THE first battle round of this year’s series of ‘The Voice of Ireland’ smashed the ratings recorded by the same show last year by over 100,000 viewers.
743,000 people tuned in to see the first show in which the mentors narrow down their teams to those they want to bring to the live shows.
Viewers for the first battle round show of last year’s series still stood at a hefty 657,000.
The figure represents over 44pc of the available TV audience at the time.
In and interview with TV Now magazine Bessie defended the show from its critics, saying: “If you don’t like it, then don’t watch it. No one is putting a gun to your head and saying ‘watch me’”.
He also added that new mentor Jamelia is determined to make her mark and win the show.
“She and I had a few fights, but once again that’s like 12 hours in a room, it’s going to happen. I am what I am and she is what she is”, he said.
The battle rounds continue this Sunday at 6.30pm on RTE 1.