The Voice denies 'fix' claim after Kevin Simm continues to knockout round
Published 07/03/2016 | 14:21
The Voice UK has denied "fix" claims after coach Paloma Faith reportedly admitted arranging a contestant's progression to the next stage with fellow coach Ricky Wilson.
On Saturday's show, former Liberty X singer Kevin Simm made it to the knockout stage despite losing to teenager Faith Nelson in the battle rounds.
After their mentor Faith had declared Nelson, 17, the vocal victor, r ival panellist Wilson opted to 'steal' Simm from Faith's team by hitting his buzzer.
In Monday's edition of The Mirror, Faith is quoted as suggesting the decision to save Simm was pre-planned and had been "agreed beforehand" with Wilson.
In a statement, a spokesman confirmed the two coaches had discussed Simm before the recording of the show, which was broadcast on February 5, but the "fix" accusation was rejected.
There is "no truth in this 'fix' claim", the statement said.
"The conversation between Ricky and Paloma before that battle record was her asking him to steal Kevin if she didn't choose him. He did not agree or disagree."
The Chorley-born singer was one of 24 acts who went head to head in a vocal battle, with the losing act facing the possibility of going home.
Staged in a setting resembling a boxing ring, the pair duked it out for the all-star panel of will.i.am, Boy George, Faith and Wilson to the song Spotlight by Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
After making her decision, millions of viewers watched as Faith hugged Simm and said: "You're going to get stolen."
Talking to The Mirror, Faith said: "Losing Kevin was the hardest battle round decision. I wasn't sleeping because of it. So Ricky and I agreed beforehand that he would take Kevin.
"The problem I had was both Kevin and Faith were amazing," the 34-year-old added.
"Kevin's one of only two acts this series to get four of us turning, whereas only two of us had turned for Faith.
"But I was really sure about her. So I had to make sure they both stayed. It would have been 100% ridiculous to get rid of someone that talented."
On the show, Wilson explained why he had decided to steal Simm.
"I really felt Kevin deserves this shot," he said. "I've never taken a steal through to the finals before, but he has got a shot."
Liberty X won the Brit Award for best British single in 2003 with their chart-topper Just A Little.
They enjoyed several more hits before calling it a day in 2007.
Simm, 35, went his own way and released his album Brand New in 2008, but he experienced commercial failure as a soloist.