Despite being heralded as the “most successful BBC1 entertainment launch” since records began (that was 2001, by the way), The Voice hasn’t managed to capture the hearts and minds of the arena-going public, it seems, as its live tour has been cancelled due to lack of interest.
The 11-date nationwide tour was designed to showcase the vocal talents of the top eight live finalists from the BBC1 talent show – but with tickets priced at £40 a throw, and the tour scheduled during X Factor season, sales for the September extravaganza have been slow.
A spokesman said: “Unfortunately, The Voice UK Live has been cancelled due to lack of ticket sales – customers are advised to contact their point of purchase for ticket refunds.”
Although BBC1 and the channel controller Danny Cohen, who took the decision to invest £22m into the Dutch format, have remained relentlessly upbeat – it’s fair to say the talent show has had a turbulent first year. One that not even big name coaches Jessie J, will.i.am, Tom Jones and Danny O’Donoghue have been able to calm.
From hero to zero, the Saturday night show was a victim of its own ratings success in the early programmes, attracting almost 11m viewers to the final Blind Audition (the spinny chair bit) before its audience evaporated, struggling to reach 5m viewers during some of the live shows.
And although the show bounced back to 7m viewers for the final, the fast paced and overly positive format, coupled with a lack of time spent getting to know the finalists, meant that The Voice faded away rather than burning out. Even the show’s creator, John de Mol – also responsible for formatting Big Brother and Deal or No Deal – told RadioTimes.com that the live shows needed to be made “more exciting”.
Indeed, such was the apathy towards the programme that the eventual winner, Leanne Mitchell (pictured with her coach Tom Jones, above), could only manage number 45 in the UK charts with her debut single ‘Run To You’ on Universal Music, a feat that requires selling in the low thousands of units. This is in stark contrast to the string of Christmas number ones The X Factor has produced over the years in a much more competitive seasonal market.
At the show’s series one launch, Danny Cohen said “we’ll have to wait for it to grow – these shows build, just like X Factor and Strictly did” – surely everyone at BBC towers will currently be hoping he’s right.
Nevertheless, the BBC is committed to at least one more season of The
Voice and has already begun its search for 2013 candidates.
So, if you’ve got an alright singing voice, don’t like being criticised and want to release a record without all the unpleasantness of becoming famous.