The Voice UK is not in the best health. Its ratings plummeted last series. Given the lacklustre contestants, dated staging and an altogether terrible editing process, there’s little surprise it hasn’t been the dream show the BBC wanted. Beyond the spinning chairs, there’s nothing special about it. Trashed for the past two years in a ratings war with TV leviathan Britain’s Got Talent, the BBC recently announced the show will now air in January, with the finale likely to take place in March before BGT even airs.
Now call me a crackpot conspiracy theorist, but I think there’s more to this than just avoiding a time-slot clash with the ITV talent show. If I didn’t know better I’d think the BBC had its high on a two-birds one stone policy – making The Voice do better in the ratings and seeing off accusations of poor selection choices for Eurovision. In short, I think The Voice is set to become the BBC’s selection vehicle for the 2014 Contest.
Contestants from The Voice in Belgium and Russia made the Top 15 last year, and there’s no doubt that in both UK series, the contestants had great voices. Sadly there is no platform for them afterwards. There’s no glittering record deal waiting at the end of the process and frankly there’s no point to them. The “winner” releases a dodgy debut album and single and plummets off the charts—and out of our collective memory.
The change of broadcast time puts The Voice in line with the big Scandinavian selection shows like Melodifestivalen. If the show is announced as the vehicle to find our singer for Europe, in the style of the German selection show, it’ll be bound to pick up more viewers since there’s actually a purpose behind it. The addition of Kylie Minogue to the judging panel is surely the icing on the cake.
Part of me doubts how reasonable this idea is, but equally it’s not like it’d be any skin of the BBC’s back either. They already have the show format sitting there, and it didn’t prove a problem for Belgium or Russia to put forward their winners for Eurovision. If anything it should at least produce a credible artist, even if the song might be hideous. And, in the unlikely event the UK ends up near the top of the table in Copenhagen, then it adds to the credibility of The Voice and the BBC can reap the PR rewards of having done good.
It remains to be seen what the BBC is going to do. If they’re following an internal selection then they’ll be picking their singer right around now, but I reckon after three years of definitely mixed success in this realm, it’s time the UK returned to a public selection process.
What do you think is going on with The Voice Series 3? Would you prefer a national selection to an internal one? Let us know in the comments box below!