Rachel recently sat down with the Irish Mirror to discuss all of the pressing issues right now. Including The Voice of Ireland and whether she would return for another season, the upcoming S Club tours and new mixes of songs. As well as the recent departure of One Direction heartthrob Zayn Milak.
Voice of Ireland judge Rachel Stevens loves Ireland so much she now thinks of it as her home away from home.
Stevens, who shot to fame as a member of S Club 7 in the late 90s, has been jetting into and out of the country for the past year for her role on the RTE talent show.
And while she has had to juggle her judging duties with rehearsals for an S Club reunion and being a mum to her kids Amelie, four, and Minnie, one, Rachel says she has enjoyed every minute of her time here.
She revealed: “I’ve loved it. I had a day off last Saturday and I had some friends over. We had a wander around town and went into a couple of nice restaurants.
“I feel like I spent the whole weekend eating, which is one of my favourite things to do. The people here are so lovely.
“And I spent a lot of time here when I was with S Club on tours, so I feel like it’s become my second home.”
She also revealed she is relishing her role as a coach on the Voice and would jump at the chance to return for another series.
She told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “If I got asked I’d love to, definitely.”
Rachel, 36, says she has been blown away by the talent on this year’s show and, while she’s desperate to win, she thinks it is far too close to call a victor just yet.
She said: “I think it’s really hard to call it. Everyone’s got someone really strong. There’s a real mix and there are some very strong
ones in there. I’d love to win. I’m not coming all this way to not win. It would be brilliant.
“But like I said, everyone’s got someone really strong and I think that’s what makes it really exciting.
“It depends on how everyone performs on the night as well, and the song choices. There’s so much that goes into it.
“I think you have to make sure you go up there every time you’re on and do the best performance you can do. That’s all you can do really.”
The judge admitted she finds it tough sending contestants home.
She explained: “Of course we all want our team to win but ultimately you want the best singer to win, I think. It’s always really great to see someone do well, that’s the mainpart of it.
“But, of course, you get to really care about your team and you get to really know them, so every week you get more and more invested. So it becomes harder and harder to send people home.”
Rachel was speaking from England, where she is deep in rehearsals with her old S Club 7 bandmates ahead of their comeback tour this summer.
She said: “It’s brilliant, it’s been so much fun. At the moment we’re just learning new routines. It’s also at the point where we are hearing new mixes, it’s the creative stage of the rehearsals.
“We’re three weeks in now. My head is a bit like ‘aargh’ because I’m going from the Voice at the weekend, flying back on Monday, straight into rehearsals, writing all week and then Ireland again. And being a mummy!
“Juggling everything has been brilliant. All the different hats you have to put on. It’s really been fun.” S Club 7, whose hits include Reach and Bring It All Back, split up in 2003 after four number one singles and a number one album.
Rachel said it was great to return to the band after so long, but admitted there were a few reservations about how a comeback would be received.
She said: “It’s 12 years since we’ve all been together. It’s brilliant. There’s so much history with us. There’s loads of banter and all the old in-jokes are coming back.
“Hearing new mixes of our old songs I think is great, and learning our new routines.
“You never know what the reaction is going to be when you’re reforming. There’s so much love for it and so much nostalgia for it, it’s really exciting.” She said there are no plans for the band to record new material but they’re looking forward to seeing fans again.
She revealed: “At the moment the focus is on the tour. We see it as a really big celebration of what we had.
“We want to just go and do a really brilliant show, with all the hits, a
celebration of what we had.
“It’s so great. They’re such good pop songs and they make people happy. And that’s what people want to hear, isn’t it?
“It’s unbelievable that it’s 12 years. It is nostalgia and it’s going to be lovely to see all the fans out enjoying it.”
While Rachel can’t wait to perform live with her old band, she expressed sympathy for Zayn Malik after his high-profile departure from One Direction.
She said: “It’s funny, you pretty much look at every single pop band in history and there’s always one person who leaves first. It’s difficult in a band.
“They’ve had such huge success. I think it can be overwhelming.
“I don’t know his situation and there are so many different group dynamics as well.
“It’s obviously very personal for him why he’s left. But you’ve got to do what you feel is right for you, don’t you?”