Guy's found his new groove
GUY Sebastian is here to add some more local flavour to The Voice.
The singer, Australian Idol winner and former X Factor judge brings balance back to the reality singing show's coaching panel after years of international domination. He and fellow Aussie Delta Goodrem will give returning coaches Boy George and Kelly Rowland a run for their money.
"One thing I always said was Delta was on her own a lot of the time,” he says.
"I think Joe (Jonas) and her got on great, but in the past you've had people like Jessie J gang up on Delta. I felt like we were in a position this year where no one needed to have anyone's back.
"Everyone was cool and respectful. When we had a bit of drama we got on with it. It's the most fun I've ever had on a show.”
Despite his extensive reality TV experience, Guy admits to nerves as the new man in the big red chair.
"I felt really strange having to judge a performance solely based on the audio of it. It definitely took me a session to figure out how everyone works,” he says.
"I didn't want to talk over the top of everyone, but I found I got into a gear.
"I'm confident on articulating where I think someone can improve. Going into the show, even the people at Nine were really worried whether I'd be able to pitch (to the contestants)... but they didn't realise I'm very competitive and pitching got more and more comfortable for me.”
So far, no Voice winner has gone on to a sustained musical career of the likes of Guy and his Idol contemporaries Jessica Mauboy, Anthony Callea and Shannon Noll.
But Guy refutes the idea that the show's success should be measured by the commercial highs of its winners over the past seven seasons.
"Look at Darren Percival and Judah Kelly; just because they're not on the airwaves doesn't mean their lives haven't been changed dramatically,” he says.
"The Koi Boys were just getting local gigs and for the last few years they've been gigging all over Australia. Yes I would love to see more artists succeed, but the focus isn't always about finding the next superstar. We're giving a platform to people with a voice.”
Guy's mission is to help his singers find artistic clarity.
"We're not really in a day and age where we want artists who need songs found for them. I'm starting my own label and I'm not going to sign someone who has no idea who they are,” he says.
"I had personal mentors growing up and without them I wouldn't have believed in myself. I feel like that's our job - to help them realise what they've got is special.”
The new season of The Voice Australia premieres on Sunday at 7pm on Nine.