Ronan Keating may have spent a few years judging on The X Factor Australia, but his first days in the big red chair of The Voice left him feeling like a novice. Still, while it took him a while to find his feet and woo singers onto his team, he’s now in with a good chance to take it all the way to the end.
Your addition to the panel of coaches this season has brought some much needed humour to the show ... I think it’s important in life that nobody takes themselves too seriously. Bringing in the light and shade is important. We’re all human beings, we’re all normal, but sometimes life puts you on a pedestal — and the truth is we’re all the same.
It’s good these up and coming performers are being taught that lesson early. It is. For me it’s important people keep their feet on the ground and start as they mean to go on. One of my managers once said to me, ‘Be nice to people on the way up because you need them on the way down’ and it’s so true. You never know what’s going to happen in life.
Coming to The Voice, what was the biggest difference from The X Factor? There’s a real sense of mentoring, nurturing and guidance. It’s all about the artists and I love that. It’s a very organic process which I’m really enjoying. I loved the X Factor ... neither is better, this is different. And it’s important I approach it in a different manner.
When you started on the show you struggled to get artists to join Team Ronan. Were you feeling like you’d end up with nobody? I really did feel like that to be truly honest. I was like, ‘Oh my God I thought I had this in the bag.’ And then they weren’t picking me. It was a wake up call but it was good.
Are you confident one of your team can win? Confidence is a dangerous thing to have with this because you really don’t know. You’re putting your trust in someone else to perform — I’m not up there doing it.
How much time do you spend with your team? All day on Wednesday I give them their songs and work on the songs with them. We spend quite a few hours on each artist. Friday I’m back in and we do staging — what it’s going to be like on stage. Saturday we do a full rehearsal day and we film on Sunday. So it’s four out of seven days of the week.
Who are your artists’ biggest threats? On Team Madden, Andrew’s (Loadman) fantastic, He’s a great singer and performer and, for me, he’s one of the frontrunners. For Team Jesse, Mikaela’s (Dean) strongest and the funny thing was that Mikaela was originally on my team and she was a save. When it comes to Team Delta, Kim Sheehy. She absolutely smashed (her first live show). She was composed, vocally magnificent, really impressive.
THE VOICE, CHANNEL 9, SUNDAY, 7PM