Kylie to take The Voice to 'a new level'

Kylie Minogue 'The show needs a Kylie,' believes her fellow coach Will.i.am

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Charlotte Moore believes that Kylie Minogue will take The Voice UK to 'a new level'.

At the launch of series three of BBC One's singing competition this week, the BBC One controller said the 'princess of pop', who has sold 68 million records around the world, will bring 'something very special' to the programme.

'I think the viewers are going to love seeing Kylie up close and get to know her; they will see how funny and competitive she is.'

Minogue joins Voice veterans Tom Jones and Will.i.am in the spinning chairs, together with fellow newcomer Ricky Wilson, the Kaiser Chiefs' frontman.

'They bring such warmth and energy,' Moore said of the new additions. 'I think they will work brilliantly alongside Tom and Will.'

Coming for Kylie

The Black Eyed Peas man was equally enthusiastic about the arrival of the Australian superstar, who replaces Jessie J, believing she will be a big draw for the contestants (a point seemingly illustrated when the first singer in the blind auditions performed an 'otherworldly' version of Minogue's Can't Get You Out of my Head).

'A lot of singers came to be picked by Kylie,' Will.i.am admitted. 'She's reached a level of success we all want to have. The show needs a Kylie.'

Minogue, though, praised her predecessor, who she believed had done 'the hard work' as The Voice found its feet.

The four coaches face journalists at Monday's launch The coaches face journalists at Monday's launch

'I think Jessie did a great job,' she said, 'especially for someone so young.

'I wouldn't even get in the door, if we were to talk about voices, with Jessie. She's got a phenomenal voice and talent - and spunk… I really admire all that. But we're completely different characters… you have no option but to be yourself.'

Only woman

In the series opener, which goes out on BBC One on Saturday, Minogue shows herself to be playful, hiding behind her chair to keep a lid on her excitement about one singer (former Streets man Leo Ihenacho), but determined, outfoxing the other coaches to add to her team.

Being the only woman coach 'works really well', she considered. 'It stops there being any stories about bitchiness, cattiness, any kind of competition.'

There will be tweaks - yet to be revealed - for the new series in efforts to stop a leakage of viewers after the excitement of the blind auditions. But there are no guarantees that the show will produce a genuine star.

'It's still one step at a time,' admitted Tom Jones, whose series one winner Leanne Mitchell failed to take off after the contest. 'At the end of the day it's all down to the public… whether that person's going to be a star or whether he or she is going to have a hit record.'

No champion

Will.i.am, who brought along last year's finalist Leah McFall to the launch, partly blamed the 'forgetful' television audience for the failure of many talent show winners to become successes.

But he also felt that The Voice left them to fight for themselves, after the final credits rolled.

'You have to have some champion,' believed the rapper, who has just finished working on McFall's album. 'And this format doesn't really have a champion. After the season's finished, who's holding the singers through this tundra?'

Despite this, Will.i.am remains a fan of a format which he likens to the wider music industry - 'the uncertainty, politics, are they going to really pay attention to me'.

And any initial unease caused by the departure of two coaches has long gone. 'I really like this season,' he reflected. 'I like the way it feels and the relation between the coaches.'

The Voice, BBC One, Saturday January 11, 7pm

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