The legend that is Sir Tom Jones has made a great impact since joining the voice, he’s been a pop star since the 1960s so knows a thing or two about the music business. Here he tells us why he is glad to be back and why is he glad that Rita Ora has joined the judges.
How does it feel to be back?
I was just saying to Ricky, time flies and it seems we were doing last series just last week! It’s become sort of like a family affair. That’s a good thing; I’ve been looking forward to coming back again. When you’ve been on tour and doing live shows yourself it makes a nice change just to have the job of listening. I’m looking forward to hearing new talent.
What is it about the red chair that brings you back?
The red chair is the exciting part for me; I mean it’s the beginning. You’re sitting there with your back to the singer and you’ve got to try and figure out what the person looks like. You never know but it’s exciting.
What makes you hit the button?
I need to feel that what I’m hearing is an authentic expression of the person, not just a string of phrases that are copied from others. An appealing tone – the actual sound of the voice – is also really important. When I hit the button, I mean it.
What makes the blind auditions unique?
You have no idea what that person looks like, none at all. What you have to go on is only the sound of that person’s voice. I think in order for anybody to experience what we experience as coaches in the blind auditions, you’d have to do what we do, not look at the person at all. You wait for the contestant to come on, you listen to the footsteps to hopefully get some idea if it’s a boy or a girl or a man or a woman—you can guess by the way they sound when they walk—that’s about the only clue that I can get anyway. So it’s intense, as well as exciting.
What is it like to have Rita Ora join this series?
Its great to be working with her. Rita Ora is a fine young talent to begin with, so I was thrilled when I was told she was considering The Voice because the female chair is a big chair to fill. I mean, there are three fellas and one girl. Rita has a fiery personality and she knows what she’s talking about. I think that’s what’s needed so she’ll be perfect.
Did you have any advice for Rita?
The only advice I gave her is just be yourself and enjoy it.
What kind of coach do you think she is?
Rita speaks her mind, I think she knows what she’s about, you can tell when she sings and in her videos that she seems like a very confident person— which is important if you’re going to try and coach somebody. You can’t pass on advice to somebody else unless you are confident within.