The Voice winner 'made scapegoat'
Leanne Mitchell, the winner of last year's The Voice whose debut album was a huge flop, has complained that she has been made a "scapegoat".
The singer spoke out just days after the climax of this year's series and following criticism she has endured since managing to get to only 134 in the album chart with her first release.
She complained that no one was "on my side from the start" and countered suggestions she did not want to work to make the album a success. Leanne said she had no hand in the timing of the record - which came out almost a year after her win but had been completed many months earlier - and said she had trusted people around her to make the right decisions.
Will.i.am - one of the coaches from The Voice - has already claimed that the record label bore some of the blame. He said in an interview recently: "The record company should be freakin' embarrassed. Somebody should get slapped because you waited too long. It's hopeless to release a record so long after the series finished.
Leanne hit back this week in a message which she posted online after keeping silent in the days following her chart flop last month. She said: "Ever get the feeling you've been used as the scapegoat?
"For the record, I'd written and finished the majority of my album by the end of last summer, around September time. I don't know why it was decided to wait so long to release it, but unfortunately, being very new to all this and probably too naive, I had to trust the people around me in making the right decisions.
"I have absolutely worked my backside off to WRITE this album, not copping out on all covers. And as some people have speculated, I absolutely wanted and still want to work for it."
Leanne said she had worked hard since she was 13 "doing what I love, and felt that maybe it would have all been worth it for this past year". She went on: "I wonder if everyone that has said/written negative things about me have even listened to the album? Again, unfortunately, I don't think anyone was particularly on my side from the start."
The singer said she did not want to appear as though she was "bitter", and she actually feels "very lucky" to have had the experiences of the past year. "If people actually gave me a chance, and didn't judge me on what has been said or written, maybe they'd see some people are just in it for the music," she added.
This year's winner Andrea Begley looks on course to make the top 20 of the singles chart this weekend. Midweek positions released by the Official Charts Company show she is at number 19 with her cover of Evanescence's My Immortal. Show runner-up Leah McFall could see three songs in the top 40 at the weekend. Her version of I Will Always Love You is at number 22 in the midweeks, while I Will Survive is at 24 and Killing Me Softly is 34.