It’s time to turn your armchair and your attention back to ITV as the singing competition returns!
By Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer
Series 9 of The Voice UK has been unlike any other, with an unprecedented wait for the nine contestants who made it through to the semi-finals. The show began in January 2020 and ran until March before COVID-19 halted production. It returns this October with a 60-minute re-cap episode of the highlights so far, before the semi-finals and finals kick off.
A virtual audience will appear on screens in the studio during these COVID-safe shows, with Meghan Trainor joining virtually from Los Angeles alongside her fellow coaches Sir Tom Jones, Olly Murs and will.i.am. Each coach will decide which of their acts to put through to the final four, and then it’s up to the viewers at home to crown their winner.
We caught up with semi-finalist Jordan Phillips, who’s on Olly’s team, on a Zoom video call. He’s been fitting a kitchen with his dad, who’s a joiner, and he’s now on his break, chatting to us from his dad’s van. Working has helped to pass the time, as has “watching nearly everything” on Netflix (“The Social Dilemma scared me a bit”) and discovering that “food makes you fat”, he jokes.
Jordan’s excited for The Voice UK to resume, although he acknowledges “going back is not going to be the same.” Here’s the 20-year-old from Stockport, in his own words, on how he survived lockdown as a Voice UK semi-finalist and how he prepared for the competition’s long-awaited return...
The Voice UK series 9 semi-finalist Jordan Phillips takes the big red chair for a spin
“We finished filming the Knockouts and I was on a big high, thinking, “Aw yes, the semi-finals are coming now, I can’t wait!” We went in to film the semi-finals and that’s when I got my song, but I’m not allowed to say what it is yet. After that, we got an email saying, “Sorry, the series cannot continue until a later date.” I thought it was gonna be cancelled, I thought that was it for The Voice! Then they told us it would be returning around autumn, but we had to be patient.
Going from high energy and concentration to staying in my house for months was so weird to get my head around. I was so used to going to the studio to rehearse or doing something connected to The Voice.
The whole crew behind the scenes have been brilliant. They’re always seeing how we’re doing, checking if we’re mentally OK. My vocal coaches have been FaceTime-ing me. I had a Zoom call with Olly not long ago. I check up on him and he checks up on me every now and again. He was giving me really helpful advice for after the show as well as during the show.
He said when going somewhere for a gig, just be confident and say, “You’ve never seen an act like this before.” He said song writing is like a tap – once you turn that tap, a load of s**t comes out until you get the fresh running water. I’ve been writing loads with my guitar, but I’d rather be singing on a stage than in my bedroom.
I’m still doing my sandwich delivery job, but I’ll finish that soon. I’ve had a few people recognise me. I’ve got this one lad called Dan and he’s always shouting, “Oi, it’s the superstar!” I knocked at one house and the woman went, “Wait, aren’t you from The Voice? I feel a bit star struck now.”
I’ve had time to reflect on my previous performances, where I’ve gone wrong and how to improve. I was watching the whole thing back the other day, because the whole season’s come back on the ITV Hub. I can’t get away from it because my mum and dad are always playing it, so it’s either on in the background or I’m watching it myself.
I’m happy with my performances, but I might have done the blind audition differently. If I were to redo it, it would be a lot less messy, because now I know what to expect on the stage. I did a Tom Grennan song, “Found What I’ve Been Looking For,” and he actually put the video of my audition on his Instagram Stories. He followed me on Instagram and messaged me about it, saying, “You’ve smashed it. You’ve got this.” He was just bigging me up about it. The fact he appreciated it and liked it really boosted my confidence.
There will be more energy in my next performance. I’ve been told to sing at a higher range than I normally do. When it comes to notes I’ve got to belt, they’ll come a lot easier and then I’ll be able to go higher and higher. My vocal coach wants me to practice that – he wants that surprise element.
I’ve tried not to over-practice, because I don’t want it to come to the day of doing my song and then just show no emotion. I don’t want to get bored of it. I want it to still be fresh and exciting on the day.
I feel like The Voice experience is so short. You get an introduction for a bit, you do your song, then it’s the next person. It’s only during the Knockouts, semi-finals and finals where you actually start to really understand some of the acts. In a way, I’m happy this delay happened because it’s dragged it out a bit. I can milk it for a bit longer! I can’t wait to get back on. I’m hoping this series will go down as a memorable one.”
When is ITV’s The Voice UK on TV?
The Voice UK re-cap show airs on ITV/HD (CH 103/113) on Saturday 31 October at 9pm. The semi-finals air on the channel on Saturday 7 November at 8.45pm and the finals air on Saturday 14 November at 8.40pm.
All episodes of series 9 of The Voice UK are available in Apps & Games > ITV Hub.
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