'The Voice UK' Sees Audience Drop, Tops Saturday U.K. Ratings

2012-35 BKLOT Abu Dhabi Kylie Minogue H

Kylie Minogue and Eminem will perform at the yasalam After-Race Concert in November.

The second episode of the third season of the BBC singing competition drew fewer viewers than the week-ago season debut, but stayed ahead of the year-ago ratings.

LONDON --The ratings for the third season of The Voice UK on the BBC continue to trend ahead of last year, even though the second episode Saturday night drew a smaller audience than the season opener. 

The BBC, which has been looking to bolster the singing competition's performance with the addition of Kylie Minogue to the panel of coaches, drew an average of 7.1 million viewers, down from 8.4 million a week earlier. But that was still 700,000 viewers above the second episode of season two.

In comparison, the second episode of the first season of The Voice UK had drawn an average audience of 8.9 million people.

The Voice UK on Saturday once again drew a bigger audience than ITV celebrity diving show Splash!, which reached an average audience of just below 4 million people. The BBC singing competition was the night's top-rated show in the U.K.

The singing competition's January launch this year helps it avoid competition from ITV ratings hit Britain's Got Talent with Simon Cowell, which has managed to hold off The Voice UK after losing some ratings showdowns early in the BBC show's first season. The first two seasons of The Voice UK began around Easter.

The Voice UK had a strong start to its first season, but the ratings dropped after the blind audition rounds with the format's popular spinning chairs. 

The other new member of the coaching team this year is Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson.?

Minogue and Wilson replaced Jessie J and Danny O'Donoghue on the judging panel. Tom Jones and will.i.am continue in their coaching roles.

??The Voice format was developed by Dutch producer John De Mol's Talpa Media and is produced for the BBC by Wall to Wall Media. Wall to Wall is part of Warner Bros.-controlled TV production and distribution firm Shed Media Group.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai