New The Voice coaches Paloma Faith and Boy George came to blows over Kevin Simm tonight, but the former Liberty X star admits he feared the show would be a “career killer”.
“It was a massive decision to do it,” Simm told RadioTimes.com, the singer rising to fame in 2001 after forming Liberty X with other rejected contestants from TV talent show Popstars. “I was probably the most nervous – toing and froing whether to go through with it. Obviously I’ve seen other people do it that have been in bands and not got through, it can be a sort of career killer I guess.”
Alongside various reconciliations with the band, including ITV2’s The Big Reunion in 2013, Simm has since been gigging in clubs and holiday parks. As for the spinning chairs, he has a humorously down-to-earth approach.
“I sort of thought, my career is singing at holiday parks and weddings, it’s not going to kill that is it?” he laughed. “I just thought it’s a big risk as far as I could end up ridiculed, but at the same time the possibilities that could come out of it outweigh that.
“I just thought as long as I go on the show and give a good account of myself then at least I’ll get more work and maybe my fee will go up,” he added matter-of-factly.
Simm said he didn’t tell his former band mates he was going on the show as he was worried about coming back with his “tail between his legs”. Admitting he had nightmares for weeks about not getting a turn, Simm said he’d have kept it to himself if he’d not made it through.
“I would have waited for it to come on and maybe emigrate somewhere else…” he laughed.
But they’ve been “really supportive” since news has broken he revealed.
As for the row between the new coaches, which saw Paloma upset Boy George after pretending to sleep during his pitch, Simm said it washed over him.
“For me I was in a bit of a trance. I was so high off the fact that they’d turned, I couldn’t really tell if they were just mucking about to be honest. I was just happy and stuff, I thought they were just having a laugh. It was such a blur. When I came off the stage I couldn’t remember anything that I said or heard.”
It was hard to make the decision about which coach to pick in the moment, Simm confessed.
“I just didn’t have an idea of who I wanted to choose. Out of the corner of my eye just the way Paloma looked at me, I thought she got the emotion I was putting across in the song I guess. It was a bit weird, I really didn’t know who I was going to pick.
“Being honest when I picked her I wasn’t sure I’d done the right thing. If you’re not prepared for it – some people go on there and they’re fans of people and they’re going to go for them no matter what – I was just sort of looking for someone that I had a bit of a connection with, someone that could help me progress on the show.”
But having had time to digest it, Simm said he’s got no regrets about his choice.
“No, I am a massive fan of Paloma’s music as well so that did sway me a little bit.”
Now Team Paloma, Simm said he’s going in with realistic expectations, but it seems the competition bug is getting to him just that little bit.
“It’s not that I wasn’t content with my life before, I think doing The Voice has given me a real motivation. Made me believe in myself a bit more I guess. Before I was stuck in a little bit of a rut as far as my singing. I was just content and happy with what I was doing. This has spurred me on to fight a little bit more to be a bit better.”
The Voice continues Saturday nights on BBC1