Producers of The Voice UK on BBC1 are said to be planning a number of changes to the format of the show, following a small ratings drop for this weekend’s first round of live shows.
Recording an average of 9.33m (41.8%) compared to Britain’s Got Talent‘s 9.67m (41.8%) on ITV1, staff on the BBC1 show are reportedly thinking up new ways to improve their live show format after just one week of it.
In the form of the American version of the franchise, the four ‘coaches’ (will.i.am., Jessie J, Sir Tom Jones, and Danny O’Donoghue) will now no longer perform together at the start of the show, instead singing with their own acts, while future guest stars will also be invited to sing alongside the remaining contestants.
Meanwhile, in moves that could be seen as mimicking the success of The X Factor, coaches have been asked to show more criticism and cruelty (as well as remembering the contestant’s names), and the introduction of ‘double eliminations’.
A show source said of the early revamp: “The BBC know that The Voice is liked by fans but the first live show didn’t quite go as planned. They’re ordering a shake-up because they cannot afford to lose viewers.”
Meanwhile, show coach will.i.am has been criticised by the BBC for his ‘unprofessional’ decision to text live on air, though the American rapper insists that he was merely attempting to connect with viewers via Twitter. He took to the social networking site twice in the weekend to claim that the situation had been taken out of proportion, writing: “If you saw me on my phone I wasn’t being rude… I was connecting to people watching. TV, phone, laptop, & tablet… its a new day… if I don’t tweet during live TV I’m not connecting to people watching in the new way.”
The series is scheduled to continue weekly through to June with 7 live show weeks, with only the dates of 26 & 27 July being taken off-schedule to avoid a clash with BBC1’s coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest. While the show will be likely to create talking points on Twitter, such conversations will be more likely to occur if the stars are actually doing something as opposed to trying to talk to them…