Will.i.am: The Voice contestants need more help to become stars

The hip hop star says that the talent show's hopefuls need a “project manager” and “something is missing” from the format

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The Voice coach Will.i.am says that the show needs to work with the contestants while they are filming in order to produce a “breakout star”.

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While the three series of the BBC1 entertainment show have proved popular with viewers, this has failed to be reflected in record sales – and Will.i.am thinks he knows why.

“It’s because there is not a project manager [working with the singers],” he told RadioTimes.com. “This show is a great format …but when do the singers have time to record? There is something missing.”

The hip hop star – who will coach the contestants along with Sir Tom Jones, Ricky Wilson and newcomer Rita Ora –said that during the filming the contestants are either doing press and broadcast interviews or honing their act in order to get through to the next round, instead of capitalising on their fame with an immediate record release.

A project manager should be on hand for the hopefuls when they are at the height of their fame during the show’s run and just after, he insisted. 

He added that with his own creative work he is assigned a project manager to liase with him, including exploring potential collaborations.

“They are banging on my door all the time,” he said.

“The show needs to produce a star. Not for credibility because the show is a credible show. But if a show like this produced a star it would legitimise the whole talent search concept.”

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Last year’s winner Jermain Jackman is a case in point. His prize in April last year was a recording contract with record label Universal but he is yet to release an album. His first – the eponymous Jermain Jackman of which the bulk of songs have been written by him – is scheduled for release in March this year.