The Voice’s first winner was dropped after bitter ‘work ethic’ row with judge

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To say The Voice didn't get off to the best start would perhaps be an understatement.

Tonight we will discover who will be crowned this year's winner and leave with that recording contract with Polydor Records.

They will certainly be hoping to buck the trend, as none of the previous eight winners have become chart-toppers.

While some have had modest success, the majority have faded into obscurity as their careers head into a downward spiral.

And it all started with the very first winner of The Voice back in June 2012, whose biggest critic was actually one of the coaches on the show.

Leanne Mitchell didn't set things in the right direction with a combination of poor album sales and public criticism of the talent show – with the winner claiming she was made a "scapegoat".

Leanne Mitchell with mentor Sir Tom Jones after being told by Holly Willoughby she had won the first series of The Voice
(Image: BBC)

Tom Jones' contestant was reported to have landed a £100,000 deal after winning the contest and later signing with Decca Records, part of the music giant Universal.

Leanne's debut solo single, Run To You, was released the day after she wont the talent show on the BBC and only reached No. 45 in the charts.

The first time that she came under fire from a member of The Voice team was in August 2012, just months after her victory.

The Script frontman Danny O'Donoghue claimed he didn't feel much disappointment about Leanne's lack of chart success because she wasn't on his team.

"She won the show, you know, in the final she was technically the best singer. Was she technically the best artist? No. But that's just my opinion," explained the coach.

Danny seemed to suggest that another artists should have won the show in order to have a better career.

(Image: BBC)

He added: "She was definitely the best singer on the night, but it was unfortunate that other people didn't get a look in, ones that would have suited pop music better.

"She's got an amazing voice, but I couldn't see her exciting 80,000 people for an hour and a half. There were people like that on the show, but they got voted off, and it's quite hard."

It would be nearly a year before Leanne released her first and only album in May 2013.

Her self-titled debut album had an even worse fate than her debut single, selling only 895 copies in the first few days and failing to even make it into the top 100.

Will.i.am claimed that "someone should get slapped" for the delay in getting the album out as Leanne had become less relevant.

"I don't know what happened. I don't know if the label engaged and surrounded it. I don't think the rushing happened and if it did, it was too slow.

"Especially in this day and age when everything changes every 20 seconds on Twitter. You go from something being hot to 'Oh, it's not hot anymore'."

Danny seemed to suggest another singer in the final should have won
(Image: PA)

The following month, Danny once again hit out at Leanne, but this time his criticism was even more scathing.

In a savage rant, Danny blasted Leanne's work ethic and even dragged her mentor Sir Tom Jones into the row.

When asked about her poor album sales, he told The Sun: "That's not my fault, that's not the show's fault, that's not the BBC's fault, that's just her fault.

"You can take an artist like that and question their work ethic.

"I was told by Tom Jones, and by the label as well, that Leanne just did not want to work as hard as you have to work to be a popstar."

Danny even claimed he failure to become a pop sensation undermined the credibility of the show.

He added: "She wanted to come on a show and win a singing contest. That's good for her, because she won the show. But it's not good for the premise of the show."

Danny O'Donoghue was very critical of Leanne
(Image: BBC)

But Leanne was not prepared to take his insults lying down.

The fuming singer hit back in a lengthy rant, claiming she had "worked her backside off" writing her album and felt like nobody offered any real support.

"Ever get the feeling you've been used as the scapegoat? I have had to read and listen to so much about me recently, and so far have kept quiet," said Leanne in an extended Twitter post.

"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 was mentored by Sir Tom Jones on the show
(Image: BBC/Wall To Wall/Guy Levy)

Leanne insisted she was not "bitter" despite the criticism she’s received from The Voice coaches.

She also questioned whether those that were saying negative comments have even listened to her album.

"Again, unfortunately, I don't think anyone was particularly on my side from the start. I never wanted to speak up, as I suppose the next thing will be I'm 'bitter', which I'm not, at all," added Leanne.

"I LOVE being a singer, and music will always be everything to me, on whatever level that may be, and that makes me happy.

"I still feel very lucky to have experienced what I have in the past year, and if people actually gave me a chance, and didn't judge me one what has been said or written, maybe they'd see some people are just in it for the music x"

Leanne hit back at her critics
(Image: Publicity Picture)

Leanne was then dropped from her record label in 2014.

Although there were rumours Leanne she was back working at holiday parks, she claimed they were "completely untrue".

She went on to marry her boyfriend and they welcomed a baby boy Leo – and was last known to be singing on cruise ships.