Will.i.am backs The Voice Kids format change: not giving feedback to children would be “inhumane”

The Voice UK star and his fellow coaches were "terrified" about what would happen when a child didn't get through

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The Voice Kids coach will.i.am is rather glad the producers of The Voice UK spin-off have decided to ditch the main show’s ‘no win no spin‘ format and allow the coaches to turn their chairs and greet young contestants who haven’t made it through to the next round.

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The controversial format change in this year’s Voice UK saw unsuccessful contestants faced with a row of chair backs after their performances, before walking off stage without having seen or heard from the coaches, and was deemed by some viewers, and even some of the coaches, to be too cruel.

“I personally like giving the singer feedback. That’s the least you could do” said will.i.am at the launch of the new ITV Saturday night entertainment series. “To not do that for kids would be inhumane.”

Fear of upsetting the young singers (who are competing for a £30,000 musical education bursary and a trip to Disneyland Paris) almost put Will off taking the job in the first place. He admitted that he’d been “terrified” of “seeing a kid cry because someone didn’t turn for them”.

However, he said he was glad he’d gotten over that fear because he was so impressed with the way the young contestants (aged between 7 and 14) handled themselves and took rejection.

“When you don’t buzz and you turn around and you see the kid there that’s just given everything into the performance… they’ve done everything they can on that stage just to get through, it’s one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to face,” fellow coach Danny Jones added.

“It’s not a nice situation so we’ve tried to keep it as positive as possible,” he continued, explaining how the coaches have aimed to reassure unsuccessful youngsters that this isn’t the end of the world and they can still have a brilliant career in the future.

“Sometimes it’s a great thing to get a no,” third coach Pixie Lott added. “You can see they’re still happy to be there and have the opportunity. I think it’s a great experience for them.”

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The Voice Kids airs on ITV on Saturday 10th June at 7:45pm