Ricky Wilson: ‘The Voice is mentally exhausting and mind boggling!’

As the Kaiser Chiefs frontman, Ricky Wilson is used to success in the music world, but winning The Voice UK will be a whole new challenge, as the Yorkshire rocker explained to What’s On TV when we visited him backstage during the filming of the blind auditions…
What was it about The Voice that made you want to take part?
“I got asked! Also, when I heard Kylie was doing it I thought: ‘That sounds like a nice way to spend your Saturday.’ Seriously, it was a difficult decision to make and quite a bold decision for a rock singer like me, but you learn so much more than you do by sitting still and letting the world move by you. I suppose when a train stops at your station you’ve got to get on it and I’m glad I got on board with The Voice.”
So what are you listening for in performers?
“I’m listening for something different. To me it’s boring if they come and they’re really good singers because it’s expected. There are so many good singers out there, so they have to have something different, something special. They have to be different enough to give them a chance of going all the way in this business and not just a chance of winning a karaoke competition! I’ve got singers that I think are different enough to win.”
Have you been surprised when you’ve seen any performers you’ve turned for?
“No. It’s not like I’m going to turn around and go ‘oh no!’ because if I’m turning round it’s because they’ve got a great voice no matter what they look like and that’s the point of the show. If you want to see people making fools of themselves you can go elsewhere. The Voice doesn’t don’t rely on the novelty of people being there that shouldn’t.”
You sound very confident…
“Yes, I have to win! I mean there would be no point in taking part in any competition unless you thought you had a shot. I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I’m good at the pitching side of it, although I can’t compete with some of Kylie’s pitches because I can’t say ‘I was a 20-year-old girl once, too’ as she’s been doing!”

Is there added pressure because you’ll be seen as the replacement for former coach Danny O’Donoghue?
“Who’s to say I didn’t replace Jessie J? Danny was great, but I can’t wear those low slung T-shirts! When Tom Jones advised me to just be myself I thought, ‘But who is that guy?’ I am a different guy to Danny, so I will come across as different. You can’t compare.”
What’s surprised you most about doing the show?
“That everyone works so hard! It’s mentally exhausting and it’s mind-boggling!”

The Voice UK is on Saturdays on BBC1 at 7pm.