album comes just before summertime. I wanted to take my time with this album and have new music out there at the same time as The Voice.
Don’t miss The Voice UK 2015, Saturday, 7pm, BBCOne.