Gary Flockhart: Leanne loses her voice in the pop world

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A FORTNIGHT ago everyone was talking about Leanne Mitchell becoming the first ever winner of The Voice. This week, everyone’s talking about Leanne Mitchell after her debut single missed the Top 40 completely.

Usually it’s the immediate aftermath of a TV talent show in which the winner has their most fruitful period. The No1 single is all but guaranteed and if they’re lucky they maintain interest long enough to get as far as the debut album. Almost invariably, success is fleeting and they’re dropped by their label before a second.

This is a new one, though. For Mitchell, mentored on The Voice by Sir Tom Jones, to not even make the Top 40 with her debut single is a bit of a shock. Sure, she had a limited shelf-life, as almost every TV talent show winner does, but to be past her sell-by date before her career’s even begun... like I say, that’s a new one.

But why has her first single, Run To You, so warmly received on the show, failed so spectacularly?

There are a couple of reasons. First her song is only available on digital download, which was a bad move. For while there’s no denying Mitchell is a good vocalist her song choices are hardly cutting-edge and she isn’t someone the kids - who download singles - are going to get behind.

But there’s more... The Voice was rushed, with not enough time taken to develop contestants’ personalities. It was a show that raced from blind auditions to the live rounds like it was a sprint. It’s also true that its biggest personalities - or biggest show-offs in will.i.am and Jessie J’s case - were on the panel.

It might be too soon to call time on The Voice’s first winner but it clearly takes a lot more than a good voice to succeed in the business. Personality is crucial, too.