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LONDON — The first male black winner of the BBC’s The Voice U.K. saw the reality talent show garner a peak of 8.3 million viewers as it climaxed at the weekend.
Jermain Jackman, coached by will.i.am, helped top the ratings Saturday evening. The show beat rival TV channel offerings that included Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Channel 4.
This year’s edition still trailed last year’s finale, which peaked at 8.7 million, according to the BBC.
The show has brought in stronger ratings during its third season run, with the British media crediting the arrival of Kylie Minogue to the panel of judges alongside newbie Ricky Wilson, the lead singer of Kaiser Chiefs.
Fans are calling for Minogue to continue as a voice coach, although it is likely she will be unable to take part in next year’s show due to scheduling conflicts with her own world tour.
The U.K. public broadcaster already renewed the singing competition from producer Wall to Wall based on the Talpa Media format for two more seasons.
This year’s judging panel also boasts Tom Jones.
Jackman, a 19-year-old Labour Party youth coordinator for Hackney, belted out Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus and Pure Imagination from the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory film, which he performed with will.i.am on the show.
The Londoner said he wanted to be “the first singing black prime minister” during the final and Labor leader Ed Miliband was quick to congratulate the singer and wannabe politico in a message on Twitter within minutes of the announced results.
Miliband said: “Huge congratulations to Jermain Jackman. Knew you were an incredibly special singer from the first time I heard you.”
The winner concluded the show with a performance of Jennifer Hudson‘s And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.
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