Kevin Simm has a very honest approach to winning this year’s The Voice, knowing from experience that reality show fame isn’t a golden ticket to a lifetime of chart dominance.
“I know by winning The Voice it doesn’t make me a successful artist straight away,” Simm told RadioTimes.com, the singer having originally found fame after forming Liberty X with other rejected contestants from 2001 TV talent show Popstars. “Hopefully the single [All You Good Friends] charts well. That would be a brilliant start. Then the hard work begins getting my album together. That’s what I think will hopefully set me apart from other people. Not just people that have been on The Voice, but other people in the charts, I guess.”
While The Voice is often applauded for being one of the ‘nicer’ reality shows – singing the praises of its contestants rather than have them crying around a swimming pool – its winners haven’t consistently set the charts on fire. If Simm gets into the top ten on Friday, he’ll be only the second winner – following last year’s champ Stevie McCrorie – to do so. But this year’s victor said he doesn’t feel like he’s shouldering any sort of responsibility to turn the tide.
“It’s really difficult to put your finger on why it hasn’t maybe worked in the past. I think Stevie had considerable success with his stuff last year but I guess you can’t compare one person after the next. Everyone’s been very different.
“I know there’s no guarantees that it will work or I’ll be a huge artist, but I’m going to try my best to make that happen,” he added.
Criticism has also been leveled at the show for a perceived lack of support for the winners once the series is done and dusted. But Simm, who now boasts a Universal contract, said the label has been “absolutely brilliant” so far.
“I’ve had a short meeting with them and they have meetings leading up to the final with everyone that’s left. So you do get a gist of what’s going to happen afterwards if you do win it. They’ve been absolutely brilliant so far. I think as much as they help you you’ve got to really put the work in as well. I’m hoping it’s all going to be great. I feel really positive about it all.”
Simm’s realistic though. He said “it would be foolish” to pin his hopes on a Number One, not least because the single has had less time to chart due to its Saturday release (sales are counted from 00:01 Friday to 00:00 Thursday). “If it could hang around the ten or, or get in the top ten, that would be amazing. For me, even last week I was just trying to fight myself through the competition, so just to have a single in the charts – regardless of where it is – is a massive achievement for me.”
There’s a pretty good chance he’ll bag that top ten hit. By Monday he was already number ten on the chart update. At the time of writing, he’s third in the Official Charts’ trending chart too, which turned out to be a new find for both Simm and I. “There’s so many charts!” he laughed. In both of our defence it only launched two months ago. But it’s a good thing, so we’ll chalk that one up.
Despite this early success, the singer reveals he was almost put off applying for the show, fearing the attention it could bring him online. Social media can, after all, be a platform purely for people to vent their frustrations.
“Applying for the show that was one of the things I was pretty worried about because at the end of the day people can get very brave on social media. Sometimes they don’t think that there’s a real person that they’re writing about. Obviously when you read nasty stuff it sort of sticks out among all the nice things. You can’t help but notice it sometimes. I got quite good at ignoring it and blocking people. It’s quite therapeutic blocking people,” he laughed.
But Simm admitted it’s actually been quite the opposite and he’s been “blown away” by the support.
“It’s been the best experience of my life. Getting to live shows is so different to the early stages. We’d gone through the first three rounds keeping it secret, so you didn’t really know how people would actually react to you. I took a lot of confidence from social media and people on the street. Going into the live shows we knew that we had people at home backing us.
“Don’t get me wrong, not absolutely everyone was really nice,” he added. “But definitely like 98% of people. I was absolutely blown away – I still am blown away by all of that to be honest. Everyone gets the odd person or whatever, but I feel lucky I’ve not encountered too much… touch wood.”
And despite the show’s move to ITV next year, he’s set on coming back for that reigning champion’s performance.
“If they’ll have me, I would love to,” he said, adding with a laugh: “It’s only fair!”
Kevin’s new single ‘All You Good Friends’ is out now
Emma is RadioTimes.com’s resident reality TV expert and is most likely to be found chasing Simon Cowell down the street, cancelling her social life to keep up with the latest batch of sob stories and trying to get selfies with celebrities. Emma is a chat show addict and quotes Friends more than is probably healthy.