29th November 2020

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Where The Voice winners are now – chart flops, downward spiral and coach insult

The Voice is finally back after a staggering six-month wait to see who will be this year’s champion.

The semi-final and final were supposed to air in March and April this year, but had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, there will be some major changes when the show returns to our screens, as social distancing measures will be in place.

And American singer Meghan Trainor will be forced to coach virtually from the US due to her pregnancy and because of travel restrictions.

Five singers will battle it out to be the 2020 champion and leave with that recording contract with Polydor Records – and they will hope to buck the trend.

None of the eight winners have become a chart-topping success – with most fading into obscurity and careers heading in a downward spiral.

While in a bizarre twist, one previous winner went from Liberty X to Wet Wet Wet.

Here’s a look at where the previous champions ended up”

Molly Hocking – 2019

Molly won the competition last year

The reigning champion of The Voice, Molly Hocking won the show when she was just 18-years-old.

After her name was announced, Molly was in tears as she told host Emma Willis: “Someone pinch me!”

“All I can say is thank you,” Molly added. “From the bottom of my heart I am so – I’m shocked, I love you all.”

Molly gave The Voice coach Olly Murs his first victory with a contestant.

Speaking directly to Olly, she said: “I’m so so glad you that you stuck with me through this and you are my inspiration now. You are my inspiration.”

But the celebrations didn’t carry on for long as her winning single, a cover of ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ from A Star Is Born, only reached No. 73 in the UK Singles Chart.

Molly was due to release her second single in March after performing it at The Voice semi-final, but has been forced to delay amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Everything was ready and you start building up and getting really excited, and then you get that phone call and it’s like ‘The Voice has been postponed’ and my heart sank,” she told ITV News in June.

While in lockdown, Molly has continued writing songs and performing her music online.

Ruti Olajugbagbe – 2018

Ruti was the winner of The Voice in 2018

Ruti was also just 18-years-old when she was crowned champion of The Voice in a shock result, beating the favourite, Donel Mangena.

“I wasn’t expecting this. I didn’t expect to get to the blind audition. I don’t know what to say,” said Ruti as she held back tears.

Her coach, Tom Jones, was incredibly impressed, stating on many occasions how her voice made him feel proud and touched him emotionally.

She signed a record deal with Polydor Records and her debut single, Dreams, reached number one on the UK iTunes Store and number 14 on the UK Singles charts.

Speaking a year after her win, Sir Tom told The Metro: “My career wasn’t overnight so I think our instant gratification doesn’t really allow an artist to develop.

“Ruti doesn’t have an album out yet, but when she has album out she’ll be on her way.”

Her second song only reached number 49 and she was dropped by her label shortly afterwards.

Mo Adeniran – 2017

Mo performed a Paolo Nutini song

Mo was working night shifts in a hotel before he got his chance to shine on The Voice.

After a troubled childhood in care, one of his good friends and bandmate Mike dying from a drug overdose when he was a teen.

He was also friends with Viola Beach, the tragic group who were killed when their car went off a bridge in Sweden.

During his audition, Mo, then 22, sang Paulo Nutini’s A Change is Gonna Come, which resulted in all four coaches turning round, so he opted for US actress and singer Jennifer Hudson.

He was a hit with the audience and public alike, the latter voting him into the final, which he eventually won against The Ark.

Once the show was over he released single Unsteady under the stage name Mo Jamil, which made little chart impact and peaked at number 78.

However during the press launch for the 2018 Voice series, his former coach Jennifer, revealed he had big plans for 2018 and was going to release new material, which she was very excited about.

The single, That Feeling, from his debut album reached number 22 on the iTunes chart before falling down.

The album Evolve was released in March 2018 and peaked at number 36 – and he was dropped by Polydor Records shortly afterwards.

Kevin Simms – 2016

Kevin Simm performing 'I’m Kissing You' in the live quarter final of 'The Voice UK'
Kevin Simm was a favourite from the start

The Voice wasn’t Kevin Simms’ first shot at fame – as the singer was originally a member of Liberty X.

He fell back on gigging in pubs and clubs when the band split in 2007, but plucked up the courage to audition for The Voice in an attempt to re-launch his pop career.

It worked out for Kevin as he won the competition – and made a phoenix-like return to the UK Charts.

His winner’s single All You Good Friends looked like it was heading for the top 10 but eventually peaked at number 24 in the charts.

He went on to release his first solo album Recover in October 2016, which hit number 40 in the chart.

Kevin was controversially not invited back to perform on the following year’s show as the reigning champion – as is tradition on ITV’s other singing show The X Factor.

Responding to a fan asking why he wouldn’t appear, Kevin tweeted: “Guess they wanted a clean break from BBC version… but then they hired the same presenter, will.i.am, Tom Jones etc so maybe not that.”

His career took a bizarre twist in 2018 when he joined Wet Wet Wet as their new frontman – replacing founding member Marti Pellow.

The iconic band went on a nationwide 18-date tour in 2019.

Stevie McCrorie – 2015

Stevie McCrorie
Stevie McCrorie performing on The Voice

Stevie McCrorie bucked the trend by actually having success with his first single.

Ricky Wilson’s protege reached number six with Lost Stars in 2015 – and is still the only winner of The Voice to secure a top 10 single.

The former firefighter admitted he was teased by his colleagues after his success on the show.

He told ITV’s Lorraine at the time: “They support me, but you obviously get a lot of stick! I popped back in over Christmas, and they were making jokes about whether the single was going to chart.”

Whilst everyone was hoping for Stevie to become The Voice’s first success story, he played down his changes of his debut album of original material hitting the top spot.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz about the record, he said: “‘A number one album would mean I’m living in the clouds.

“I don’t think that is going to happen, but if it did happen I’d be over the moon. I’m not being negative, but I just can’t see that happening.”

And he was right as his 2016 album, Big World, only reached No. 35 in the charts.

In 2019, Stevie told Radio Times that he realised almost immediately that he was with the wrong label and management team.

Just a year after winning Stevie returned to his job as a firefighter in Kirkcaldy, because he needed to support his wife and young daughter.

However Stevie turned his garage at home into a studio, where he continued to make music, releasing three-track Ep Alive in 2017 and single All I Want.

Jermain Jackman – 2014

Jermain Jackman
Jermain Jackman was the winner of The Voice in 2014

Jermain Jackman had great ambitions, saying he wanted to be Prime Minister, if not that, then Mayor of London.

It proved to be a successful tactic of winning over viewers as he was crowned champion.

It seemed like The Voice UK could finally have found its first breakout star, but his first single And I Am Telling You only hit 75 in the charts.

His debut album sold a disappointing 613 physical copies during its first week of release.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be – and despite a number of public appearances, Jermain then decided to quit the music industry and head to university.

Speaking to TellyMix at the time, he revealed: “I’ve stepped back from music for now. I saw some things I didn’t like and I was losing the love for music.

“Maybe I’ll come back when I’m 23 and I’ve got my degree in politics.”

After going back to study politics, the Labour supporter set up the Islington Fair Futures Commission, which he is chair of and which looks to improve the prospects of young people in the borough.

However, he did manage to merge his two passions by appearing at the Labour Live festival in 2018 alongside Clean Bandit and Jeremy Corbyn.

Andrea Begley – 2013

Andrea Begley with Danny O'Donoghue and Holly Willoughby
Andrea Begley with Danny O’Donoghue and Holly Willoughby

Andrea Begley was the shock winner of the second series of The Voice, much to the disgust of Will.i.am, who reportedly stormed off the set.

He believed his act, hot favourite Leah McFall, should have wont the contest in 2013.

The Black Eyed Peas singer sparked a backlash by tweeting: “You should feel the audience’s vibration in the room tonight after the public’s vote… its unexplainable… so sad… perplexed.”

Obviously feeling remorse, he followed it up with: “Andrea is amazing… don’t get me wrong… but we know who has the incredible voice.”

The pair did clear the air, but the incident didn’t give Andrea the best chance at immediate success.

Her debut album The Message stuttered when it was first released – selling under 2,000 copies over its first few days – but it peaked at Number 7 in the charts.

Partially-sighted singer Andrea, who was signed to Capitol Records for about a year and a half, until it “went quiet”.

She told the Radio Times in 2017, she wasn’t surprised she didn’t see huge success after her win and she wanted to release a second album of her own music rather than what Capitol wanted.

“It was a bit disappointing, but at the same time I got to walk away from the situation knowing I had a top 10 album, which is a heck of lot more than most people,” she said.

She became an ambassador for sight loss charity Royal National Institute of Blind People in Northern Ireland and wrote a book, cheekily titled I Didn’t See That Coming.

Andrea went back to studying part time for a PhD while working for the Government in Belfast, but released the single Never a Pal Like Mother on iTunes in 2017.

Leanne Mitchell (2012)

The Voice 2012 winner Leanne Mitchell with her mentor Sir Tom Jones and Holly Willoughby

To say The Voice didn’t get off to the best start would perhaps be an understatement.

For various reasons, Leanne Mitchell did not set things in the right direction with a combination of poor album sales and public criticism of the talent show.

Her self-titled debut record sold fewer than 1,000 copies in its first week – only 895 in the first few days – and only reached No. 45 in the charts.

While her first album had an even worse fate a year later, failing to even make it into the top 100, so she was dropped by her record label.

Then she clashed with The Voice coach Danny O’Donoghue, who blasted her work ethic in a scathing interview with The Sun.

On her poor album sales, he said: “That’s not my fault, that’s not the show’s fault, that’s not the BBC’s fault, that’s just her fault.

“You can take an artist like that and question their work ethic.

“I was told by Tom Jones, and by the label as well, that Leanne just did not want to work as hard as you have to work to be a popstar.”

Furious Leanne fired back in a Twitter rant, replying: “Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone was particularly on my side from the start. I never wanted to speak up, as I suppose the next thing will be I’m ‘bitter’, which I’m not, at all.”

Leanne went on to marry her boyfriend and they welcomed a baby boy Leo – and was last known to be singing on cruise ships.

*The Voice UK airs tonight on ITV at 9pm




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