Audience figures dropped from almost 11 million to a low of just over 4 million after the intriguing gimmicks of chair-turning and boxing ring battles ended. There was much talk of the coaches being too nice (although one of them, Jessie J, criticised aspects of the show itself as “lame and not thought through”). And Leanne Mitchell, the eventual winner of the search for a marketable vocal talent, couldn’t even break into the top 40 with her debut single.
Bearing all that in mind (and despite the show’s ratings bouncing back slightly for the grand final), you might think the BBC would want to keep their counsel and make preparations for improving the next series. But instead they’ve issued a press release hailing The Voice UK as the “most successful new entertainment series launch on BBC1 in over a decade”.
According to BBC1 controller Danny Cohen, “The Voice UK has broken all records for a new entertainment show on the BBC,” and with a consolidated series average of 9.2 million viewers (a 38.5 per cent audience share) for the main Saturday show and 6.9 million including the Sunday results programmes, he’s right – even Strictly Come Dancing didn’t hit those heights until much later in life.
Cohen’s CV will now read “2012: launched most successful entertainment property on BBC1 in ten years”. And having reminded us at The Voice’s launch that “we’ll have to wait for it to grow – these shows build, just like X Factor and Strictly did,” he’ll be hoping the 2013 entry is even more impressive.