What the BBC show’s plummeting viewing figures say about us

Forget every swear word under the sun, the ultimate insult you can throw at anyone is to tell them they’re nice.

And the insults are flying aplenty at The Voice right now.

The mentors on The Voice are just too nice,’ a friend said to me today.

Boring singers, boring songs and boring nicey nice judges,’ one viewer Tweeted at the weekend.

I think I have been too nice,’ Jessie J confessed on a TV chat show last week.

When did being polite become so despised?

And what does it say about us that as soon as celebrities stop mercilessly insulting (mostly young) people on live TV in front of millions of people, we decide we’re bored?

The Voice has gone from 10m viewers to a series low of 6.6m for the results show on Sunday night.

And, I’ll tell you the real reason why.

It’s not to do with us wanting people to be nasty.

It’s not even, as some have suggested, because men want to see more of presenter Holly Willoughby’s boobs.

It’s because the celebrity mentors aren’t being honest.

I’ll admit, my favourite part of The Voice was the start – that excruciating moment when we saw that NO-ONE had turned their chair around? TV gold.

But, now that the live TV shows have started we want some of that chair honesty’ back. We want to know what they REALLY think.

On Saturday night, it was clear to every viewer in the land (except maybe her mum) that Ruth Ann St Luce had sung badly. Really badly. Ok, let’s be blunt, the poor love couldn’t hold a note, the whole song was out of tune.

11140|00001d0a2|bcc1_orh300w225_Ruth-AnnAs one fan put it: You were off-key for almost your entire performance on Saturday. Sincerely, My Ears.’

At one point the camera even caught Will.i.am pulling a yikes this is terrible‘ face.

But when it came to the moment when the mentors were asked to comment, how many of them said it was rubbish? None of them.

Did they even gently say that maybe the song was wrong for her? Nope, not even that.

Instead we got Jessie J saying that wasn’t perfect…’ immediately followed by you don’t become a star overnight…you’ve grown up so much and no-one can deny that.’

Oh, ok.

Tom Jones quickly stepped in and gently skirted around the truth: Sometimes it’s good to be 18, sometimes there are things that come out and we should all get back there.’

Right, then.

Danny O’Donoghue had an opinion too about why she wasn’t very good. When I was growing up I had pitch problems but what I did was put a band around me…but for someone so young it took a lot to come out and do that.’

If, like me, you were hanging on Will.i.am, to finally be the one to tell her like it really is, you were disappointed.

I don’t know if it was the pressure of the show or new tricks like changing the shape of your mouth…you did great but it was pitchy.’

Oh, just say what you fuddy well mean!

I’m not saying that you have to be nasty – when I switch over to Britain’s Got Talent after watching the cosy comments on The Voice, my mouth physically drops open.

I find Simon Cowell‘s comments so honest they’re grotesque.

But it is possible to be honest and NOT be mean. Think Amanda Holden.

The celebrities are paid to tell us what they think. And sometimes that won’t be 100 per cent positive.

But that’s why we’re watching.

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