Sunday 22 April 2018

Olly Murs: Cut-throat competition on The Voice UK blew my mind

The star said he felt the contest between the panellists as well as the singers.

Olly Murs (Ian West/PA)
Olly Murs (Ian West/PA)

By Francesca Gosling, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Singer Olly Murs has told how the level of cut-throat competition on The Voice UK “blew my mind” when he first joined the show’s panel of coaches.

As he takes a red chair alongside returning mentors Sir Tom Jones, will.i.am and Jennifer Hudson on the ITV show, the Troublemaker star admitted that he struggled with the idea of pitching against his experienced colleagues for contestants.

With just days to go before the contest returns this weekend, he compared it to his work on The X Factor, which first brought him fame as a runner-up in 2009, before he returned as presenter in 2015.

“The difference with the show is the pitching,” he told the Press Association.

“In X Factor you just have to say yes, but here the contestants are picking which coach they want to be in a team with, so little old me has to pitch against Sir Tom, Jennifer and Will for an act.

“The first couple of weeks learning to do that was difficult for me.

“Also at the Battle rounds, where I had to pit my contestants against each other after I had just put them through. It blew my mind.”

But, explaining the process that allows the coaches to hear the songs before deciding whether to spin their chair and face them, the 33-year-old confessed that he quickly found his own way to get around the pitching competition.

“Basically, I turned first,” he said. “That means (to the contestant) that I liked you first, which means I love you more and I’m going to make you a star.”

He added that he was “loving, loving, loving,” his new job and admitted that having Sir Tom, Hudson and will.i.am in his phone book had earned him “so many brownie points”, with his family and friends.

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will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson and Sir Tom Jones will join Murs on the panel this weekend

Speaking during a special launch event for the show in central London this week, Murs’s new co-stars sang his praises, with will.i.am praising him for completing the “best” panel in the show’s six-year history.

He said: “Olly knows what it feels like to be a contestant, a host and an artist, and that type of knowledge and experience goes a long way when you are interacting with contestants.

“They see themselves in Olly, and to have that alongside Jennifer Hudson as well is great. That’s why I think, out of all The Voice series on the planet, the UK Voice has the best panellists.

“I love it in the US, I’m from America, but I really think this one is the best one.”

The Voice UK returns to ITV at 8pm on Saturday.

Press Association

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