New music contest show, The Voice, debuted a few weeks ago with the expectations of fighting BBC’s corner against ITV rival Britain’s Got Talent. However, last Saturday the star-studded show lost viewers of about 4 million and received online ratings as being disinterested and bored.
When I first watched The Voice, it was refreshing to watch a competition show not based around sob stories and talent determined from personality. It had its own USP – the blind auditions, big red buttons and spinning chairs saying “I want you” along with the boxing ring sing off and no nasty Simon! Its positivity was enjoyable to watch just for the fact of real talent being rewarded. But now the reluctancy to provide us with some juicy villains and reasons to scream at the TV is now taking its toll …on a lot of the public. It has just failed to provide any interesting news-worthy shake-ups to maintain its momentum.
That brings me to another point – news. It’s not surprising that Simon Cowell brought out his new book the week before The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent went head to head. Spilling the goss on his love affairs with Danni Minogue and whoever else wears a skirt and has a heart that beats – this was definitely a timely attempt to gain the BGT boss a huge publicity bonus point to get the show back on the media map. This is more than what can be said for The Voice – what newsworthy contingency plan did they have? Not much really. This weekend saw a feud between The Voice’s boss, Danny Cohen, and Will.I.Am because Will couldn’t stop tweeting during the show! This is just bad PR; even a star on the show is bored.
After having a little look around, I’ve come to the conclusion that sob stories, villains, controversy, TV personality and TV spin does generate news and therefore viewings. People say that any press is good press (apart from if it’s non-controversial and boring press) – and this is what the music mogul, Simon Cowell is perfect for. In fact, SyCo in general is good for that. Having control over a large group of music artists in the UK and USA, the company has access to the likes of One Direction, Leona Lewis, JLS and Susan Boyle with the click of a finger to boost its audience ratings.
While writing this I’m actually watching Britain’s Got Talent, and something very interesting has happened. When questioning contestant singer songwriter, Ryan O’Shaughnessy which TV show he was previously on, he answered “The Voice in Ireland”. To this, Simon replied:
“Well their loss is our gain [chuckling]… you could be the dark horse” – this came as quite a shock to me – another comment that will probably make some online coverage for BGT!
However, after he’d realised what he had said (and probably after getting a telling-off from his bosses through his earpiece), he butted through Ant and Dec and corrected the matter with: “Even though I was teasing the show, the Universal Records were very kind to release him from his contract and let us have him, so thank you very much”.
You can never really know what is planned by the TV show’s company [SyCo] or what isn’t. One thing that surprised and somewhat entertained the nation was the release of an old sex tape made by Tulisa. This was allegedly released by her ex-boyfriend, MC Ultra to ruin her reputation and bring down her career. To spring a bigger surprise to everyone was her public reply “Tulisa Talks” via YouTube. But I think the icing on the cake was her song which was released just few days called, “Forgive me” which has the lyrics of “Forgive me for what I have done, cos I’m young, yeah I’m young”. She can’t even respond by saying she made the song and video in those few days because they were recorded months before – hmmmm.
The Daily Mail has written an excellent story about how this timing is almost so coincidental that it’s a PR stunt – and not a subtle one at that. Could this be one of SyCo’s many underground activities to gain publicity that didn’t go down so well?

About Natalie Richmond

Account Executive at Prohibition PR.