Interview: Chris Ramsey talks to Little Mix about Little Mix The Search

Chris Ramsey Little Mix The Search interview

The wait is over, Little Mix The Search, BBC One’s brand new music competition series launches tonight!

Presenter Chris Ramsey caught up with the girls to find out more about the show, and  this is what they had to say…

It’s been a long time coming, all of the audition shows have been done and it’s coming soon. How excited are you all?

So excited. Too excited! It’s taking too long this coronavirus! I bet the contestants are gagging for it now!

Will it go in their favour that it’s taken so long?

I think it depends how they’ve taken their time, they could have rehearsed stuff, recorded stuff, used it to their advantage.  Hopefully they haven’t just twiddled their thumbs, if you want it you have to go and get it.

What makes LM The Search different from the other talent shows that are out there?

I think we’ve been in this position ourselves, we can relate a lot more… I think it’s fresh, it’s young and cool and you’ll get an insight into us as well, our personalities and how we work together. You’ll get to see some incredible talent.

It must be unbelievable being on the other side of that now, you’ve had a 9 year career. Is it stressful being a judge?

No, being judged is definitely more stressful! I think it’s more like having their lives in your hands… that is a massive responsibility and you can’t really prepare yourselves for that, it’s intense.  Judging and saying no and having their dreams in your hands… snatching away their dream at the last second… We really do give constructive criticism and I feel they have such a good experience on the show even if they don’t get through.

How important was that to you?

Yeah we didn’t have that on the show that we came from, it was so important for us to make sure we had that in place.  We’ve all had knockbacks and it really does affect you, and we want them to encourage them to try again and come back. Just because you get a no, it’s not over. It’s really important that we put that in place.

What’s it like when you’re sitting there and you’re feeling someone’s hopes and dreams? Is it hard not to get too involved?

I think it’s hard not to.  Because we’ve been there and we’re rooting for them to have the success that we’ve got, we do get involved. The emotional attachment is there. It’s not a gimmicky show, everyone is so so talented.  If we’re giving somebody a no it’s not because they’re not talented enough to be there because they are. They’re just not right for that day.

What did you have in mind, what are you looking for?

We were worried it would be cheesy, we all knew what we wanted from all the different categories, and when we did a workshop stage, you’ll see the dynamic between the individuals. We could see two people performing together and connecting and that’s what we were looking for, the vocal, the dynamic, that they look good…  they’re just great people as well, they’re just fun. You want to be involved and up there with them having a party.

They literally do get to have a party in the third stage of the show don’t they?  They come in for the first stage for an audition… and that’s more like going to your mates house! Did you deliberately make that a more encouraging environment?

 Yeah one hundred percent because we’ve experienced first hand exactly what that feels like and we didn’t want it to be anything like that for them.  I think it’s easier for them anyway because we put them at ease and they know we’ve been through the same experience as them.     They understand that. There’s nothing worse than working into an audition, so we wanted it to be as fun as possible.  It’s f*cking terrifying! It was so important for us to make it feel as relaxed as possible and I think you can see that.

When the boyband came in, I’ve never seen confidence like it in my life!

I know! It was that eye contact, we love that they were like that, we want them to be dramatic and have that.  It was important. Not too much ego though, because there’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness.

Who’s going to crack the whip?

Jade, she’s good at that. She’s small but mighty.    Every band has to be likeable, there’s a fine line so we need to make sure they boys don’t step over it, but we’re mentors and they respect us for putting them in their place. 

Yes so you are mentoring them, what are you looking for to make a successful band who will support you on tour, which is massive?

There are so many elements to being in a band, first and foremost is chemistry.   That’s interesting on this show, they can have insane vocals but you put them in a group and they don’t click.  The ones with the dynamic are going to make it. You have to be willing to work extremely hard, it’s harder for a group in the industry anyway, establishing yourself as an individual within a band is hard. Talent, obviously and ego… you can’t have one person wanting to be better than everyone else. We made a conscious decision to always be equal, we support each other. If you don’t have that in a group you’re not going to last very long.

Is it easier to teach the vocals or the showmanship of the band?

I don’t think you can teach showmanship.   You learn from experience, we are all completely different performers now to when we started out.   We just learned our craft, and being out in front of crowds all the time, you learn it. Vocals we’re all completely different singers to when we started out.  Vocals are easier to teach.

There are six categories right? Six bands.  Which category are you most excited to see in the live shows?

I have two but I think rap/RnB is very current, and there isn’t really a group on the radio in that category right now. Vocal harmony because the vocals are just magic, sweet female vocal are amazing.  Mixed group is exciting, it’s been a while since we’ve had that and if we get it right it could be amazing. It will be amazing to see what all of them do.    We’re not going to be able to hide it in our faces!

I’m going to have to be in a bubble with these guys because I am so excited, I’m going to be wanting to hug them!

Little Mix The Search starts tonight on BBC One.