GOOD WILL ... HUNTING
The Black Eyed Peas frontman is brutally honest about the career prospects of Voice winners and how emotions rule the public voting, and he’s hoping that maybe he can change some of the outcomes
The mad scientist that is will.i.am is at it again. This professor of music, schooling The Voice audiences on what makes a hit song or a breakout performance, is open in his intent to work this TV production for what he can make out of it.
The undisputed star coach of this year’s series has entertained with his quirky quips and his animated analysis, but when it comes down to the business of finding a winning new artist, the Black Eyed Peas frontman is frank.
“I wanted to come on the show because I have a label, through Universal, and it’s a great fishing pond, if you will, to find artists. And I noticed very few people who join these competitions come out to actually have careers,’’ he says.
“If you could work out the politics in this stuff ... you know how long that person can get to record music, when you can put it out, the contract they sign before you’ve even said ‘lights, camera, action’, there’s like heaps and heaps of politics.
“If you can work around the politics and get out of that little web, maybe these contenders have a shot at a career.’’
Continuing his candid assessment of the reality format’s shortcomings, will.i.am talks about what may come next for those singers who have survived the blind auditions, been guided through the battle rounds, or are about to face the last hurdle of the sing-offs before the Channel 9 series goes into the publiclyvoted live finals.
“It’s typical TV. They rarely vote for the person with the best voice. It isn’t really the best voice that wins, even though the show is called The Voice. There is something sentimental, tugging on emotion, or people gravitate to that (artist’s) personality that factors in on why someone wins.”
The coaches, as much as the contestants, have plenty at stake moving into the live rounds, with the editing of this year’s series already proving hugely controversial.
For new recruit Kylie Minogue, the return to the local small screen has not been without some anxiety, especially in the age of highdefinition TV.
“That’s the one thing that struck me – I should be used to seeing myself on telly by now, but it’s very different to an interview, it’s different to a performance,” she says.
“You catch yourself with looks and faces and movements that are not normally on TV. Unless you’re Meryl Streep, you have no choice but to be yourself and I don’t think Meryl was available so instead they have to make do with me.’’
While the editing suggested Joel Madden struggled to win over the women on this year’s series, like returning coach Ricky Martin, he has been consistently entertaining and at ease in his role after three seasons on the show. Martin, for one, says he felt “more relaxed’’ this time, comfortable in what was expected.
“I was nervous (last year), I had never done this before,” he says. “I would feel that anxiety ... I feel I have to do less homework this season and it feels great.’’ The Voice, Channel 9, Sunday, 6.30pm; Monday, 7.30pm.
mentor and band frontman will.i.am is frank about finding a chart-topping artist within the show’s format.