Former Liberty X band member Kevin Simm throws himself on the mercy of the The Voice’s all-star judging panel tonight as he makes a third stab at fame.
Viewers will see Kevin reveal to will.i.am, Boy George, Paloma Faith and Ricky Wilson how the failure of his solo career after Liberty X disbanded “put me off” the music business.
Fromer Liberty X band member Kevin Simm auditions for The Voice (Guy Levy/BBC/Wall To Wall)
Liberty X was a pop group consisting of the runners-up from the 2001 ITV talent show “Popstars”.
Alongside Michelle Heaton, Tony Lundon, Jessica Taylor and Kelli Young, Kevin failed to make it into winning group Hear’Say, whose members included Myleene Klass and Kym Marsh, who now stars in Coronation Street.
Liberty X were signed by V2, the record label founded by Richard Branson, and topped the UK Singles Chart with “Just A Little” in 2002.
A year later, the song won a BRIT Award for Best British Single.
“It was amazing,” Kevin recalled. “We just had the time of our lives for a couple of years, really. We had a couple of hits and then it started going a little bit downhill. Chart positions weren’t great so we got dropped.”
Liberty X called it a day in 2007.
Kevin focused on his own material and “Brand New”, his solo album, was released in Japan in 2008.
“At that point, I was like, ‘this is going to be awesome, I’m going to be massive!’. Then I got shelved pretty much. What can you do? It puts you off music a little bit. It did knock my confidence a lot,” he admitted.
“I was put off for a couple of years. Probably one of my biggest regrets.”
So, a good deal was riding on his audition for The Voice.
“I was very nervous taking part in The Voice, I can’t lie about that,” Kevin acknowledged. “I’ve had nightmares about not having any turns.”
Kevin’s audition hit the headlines following an explosive on-air argument between coaches Paloma and Boy George.
The Culture Club singer reportedly made Paloma cry after she pretended to fall asleep during his pitch for the former Liberty X singer.
“There are a lot of big voices in the show. You sit and you think no one can be better than that, then suddenly someone sings. It’s just constant surprise.
“One thing that I do know is that I understand singers. That’s my forte,” George told Kevin as Paloma snored.
The Voice coaches will.i.am, Boy George, Paloma Faith and Ricky Wilson (BBC/Wall to Wall)
An irritated Boy George snapped, “Excuse me, Palaver! That’s extremely rude. Very rude. Anyway, you’re amazing Kevin.”
Harsh words were exchanged during the recording, which took place in 2015, but Boy George later tweeted a selfie with Paloma accompanied by a message calling it all “banter-mime”.
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) September 30, 2015
A source said BBC bosses had to tone down the episode to make it more family friendly following the row.
The Voice continues on BBC1 tonight at 7.45pm.