The Voice UK is back for its eighth series – its third since it moved from the BBC to ITV – with some familiar faces, and a brand new crop of aspiring singers taking to the stage in the hope that their voices will entice the coaches to hit their buttons and spin those chairs.
Delighted to be back after making an impressive debut, singer Olly, who is set to release his hotly anticipated sixth album, said, “Now I’ve got one season under my belt, I can’t wait to see what my second season has in store for me. Last year I managed to get seduced and picked some entertaining performers. The other coaches might think they have worked me out but I’m coming back with a bang, just you wait!”
Explaining his decision to return, longest-serving coach Will.I.Am – who has appeared in every series since 2012 – explained, “The UK always surprises me with some of the freshest artists and this keeps me coming back for more. By adding trios, we’re raising the bar, so bring it on UK!”
Jennifer Hudson’s place on The Voice UK was in doubt due to her busy schedule (ITV)
Former American Idol finalist Jennifer, whose place amongst the coaches was previously left in doubt after it was announced she had been signed to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, said of her return, “I’m so happy to be re-joining my coaches at The Voice UK. I’m ready and excited to discover some beautiful voices.”
Meanwhile showbiz veteran Sir Tom Jones, who was crowned the winning coach for the second time last year, said, “I’m raring to go on the search for some talented new singers. Bringing in the trio element will present a new sound that could shake everything up.”
She’s a Lady singer Tom, who was previously axed from The Voice in 2016 in favour of Boy George before being brought back the following year, added, “We’ll have to see of course, but whether it’s a solo singer, a duo or a trio, I’m hoping to find someone with that special spark.”
What acts are on whose team?
You can find everything you need to know about the acts that got through to the Battle Rounds and who’s on what team here.
Who presents The Voice UK?
Emma Willis has been at the helm of The Voice UK since 2014, taking over from Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates. Initially partnered with Marvin Humes on the BBC, she then presented solo when the show was poached by ITV.
Host Emma Willis is also back on the show (ITV)
Proud of being the frontwoman of The Voice, she said at the climax of this year’s edition, “We nailed it with the panel. You’ve got to get that chemistry. I love Will’s unpredictability, I want Jennifer to be my best mate, Olly is like my little brother and Tom melts my heart.
“I enjoy being around people who work on the show. It feels comfortable for me and like a home.”
Emma Willis says she’s looking forward to returning (ITV)
“I’m so happy we’re about to get going all over again,” Emma explained. “I’ve learnt to expect the unexpected with performances, some make me wanna bust a move, some give me goosebumps, and some make me cry like a baby! No day is the same, I’m forever wondering ‘where have YOU been?’ and with trios signing up this year, it gives us an added layer.”
How do I get tickets to watch The Voice live?
As always, the initial chair-spinning auditions of The Voice UK have already been recorded, but later in the series the show is broadcast live so there are still chances to be part of the audience.
When tickets become available, you can apply for yours here. They’re allocated on a first come, first served basis, so it’s worth checking back regularly.
Who are the Guest coaches?
Nicole Scherzinger, James Arthur and Olly Alexander to will join the coaches along with Greatest Showman singer Anne-Marie. You can find out more about each mentor here.
Who won the last series of The Voice UK?
Ruti Olajugbagbe won The Voice UK 2018 Final (ITV)
Fans will remember 18-year-old Ruti Olajugbabe beat hot favourite Donel Mangena (famous for his dancing grandma) to secure Tom Jones’ second win in the competition.
Speaking about his protégé, Tom explained, “I’m so proud and excited about my winner, Ruti, who is in the studio doing some very impressive work, she’s developing into a true artist and I can’t wait for you all to hear her!”
Ruti went straight to Number 1 on the iTunes chart after she was crowned winner, and is currently working on her first album.
She follows last year’s winner, Mo Adeniran, who saw his debut album Evolve chart at number 36 on the UK Albums Chart.
Mo Jamil won The Voice UK in 2017
Unfortunately for previous winners of The Voice UK – which include Leanne Mitchell, Andrea Begley, Jermain Jackman, Stevie McCrorie and Kevin Simm – mainstream success hasn’t been so easy to come by, with several having been dropped by their record labels (although Kevin Simm is now touring as the new frontman of Wet Wet Wet, funnily enough).
Speaking about why the UK edition of The Voice has failed to produce a superstar, coach Will.I.Am explained to the Daily Star, “Part of the reason why I feel that maybe there’s no star is because people are just really polite.
“I’ve tried to keep in contact with people who were on my team, and I always ask. They’re really polite. They’re like: ‘I don’t want to bug you, I know you’re busy.’
“If I was them, I wouldn’t be that guy. I would ring them all the time. I would not be as polite as they are.
“Folks who have careers have been really aggressive with their careers. They make sure they fight for the right songs, and you know in your heart as a singer what song will take you where you want to go. You’ve got to be like a predator.”
He added: “And predators aren’t polite. Imagine going to the jungle and you see a lion going up to a gazelle like, ‘Hey, can I eat you?’ You have to really hunt and be aggressive about getting your dream.”
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news