The Voice Wins Ratings Battle, But Did The BBC Cheat?

The Voice sent 20 very good singers home this weekend. That’s arguably more talent than the X Factor judges have rejected in all of their series combined and an extraordinary amount of quality to jettison before a note has been warbled on live TV. Whether this makes the BBC’s claim that their new multi-million series is more credible true, is a matter of interpretation, yet it certainly made for a weekend of compelling television.

The battle rounds also proved popular with fans, as The Voice defeated BGT in the ratings war, but the Beeb were accused of cheating by their rivals. ITV claim that Saturday’s episode overran slightly, despite not being recorded live. This had an affect on the opening viewing figures for Simon Cowell’s reality talent contest, which had 5.7 million viewers at 8.30pm and an extra four million five minutes later. Last night the BBC show averaged 9.9 million – while BGT averaged 9.3 million – quite an achievement when you consider that even the Beeb had been worried that ratings might not hold as the show changed format.

There can be no denying that there were some genuinely tough decisions to be made over the two nights on The Voice, but many viewers believed that some of the judges had taken the wrong people through to the live stages of the show. Danny O’Donoghue, who went for Max Milner over Bill Downs on Saturday night and plumped for a rather sketchy Aleks Josh over Emmy J Mac, was questioned by many. Whether he’ll regret his decisions remains to be seen, but some fans weren’t happy on Twitter. “Emmy should’ve gone through. It’s called The Voice.” said one fan.

ITV said they were pleased with the figures and explained that they were a million higher than for the fifth episode of the last series, but secretly it’s thought they were expecting better this weekend after moving their show so that there was no overlap, after consistently coming off second best when the two shows ran against each other. The Voice drew the highest peak audience with 11.6 million, while ITV said its peak was 11.1 million.

Elsewhere, was in a spot of bother with BBC bosses after trying to sign up Jenny Jones – who he rejected on Saturday, in favour of Joelle Moses. “The whole point of the competition is that if he wanted her, he should have picked her on the show,” a source told The Sun. “He can’t do anything with Jenny until after the show and nothing formal has been offered to her.â€?