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The Voice under strain as viewers switch off

THE Voice of Ireland is under strain after ratings took a nose-dive to just 451,000.

The RTE talent contest attracted a massive 708,000 viewers on its opening night.

But audiences have been tuning out as the show progresses.

Judges Sharon Corr, Kian Egan, Bressie and Brian Kennedy failed to attract the interest of viewers on Mother's Day.

Last Sunday night's figure was less than the 533,000 its predecessor the All-Ireland Talent Show claimed in 2009 on its opening night.

A spokeswoman for RTE said: "The results show on Sunday had close to 451,000 viewers with a reach of 784,000 tuning in over the course over the show."

When the entire series is taken into account, the figures are more promising with RTE saying that the average audience was 533,000, with a near-40pc share of total viewers.

There are 14 acts remaining in the contest as they battle it out for the coveted €100,000 contract with Universal Music Ireland.