The voice: Westlife star raises tensions with 'Cowell' act

Alexandra Ryan

IS Westlife's Kian Egan looking to emulate Simon Cowell and become TV's new Mr Nasty?

RTE's The Voice could be set to rival the X Factor for spats among the judges, the Herald can reveal.

Gary Barlow has tried to pick up where Cowell left off on X Factor with a string of cutting comments.

Now sources say that Kian Egan could be the one to shout loudest and be extra harsh on contestants.

Tensions have already arisen between the boyband star and former Blizzards frontman Niall Breslin, aka Bressie, on the set of The Voice.

"Bressie and Kian are very different kind of coaches. Bressie is still young in the industry and he knows what it feels like to be knocked back but Kian wants the contestants to know the harsh realities of the music business," a source revealed.

"Bressie does get quite defensive about Kian's attitude and says that in his eyes the glass is always half full, and he doesn't think the contestants deserve to be put down," an insider explained.

With comments like "that just didn't do it for me" and "there is no point in saying that it's great when it really wasn't", Kian (31) comes out on top as the show's baddy.

A source close to the popular show has admitted that although not everyone will like it, Kian is just bringing some honesty to the show. "Some of his comments do come across quite harsh, and Kian definitely is ruthless but he knows that's the reality of the music industry.

"He has had massive success with Westlife but at the same had to deal with his band Wonderland being dropped by their music label so although he is quite cut-throat and really blunt, Kian is just being realistic," the insider said.

And it's not just Bressie, Kian, Sharon Corr and Brian Kennedy that the contestants will have to perform to during the early stages of the show. All the contestants will have to sing in front of industry experts who will act as advisors to the four coaches.

Mullingar musician Bressie will be joined by Irish singer-songwriter Ruth Ann Cunningham, who has penned such US hits as Jo Jo's Too Little Too Late.

Meanwhile Sharon is paired up with Don Mescal, Kian will judge the acts in the early stages alongside singer Eddi Reader and Brian will look to choreographer Priscilla to help him choose his final six for the lives stages. After beating thousands of wannabes and battling against 23 other talented hopefuls on the live shows, the winner of The Voice Of Ireland will bag a recording contract with Universal Music.