Pop princess Kylie Minogue and music genius Will.
i.am have enhanced the street cred of The Voice and attracted a new breed of artist, says the show’s executive producer.
The two international superstars replace home grown singer songwriter Delta Goodrem and UK crooner Seal as coaches on the new season of the hit Nine Network singing series.
They join Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden and Latino hunk Ricky Martin on what’s easily the best coaching and judging panel ever assembled for an Australian reality TV series.
The Voice Australia’s executive producer Adrian Swift says Kylie and Will.i.am have added a new dimension.
Kylie’s presence alone has lured more female artists and Will.i.am has pulled in a a few hip hop/rap artists for the blind auditions, says Swift.
“There is one guy from Ghana who comes out and auditions and we wouldn’t get guys like that if it was not for Will,” Swift told AAP during a visit to Sydney’s Fox Studios where The Voice is filmed.
“Kylie has given us a really strong core of women who are really excited to see her … and we’ve never seen Kylie like this before.
“She has always been slightly removed … but she is a really, really good coach.”
He says Kylie and Will.i.am have also indirectly influenced the song choices of the contestants for the blind auditions which are more contemporary, or “poppy”, than last year.
Swift says sombre tunes were on high rotation during the auditions for the second season because of the success of finalist crooner Darren Percival in 2012.
That led to more mature entertainers and singers auditioning in 2013 and it also meant more ballads and mellow song choices.
The tempo goes up a notch this time around as a result of Kylie and will.i.am being on the coaching panel, says Swift.
“It’s a younger crowd, a lot less ballady and a lot more poppy and they’ve also responded well to Will and Kylie,” he says.
“In the second season we had a lot of pros because, after Darren Percival, they knew it was safe to go on that show.”
Now, aspiring young artists, including several singer-songwriters and even a brother and sister act, have come forward for the blind auditions.
“This year we have a better mix,” Swift says.
“We have the pros, and the raw talent and Ricky has tapped into the Latino market.
“It doesn’t matter what sort of artist you are, this show will transform your life.”
Not only has the music gone up tempo and the coaching panel changed but viewers will notice a more vibrant back drop to the main stage.
Each coach also has a couple of saves during the battle rounds which allow them to recruit two discarded artists from other teams.
One thing that has and never will change, says Swift, is the silent march each contestant takes on their way to the stage for their blind audition.
“We love the tension of the long walk to the stage and the build up until they reach the stage and that won’t change,” he says.
* The Voice season three returns on May 4 at 6.30pm on The NIne Network