The Voice UK 2013 hit a new ratings low for its quarter-final – on overnight figures, only 4.2m viewers tuned in for the year’s first live show, which was moved to Friday night to avoid a Britain’s Got Talent clash. But the series might already have a success story on its hands: Northern Irish singer Leah McFall, whose performance of I Will Survive immediately entered the UK top 20.
This year, contestants in the live phase of the show have recorded studio versions of each performance, which are available via iTunes. McFall’s highly praised, show-closing reworking of I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor was evidently the most-downloaded by far: at No16 in the new chart, it was the only Voice performance to crack the top 40.
Bookmakers have now made McFall the odds-on favourite to win the series.
Other contestants could only popularise the original version of their song choice: Ho Hey by The Lumineers, sung on The Voice on Friday night by Andrea Begley, rose five places to No29. Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls, originally released in 1998 and performed last Saturday on The Voice by unsuccessful contestant Abi Sampa, re-entered the top 40 at No39.
Two former X Factor contestants have high places in the current chart: Union J at No6 with Carry You, and Olly Murs at No5 with Dear Darlin’.
Last week, RadioTimes.com revealed that 2012 Voice UK winner Leanne Mitchell had sold only 895 copies of her debut album in its first week of release. This weekend, one of the show’s judges, Danny O’Donoghue, blamed Mitchell for not working hard enough for success.
“That’s not my fault, that’s not the show’s fault, that’s not the BBC’s fault, that’s just her fault. You can take an artist like that and question their work ethic,” O’Donoghue told The Sun. “I was told by Tom Jones, and by the label as well, that Leanne just did not want to work as hard as you have to work to be a pop star. She wanted to come on a show and win a singing contest. That’s good for her, because she won the show. But it’s not good for the premise of the show.”
The Voice continues with the live semi-final this Saturday night at 7pm, BBC1.
Read our review of the Voice quarter-final here.