"I thought she might be mean to the kids" - will.i.am on Jessie J's return to The Voice
The Black Eyed Peas frontman was doubtful about his former Voice UK judge joining the youth version of the show
After exiting the grown-up version of The Voice UK in 2013, Jessie J is heading back to her spinning chair for a second turn (if you'll pardon the pun), becoming a coach on the new series of youthful spin-off (if you'll pardon another pun) The Voice Kids.
But one fellow coach admits he was initially doubtful as to whether the fiercely talented (and generally fierce) singer was the right choice to mentor youngsters...
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Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other journalists at the press launch for the eighth series of The Voice UK, will.i.am – who spent two series alongside Jessie on the main show – explained, “At first I was like, ‘Is Jessie going to be mean to these kids?’
“Jessie’s like a bootcamp singer. She’s like 'hit the notes, you’ve got to hit the notes right, lay down, do this'. I was like, ‘Is she going to be as tough on these little kids? Is she going to say that to a seven-year-old?’”
However, the 43-year-old producer was left surprised at the Do It Like A Dude singer’s gentler side with the younger contestants.
“She’s such a freaking sweetheart to the kids,” he said. “She’s a sweetheart, oh my God. She’s going to be an awesome mum.
“I love the fact she’s doing the show because the UK is going to see the sweeter side of Jessie J. When she did the show before, she was tough.”
Jessie’s return to the show comes after she won an X Factor style singing show in China in April last year – something that stunned Will.
“She shared with me her China experience,” he explained. “She just wanted to push herself. I asked who her vocal coach was, and she said she was her own vocal coach. I asked if she was as tough as she was on The Voice as she is on herself!
“She got two billion freaking fans watching her. It’s crazy.”
The Voice UK returns on Saturday 4th January at 8pm on ITV. The Voice Kids returns to ITV later this year