How does it feel to be back?
Feels great to be back. Same team and I really feel part of it now. Even though last year everyone made me feel so welcome, when you come back a second year it’s nice. Everyone’s on top form and we’re all getting on really well.
Do you think there’s been a change in you since last year?
I feel more comfortable. I feel the coaches have got to know me more. I feel they get my banter or sense of humour. They sort of understand what contestants I will go with. I feel like I’ve made the chair my own and I think they respect me and have got to know me which is great. Last year was a learning experience for all of us getting to know each other but I think we’re much more comfortable this year and we’re a real family. I think that’s going to really come across when people watch the show. We all genuinely get on.
I think there’s a real bond between us. We don’t all hang out and go drinking and clubbing together but when we’re together as a four piece in those chairs there’s just something really special between us which I think the fans of the show see.
Do you think you’re approaching things differently this year? Have you become more selective?
I was a bit more selective this year. I didn’t want to come out too quickly. I found it harder at the Blinds. I think the coaches were a little bit easier on me last year. This year they came out hard and I had to think on my feet and I really felt wow this is a bit harder than last year. I had some really big battles with Will and I lost more than I won but then I won more than Tom.
Will was mind gaming me and trying to get in my head and flexing his muscles. We all know he’s lost weight and he was flexing his pecs a bit! That’s what it’s all about. It’s great that we have that banter with each other. There’s no malice, it’s just fun and friendly competition. And we’ve both got great teams.
How’s it been having trios this year?
Trios have been good. I think all four of us have got a trio each which was great in the end. I don’ t think that was intentional, it just happened. I think actually we’ve all picked a trio that the public would have put us with.
There’s been some very successful trios in the music industry over the years. Just naming off the top of my head – Salt n Pepa, TLC, Black Eyed Peas of course..although they had Fergie for a period, being a trio is their main thing. There’s Destiny’s Child, Take That now are a three piece. Trios certainly work so I think we’ll see if they work on The Voice…
In a trio you’ve got to really try and find your moments to shine and be in harmony so it’s good…it’s good for the competition.
When you do turn your chair that’s a massive turning point for a singer, what’s been the biggest turning point in your career?
I think the biggest turning point for me was getting my first number one. Coming off a reality show in X Factor. Coming from that and trying to be a success isn’t as easy as people think. I was very aware of that so bringing out my first single and getting to number one was a massive achievement for me and something I’ll never forget.
How do you think your team is looking this year?
I’m really impressed with my team. A different choice this year. I do think as a collective I have stronger singers than last year. Last year I had some very good singers but I had a bit more entertainers and some slightly different performers. I think this year it’s a very different group and I think I’m surprising the other coaches.
If you could choose anyone from any point in time to be your coach or mentor as you are to your team, who would that be?
I think I’ve already had that mentor really…Robbie Williams was that person for me and he still is now. He’s now one of my mates but certainly someone I look up to and appreciate and respect. He was there for me from day one. He mentored me for the first couple of years really, any questions I had. And when I went on tour with him in 2013 it was exceptional. We had a great tour together, it was amazing so that was really special.
What’s your favourite bit of the competition?
My favourite bit is the Knockouts actually and bringing in a mentor. Last year as the guest mentor I had Craig David and this year there’s someone up my sleeve that I’ll hopefully get! Knockouts for me is the best time because you get to spend more time with the contestants and really establish who they are as artists. You get to know more about their personalities. Battles is tough because you lose so much of your team, Knockouts is better.
Have you got a game plan to try and win?
Very difficult in the Voice to have a game plan. I just think I’ve got to be really on it with my song choices and make the right decisions. I think I am. It’s all going to come down to the public really and I’m hoping I’ve made the right decisions. I really really hope I can get the winner this year and they can have as great a journey as Ruti did last year. My strategy should be to do as Tom did last year. I would say don’t underestimate my team.