Brace yourselves... there's a whole heap of talent coming your way. The Voice Kids is back - and what's more, the blind auditions, battles and semi-final will be showing on ITV all this week! Coaches will.i.am, Danny Jones and Pixie Lott tell us more...

As The Voice Kids returns to our screens, coaches will.i.am, Pixie Lott and Danny Jones reveal all about the new format and the talent of 2018…

If last year’s debut of The Voice Kids proved anything, it’s that youngsters can certainly show adults how it’s done. So prepare to be blown away once again, as the red-chair-turning talent show returns to ITV this week. And to keep you really on the edge of your seats, this time, all the action from the blind auditions, battle rounds and semi-final will be crammed into one week!

As the blind auditions begin, all of our young hopefuls will sing their hearts out to impress returning coaches McFly star Danny Jones, singer-songwriter Pixie Lott and music producer and Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am. Will the trio like what they hear enough to turn their chairs around, bagging a singer for their team? Here, Danny, 32, Pixie, 27, and Will, 43, tell TV Times more about what’s in store…

This series of The Voice Kids will be shown across one week. What does this bring to the show?

Will: “Having it over a week makes it more like a TV special. I like that.”
Danny: “You don’t lose the consistency and the energy and you really get to know the singers. When I’m watching a TV show, I hate waiting until the following week!”
Pixie: “All the focus is on this one week and it’s like bang, bang, bang! It makes it more exciting.”

What’s the talent like this year? And has your judging style changed from last series?

Danny: “Pixie and I weren’t experienced at judging last time, so we’ve definitely got better at the job. We knew what we’re looking for this year so, at the blind auditions, we let a lot fewer singers slip by us. There were definitely more chosen initially.”
Pixie: “Also, we had some eight- and nine-year-olds on the last series but now we’ve seen some seven-year-olds, so we’ve got the youngest ever contestants this time round.”

Voice coaches will.i.am, Danny and Pixie deliberate

With so many talented singers, the coaches struggle to decide who to turn their chairs for…

After four blind audition shows, there are two battle shows then the semi final. How does it feel having to whittle down your team?

Pixie: “The hardest ‘nos’ are once you’ve got your team; you’ve chosen them, they’ve chosen you and you’re all excited. Then you have to whittle the numbers down and it gets harder and harder as the competition progresses. It’s nice when it’s the final because then it’s up to the public and we as coaches don’t have to worry.”
Danny: “It’s hard because, by then, you’ve moulded these kids into something they probably didn’t come into this competition as. But, unfortunately, it’s all part of the process, so it’s got to be done.”
Will: “As mentors, we’re the maestros creating great memories for these kids. So we need to make sure they leave having had a great experience.”

Pixie, you mentored 14-year-old Jess Folley, who won the show last year. Does being the reigning champion add any pressure?

Pixie: “No, I don’t really feel any pressure, I’d just love for the same thing to happen this year. I enjoyed last year a lot. And Jess was amazing.”

Jess Folley and host Emma Willis

Host Emma Willis with 14-year-old Jess Folley the moment she was crowned last year’s winner

Danny, you’ve recently become a dad to your son Cooper. Has fatherhood had any impact on your approach to this series?

Danny: “Not really, except it’s made me fall asleep in the red chair! I think there’s more of an understanding for sure, especially when a younger lad comes on. Fatherhood is an amazing thing. I kinda like changing nappies. It’s my only job, so I love it. Do I want Cooper to be a musician? I just want him to do what he wants to do. As long as he thinks I’m cool, I’m OK with that.”

What do you enjoy most about working with these young singers?

Pixie: “I loved doing the show last time and wanted to come back this time because of the kids. They’re so young, so talented, so much fun, they’ve got their whole lives ahead of them and they just want to learn. They make it exciting.”
Will: “These kids are not jaded by anything in the industry and they’re not thinking: ‘This is my big shot to get rich’. They’re just singing because they love it. Are they fearless? I’d say ‘pure’ is more the right word, not fearless. There are cameras and people, so these kids are terrified. So there are fears, they’re just pure fears.”
Danny: “There’s just less desperation with kids; it’s more of an unscarred hunger. And there are no bad habits. They’re just like: ‘Can you help me?’ As musicians, we’ve come on here doing what we love to mentor them doing what they love. That’s a lot of love!”

Does seeing these kids in action make you think differently about your own careers?

Danny: “Yeah, it makes me think I need to work harder!”
Pixie: “It makes you want to be better because they’re so good and you can really see their pure innocence and their love of performing. That’s why I started in this business and I never want to lose that. When you see these kids have that in abundance, it reminds you that that’s in you, too. That’s what you need to focus on.”

The Voice kids main image

The Voice UK starts on Saturday July 14 at 8pm on ITV. Times vary throughout the week.