The Voice UK winners – where are they now?

After a six-month wait, the live final stages of The Voice UK 2020 may finally be upon us. But whatever happened to the previous winners of the chair-spinning singing contest?

Published: 21 September 2020 - 9.09pm
Freeview Entertainment

The Voice UK

The Voice UK may be known for its big-name judges and exciting twist on the TV singing contest format, but it’s has less success than its rivals when it comes to creating superstar winners.

We’re now on season nine of the competition – the fourth since its move from BBC to ITV – and the show has yet to find a chart-topping act with staying power.

Could 2020 be the year that The Voice UK's winner is propelled to megastardom? We last saw the nine remaining contestants in March before the Covid-19 outbreak put the live shows on hold, but with the semi-final and final now pencilled in for October, cast your mind back over these previous winners.

Leanne Mitchell - 2012

Press Association Images

The show’s first-ever winner did not exactly get off to a flying start.

Leanne, mentored by Sir Tom Jones, cast off her holiday park entertainer background to win the competition, but her debut single – a cover of Whitney Houston’s Run to You – only reached No.45 in the charts.

She was dropped by label Decca when her self-titled album flopped with a peak position of No.134 and was later said to be back on stage at the holiday park where her career began.

Andrea Begley - 2013

The Voice UK 2013 winner Andrea Begley Press Association Images

When the show returned for a second series, everyone was hoping for a more successful result… but Andrea Begley was not a popular choice of champion for all the judges.

Mentor Danny O’Donoghue was obviously delighted when her name was called out, but Will.i.am stormed off the stage in protest at his act Leah McFall, who had been the favourite, being beaten. He later tweeted his rage at the outcome.

What of Andrea’s career? Her debut single, a cover of Evanescence’s My Immortal, peaked at No.30, although her follow-up track, a version of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark, only reached No.113. However, her album The Message did much better, charting at No.7.

Jermain Jackman - 2014

The Voice UK 2014 winner Jermain Jackman Press Association Images

When Jermain won series three of The Voice, it seemed that the programme may have finally found its star.

But there was a lacklustre response to his debut single, a cover of the Dreamgirls hit And I Am Telling You, which charted at No.75, and his self-titled album only reached No.42.

Jermain has since spoken about his disillusionment with the music industry, but has not let his experiences bring him  down – he spoke on the show about his ambition to be Prime Minister, is currently studying for a politics degree at the University of Leeds, and supported a Labour Party rally in the run-up to the 2017 general election.

Stevie McCrorie - 2015

The Voice UK 2015 winner Stevie McCrorie Press Association Images

Scottish singer Stevie McCrorie looked like the best bet for stardom yet when he was crowned the winner of series four.

A popular choice with viewers, Stevie managed to get a No.6 hit with his debut single, a cover of Adam Levine’s Lost Stars.

However, his album Big World only reached No.35 and he has since parted ways with label Decca, returning to his career as a firefighter.

Kevin Simm - 2016

The Voice UK 2016 winner Kevin Simm Press Association Images

TV singing contest veteran and established popstar Kevin Simm may have seemed like a smart choice to succeed after The Voice series wrapped, but even he could not break the winner’s curse.

Kevin had previously enjoyed success as part of Liberty X, who were runners-up on Popstars in the year that Hear’Say won. With 10 UK Top 20 hits including No.1 single Just a Little, Liberty X were arguably more successful than Hear'Say, but after they split up, Kevin was not too proud to return to his reality TV roots to pursue a solo career.

He might have wowed judges and audiences with his voice, but it failed to translate to chart success – his winner’s single, the original track All You Good Friends, peaked at No.24, while his album Recover did not chart.

Mo Adeniran - 2017

The Voice UK 2017 winner Mo Adeniran Press Association Images

When The Voice UK moved over to ITV, many thought it would signal the start of winning being a major foot up into the music industry as the programme would be unfettered by the BBC’s ban on sponsorship and advertising.

However, despite winner Mo’s popularity and that of his coach Jennifer Hudson, his career has followed the usual Voice form.

Mo released his debut track Unsteady from the EP Globetrotter but only managed to reach a chart position of No.78.

He returned to the show in 2018 as a guest mentor for Team Jennifer, alongside Leona Lewis.

"I've been working hard in the studio for the last six months and I hope I can pass on some of the things I've learnt whilst making my album to the talented singers on Jennifer's team," he added.

"I definitely think she's got another winner!"

He has also announced that his first album will be called Evolve and that it'll be out at the end of March, following on from his recent single That Feeling.

"I'm so happy to finally share with you that my debut album Evolve will be out on 30th March!" Mo said on Twitter.

Mo worked with Swedish musician David Kjellstrand on That Feeling and has described it as a "perfect fit" for his first album.

"As soon as I started collaborating with David on this song, I knew that it was a perfect fit for the record," Mo said.

"The lyrics and undertone resonated with me immediately and I knew it had to be the first single from my new album."

Ruti Olajugbagbe - 2018

The Voice UK 2018 winner Ruti Olajugbagbe Rachel Joseph/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Ruti Olajugbagbe, a teenage student from Essex, was coached to victory by mentor Sir Tom Jones, and fended off competition from Donel Mangena, Belle Voci and Lauren Bannon in the series finale.

Ruti was shocked as her name was announced by the programme’s host Emma Willis.Holding back tears, she said: “I wasn’t expecting this… I didn’t expect to get to the blind audition, I don’t know what to say!”

Her version of Dreams by The Cranberries was her debut single, released immediately after the ITV programme’s finale.

Dreams reached number 1 on the UK iTunes Store, and debuted at No.14 on the UK Singles Chart. The song charted for only one week.

Her second release, an EP featuring Racing Cars as the lead track charted at No.49. Ruti revealed shortly afterwards that she had been dropped by her label, Polydor.

Molly Hocking – 2019

The Voice UK 2019 winner Molly Hocking Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images

Eighteen-year-old Molly Hocking became the eighth winner of The Voice UK, giving mentor Olly Murs his first win at the second time of asking.

It was also Molly’s second stab at TV singing success – she had progressed to the bootcamp stage of the X Factor in 2017 but failed to make it further and her audition was never televised.

Earlier in 2017 she had supported singer-songwriter Ralph McTell in concert in Exeter.

Cornish Molly, who was joined in the final by Bethzienna Williams, Jimmy Balito and Deana Walmsley, won the coveted record deal after duetting with Murs on Simply Red’s Stars and singing I’ll Never Love Again, from the film A Star is Born, in the head-to-head finale against Liverpool singing teacher Walmsley.

The movie song became her first single release but only reached No.73 in the UK charts. Her second single, a new song called After the Night Before, was due for release in March 2020 after Molly had showcased it on the live Voice semi-final, but the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to both the live shows and the release of the single.

“We were hopeful that The Voice would still be aired with no audience,” she told ITV News in June.

“Everything was ready and you start building up and getting really excited, and then you get that phone call and it's like ‘The Voice has been postponed’ and my heart sank.''

Since lockdown began Molly has continued to write songs and perform online, and has also taken to social media to share her experience of coping with anxiety and mental health issues, and has also raised awareness of cyber bullying after facing criticism from online trolls.

Who will win The Voice UK 2020?

We’re still waiting to see who wins the ninth season of The Voice UK. The series began in January 2020 and continued through to the knockout rounds in late March, but the Covid-19 pandemic led to the live rounds being put on hold.

After more than six months of waiting, it looks like the semi-final and the final will now finally take place in October 2020, with the live finally currently pencilled in for Saturday, October 24.

Nine artists are still in the running to win The Voice UK 2020. They are Blessing Chitapa, Brooke Scullion, Doug Sure, Gevanni Hutton, Jonny Brooks, Jordan Phillips, Lois Moodie, Lucy Calcines and Trinity-Leigh Cooper.

The Voice UK returns to ITV in October