Jamelia helps Voice to reverse ratings slump
RTE talent show The Voice of Ireland is bouncing back after a less than impressive start to its second season.
Last Sunday's show saw the highest audience for an episode, with 729,000 tuning in to watch.
This must have come as a relief to the show's producers, given disappointing viewing figures for the first few episodes.
The second series opener drew in 100,000 fewer viewers compared to the first.
And figures earlier this month showed that an average of only 605,000 people tuned in.
But thanks to the introduction of new judge Jamelia and the friction between the judges, in particular Kian Egan and Bressie, the show is proving popular with viewers once more.
The first season started with a bang, with 708,000 viewers tuning in to watch the opening episode.
The initial stand-out figures weren't a complete surprise, given the massive advertising campaign that RTE ploughed into the show.
But ratings slumped towards the 460,000 mark by the end of the first season.
But it seems The Voice of Ireland has got its mojo back after making several significant changes.
Kathryn Thomas and Eoghan McDermott have split the presenting duties, and Brian Kennedy has gone.
The contestants are also more interesting. Last year, there was forgettable Pat Byrne and Joe Devine; this year we have tack- tastic Traveller bride and mum-to-be Kelly Mongan (18).
The arrival of bubbly pop sensation Jamelia has also made a big impact with producer Larry Bass, who described the Superstar singer as a "breath of fresh air".
"She is a great artist and she brings something new and different to the series. She is a breath of fresh air and has great energy," he said
Fellow judge Sharon Corr also thinks Jamelia is a great addition. "R'n'B is such an important part of the industry now," she said. "We didn't really have that covered last year, so it's great having her on the panel."
The latest figures of The Voice of Ireland outstripped last year's grand finale.
Bill Malone, commissioning editor for entertainment on RTE1, said the ratings were remarkable.
"The dynamic between all four coaches has certainly changed for series two, and they have really upped their game.
"Jamelia has proved a great addition to the team and the competition between the coaches is intense and at times quite fiery.
"There is a lot more drama to come.
"I am delighted that viewers have taken to the programme in such huge numbers."