Rachel recently sat down with the Irish Mirror to discuss a variety of topics, including FHM’s closure and how she’s done and interview with them. S Club 7 banter on the bus, her daughters, and of course, The Voice of Ireland. Rachel’s got the winner this year!!
The Voice of Ireland is back. Returning to the coaching panel and spinning the red chairs are Kian Egan and Bressie , and the girls, the Saturdays Una Foden of Saturdays fame and pop princess Rachel Stevens who rose to popularity as a member of S Club 7.
When I caught up with Rachel she is just back from her holidays in the Maldives.
She said: “Oh my God it was paradise, but I loved getting back as I love Christmas so much.
“I’m a real home girl and my two girls Amelie, five, and Minnie, who’s 22 months, were so excited for Santa.”
From a mentor’s assistant on X Factor New Zealand to coach on the Voice, Rachel is passionate about giving advice on the music industry
She added: “It’s not just on talent shows, it’s a tough business. To make it and be really successful, you need to have the right team around you, be so determined and driven. It’s so cut throat and hard.
“But on shows like the Voice it’s a great place to start as it gives you an amazing experience and a platform, being on TV, being in front of live audiences. Once you do that show you can do anything.”
“It’s been great this time around not being the new girl, and the guys are great banter. We get on so well, there’s some really great talent.”
With the blind auditions, the battles and the boot camp in the bag Rachel concedes the talent was so immense this year it was a tough call on who to send home.
She said: “It came down to literally that night and sitting in the chair thinking, ‘Oh my God I really don’t know what to do, because they were so good and you just have to go with your gut instinct.
“We really are like one big happy family the lads are both pretty fair and really honest. Kian is sometimes like a snappy dog but he’s really good fun.
“Myself and Una are very similar. We both have two kids and we’ve both come onto the show with similar backgrounds and we’re also very different in our musical taste and fashion sense and it’s been so cool working with her.
“We all get competitive and we all want to win, but at the same time you want the best person to win whoever’s team they’re on. I think we all feel that way.”
Living in London has not affected Rachel’s dedication to how her acts.
She added: “I get sent everything they’re doing and I can give my feedback on email so I don’t feel that it’s difficult to mentor from abroad.”
A self-confessed foodie Rachel reveals she likes the fare in the Marker Hotel in Dublin where she stays when she’s working on the Voice. She admitted: “One Pico’s fab, I loved it there.”
Her work comes second to her girls Amelie and Minnie who are both technology mad. Rachel said: “Oh God, Amelie loves the iPad so we try not to let her go on it too much but there are some amazing apps now for kids it’s crazy.
“Amelie started school back in September. The night before I was so nervous it felt like it was my first day at school, sending them out into the big bad world. It’s such a change for them but she’s loving it, she’s ready for it.”
Despite being a popstar, a talent show judge, and an actress, the 37-year-old feels the same pressures as every other busy working mom.
She said: “My New Year’s resolution is to be more organised, because my work is so up and down. Sometimes I’m crazy busy and then not so much, it’s just juggling work with the kids I just really have to be super organised.”
Thankfully hubby Alex Bourne is hands on: “He’s great I can leave him with the kids when he’s not busy working at his property company and know that
everything’s going to be done.”
“I do have a cleaner but I’m constantly picking up after the kids though anyway.
“We’re childhood sweethearts – we were together when we were 13. We’ve got some video footage that was shown at our wedding when we were at his Bar Mitzvah.
“I have this big curly permed 80s hair and he’s got these curtains for trousers and it’s like that scene from Friends when they go back in time and I have that big puffy dress. It’s hilarious.” The pair rekindled their relationship when bumped into each other on the street when Rachel was 29 and Alex was 30, and started dating again – and the rest is history.
Coming second in Strictly Come Dancing in 2008 meant that Rachel was asked back on the tour last year.
She said: “Being on the show was gruelling and you work so hard and you’re so invested in it. Jay from The Wanted was brilliant this year.
“The dancing is the most amazing workout ever, I love my food and I don’t go to the gym, I just dance. It was a pretty amazing opportunity. Going back on the S Club reunion tour last year was just like going back in time: “We’d do the show then get on the bus and all have a drink, a lot of old banter came back.
“There were never any bust ups, if there was any arguing it was all brother- sister type stuff.
“Even though we were all so different we go on really well, so this time round we were a bit older and wiser, things go over your head a bit more.
“Amelie, Minnie and Jo’s little boy Lenny came to the rehearsals and they were like our little mascots. It was really lovely.” Touring with S Club and being a mentor on the Voice has given Rachel a taste for recording again and following the success of her last solo album Funky Dory she’s in talks to produce another record.
In 2014 she pipped Cheryl Fernandez Versini and Jennifer Lopez to the coveted title of FHM’s sexiest woman of all time.
She said: “I’ve just done an interview for FHM as they are closing sadly. I’m dining out on that title forever.
“Imagine I was pregnant when I won the sexiest woman of all time. It was a great feeling as I was feeling my least sexy ever. I remind Alex of it a lot, I should just get the awards framed and have them all over the house to show the grandkids.”
Rachel is looking forward to bringing the family to Ireland to see the sights when she’s back over for the Voice.
Does she think she has the winner?
“Yes I feel I have the winner”, she laughs, “I’m very excited about my team and I think I have some really great talent it’s really strong and that makes for a very exciting show.”