The Voice Kids: Sheffield’s Theo Hills, 9, reveals fun working with will.i.am and behind-the-scenes excitement

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South Yorkshire’s Theo Hills was one of the lucky 50,000 applicants that made it onto ITV’s The Voice Kids.

Warning: Spoilers

Nine-year-old Theo Hills, from Penistone, was on television once more as The Voice Kids’ final aired on ITV1 over the weekend.

At the start of the month, we saw the young boy melt the audience’s hearts as he sang When I Grow Up, from Matilda the Musical. His sweet cover even saw Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am hit his buzzer and enter Theo into the battle round, which aired in the final episode on July 15.

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For Theo, the start of the series finally marked the end of his torturous secret, as he had not been allowed to tell anyone he had entered the show. And now it has come to a close, he has told The Star all about the behind-the-scenes fun.

Nine-year-old Theo Hills pictured with will.i.am on the set of The Voice Kids. Nine-year-old Theo Hills pictured with will.i.am on the set of The Voice Kids.
Nine-year-old Theo Hills pictured with will.i.am on the set of The Voice Kids. | Submitted

Theo applied for the show back in October 2022, and after a couple of trips to London with his mum, Lucy, he was among 32 people out of 50,000 applicants who got through to the blind auditions.

Theo said: “That day, I felt quite nervous at the start because I was like just gotta breathe, just gotta be ready. And when Will turned, I was like ‘oh my days, that is amazing’.

“Will helped me express myself, and he gave me confidence and he gave me all the abilities that a singer should have.”

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There were plenty of toys to entertain the children on The Voice Kids during long days of filming. Pictured is Theo in a fancy yellow poncho, an item given to each child to protect their clothes while off set.There were plenty of toys to entertain the children on The Voice Kids during long days of filming. Pictured is Theo in a fancy yellow poncho, an item given to each child to protect their clothes while off set.
There were plenty of toys to entertain the children on The Voice Kids during long days of filming. Pictured is Theo in a fancy yellow poncho, an item given to each child to protect their clothes while off set. | Submitted

Following on from his successful blind audition, Theo entered the battles where he performed Lizzo’s Special as part of will.i.am’s diverse team.

The schoolboy said: “Getting into the battles was really good, and I was really happy when Andrea and Shanice [the twins] got through to the finals. We thought it was a very tough decision for Will.

“It was really like we were a big family, I made loads of friends. And all the girls on the team were like big sisters to me.”

The soon-to-be Year 6 student described a typical day on set as “very fun, but very chaotic” as he zoomed around between different departments. Thankfully there were lots of toys in the break room to unwind with.

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Theo sat in the chair of judge and American rapped will.i.am. Theo was part of Team Will in the seventh series of The Voice Kids.Theo sat in the chair of judge and American rapped will.i.am. Theo was part of Team Will in the seventh series of The Voice Kids.
Theo sat in the chair of judge and American rapped will.i.am. Theo was part of Team Will in the seventh series of The Voice Kids. | Submitted

Showbiz is nothing new to Theo, who has been singing all his life. Last year he even found himself on West End in West End Does: Christmas in a choir with Stagebox, and last week he also passed his ABRSM's Grade 2 Singing exams thanks to his singing teacher Debbie, at Angel Voices Performing Arts Academy.

In September, the young performer will be taking his school studies on the road as he goes on a full-time UK tour for a play, the name of which is soon to be announced.

Parents Lucy and Carl said they are very proud of Theo. Lucy said: “It's been nice to watch him grow. He's always been a very strong, naturally talented performer, but [through The Voice Kids] it’s been nice to see his confidence grow further. It’s been a really nice experience and he's very happy on the stage - it's just been nice to see him following his dreams.”

In the coming months, Theo can be seen performing live at CrownFest 2023 at The Crown Inn, Elsecar, on August 26, and at The Penistone Paramount on October 1, in Team Adam versus Team Debbie, presented by Angel Voices.

Twin sisters Andrea and Shanice Nyandoro went on to be the crowned winners of this year's series of The Voice Kids. All three episodes of series 7 are available to watch for free on ITVX.

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