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Tuesday 14 August 2018

I'm convinced we'll find a star on The Voice -- not just a sob story

I MIGHT be having a completely nuts time trying juggle The Voice Of Ireland, rehearsals for a gig and working on an album -- but the school run still has to get done.

In between rehearsing for my gig in the Pepper Cannister church this evening and working on my second solo album, it's been particularly busy for me this week.

I feel like I'm always running in and out of the door. But it's great being involved in a major TV show. For me, it's always been about the music and if I can blend it in a positive way, that's great for me.

It's high octane there every Sunday, the nerves are flying around the place and I'm loving my fellow coaches. I think we all want our artists to win as this will be a genuine step-up for people into the music industry.

The reaction to Bressie has been quite funny. He is gorgeous and I wouldn't blame the girls for being 'where has he been hiding?' He's a big hunk of a guy and he's genuinely lovely and a great musician. I like that there's a wee bit of the tables turning as men have been ogling women on TV for years so why not have it the other way around?

There was a lot of reaction to me saying I wouldn't have Botox and it was lovely the amount of support I got from that. People said 'fair play for being who you are'. But I wouldn't judge another woman for having it.

If it makes them feel better about themselves, who are we to judge?

My head's all in my music and my three kids so I didn't even hear about Danielle Meagher saying it at the time -- my agent told me.

It was good for column inches and she was just selling her wares but I found it quite flattering. I'm in my 40s, I haven't had cosmetic surgery, I'm not considering it and I'm happy that I want to be a good role model for my daughter and grow old gracefully.

It's very hard on women out there and we're all under increasing pressure to look great whereas men are told they look better with age. The standards are very, very severe and I wouldn't criticise another women for having it.

I wouldn't rule it out for ever, never say never, but it's very unlikely because it's just not something that would be for me. I saw all that stuff in LA where someone has a gorgeous body from plastic surgery and then this really old face that just doesn't match.

I've got a big weekend now as I'm rehearsing with all my artists today for this weekend's show and we'll also do a full dress rehearsal.

I would definitely like to do another TV show after this but it would have to be the right show and done in a positive way. I feel that the Irish have gone through enough awful stuff in the last couple of years so to actually consider trying to add to that kind of negativity by putting singers down is just insane to me.

The Voice is proof that you can have a music show that is positive and people will really enjoy it because it's quality entertainment.

There is a recording contract for the overall winner but the talent is so good, I can see several people getting deals as well.

What you get with a lot of other shows like X Factor is the same type of pop vocalists all competing against each other and there is that put-down process of humiliation.

But with the Voice, it's so varied.

You have Vanessa Whelan who's classical, she's an opera singer and she's amazing performer. I also have Nollaig O'Connor on my team who's very interesting. She's totally unique, quite introverted in some ways and not showbiz at all, I would compare her to Sinead O'Connor. But then we also have someone Bressie's Conor Quinn who's like Tom Waits.

What makes it different from other shows is that sob stories need not apply because we're genuinely trying to find a great voice and not a tragic background to make people vote for a voice that is less than great.

The offer came up before the summer of last year and I really wanted to think about it before I agreed. When I started watching the American Voice, I was blown away. The world is going the way of TV talent shows so why not have a great one and one that doesn't humiliate people?

You don't see any of the judges on the other shows getting up and performing with their acts so it makes it a level playing field as you're putting yourself in the contestants' shoes. We're all in the same boat. And nobody got into audition for us who couldn't sing. We couldn't judge them on their looks so it was a very pure form of finding a good voice.

All the judges genuinely get on great. The Sunday that we all performed together for the first time as a band, it was a total blast. Kian and I were still singing afterwards backstage because it all went too fast for us.

We were so excited afterwards that we all went to the pub to wind down and just sat there talking. The lovely thing is the four of us can just sit there and talk because we have so much in common.

I was talking to Kian about the dynamic of being in Westlife compared to being in The Corrs and the difference between being a solo artist. The whole industry is very, very tough. There's so many ups and downs and if artists can't stand together, we have no chance.

I'm busy writing my second album right now so I was working on that on Tuesday and Wednesday as well as rehearsing with my artists and then all the judges will play the Pepper Cannister church tonight.

We're doing the Arcade Fire song Wake Up. I also have Cormac Debarra and Don Mescall as guests on the show, so it should be a great night.

The Voice of Ireland airs on RTE One at 6.30pm on Sunday

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