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SHE was brought in on a bargain salary – in TV terms, that is – to provide the wow factor and ramp up viewing figures.
And in return for a rumoured £500 000 (R8.9 million) pay packet, Kylie Minogue certainly ticked one of the boxes by adding an extra 4 million to the ratings for The Voice.
But opinion was divided on whether she was a hit or a miss on the judging panel of the BBC talent show, which returned for its third series last week.
The singer, who is earning a fraction of what she’d receive on rival The X Factor, helped attract a record high of 10.6m viewers last week, making The Voice the most watched show of the evening.
However, while some viewers thought her antics – flirting with contestants and high-fiving her fellow judges – were fun, others described them as cringeworthy.
Industry experts said her relatively low salary was the price to be paid for her mainstream comeback after her last three chart debuts stalled at 93, 31, and 96 in Britain.
The singer, who recently signed with edgy music label Roc Nation, home to Beyonce and Rihanna, is believed to be using the reality series to re-establish herself ahead of the release of her album Into the Blue in March.
She was rumoured to have requested up to £2m, but BBC bosses refused and she is said to have settled for the same as the other judges, the returning Sir Tom Jones and Will.i.am, and fellow newcomer Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs.
James Harvey of the PR company the Outside Organisation said: “Her recent songs haven’t been hits. Now she has signed with Roc Nation, which is much edgier and cooler, so it would seem this is the next chapter in her musical career.
“By doing a show like The Voice she is lining herself up alongside the likes of Tom Jones and is outlining her music cred. The salary, for a music artist of her stature, is not amazing, which would suggest her appearance is part of a bigger picture.
“The show will be watched by people of all ages, once again making her fresh and current with new audiences. This is Kylie’s way of being put back on the map.”
Last week fans criticised the 45-year-old for her flirty exchange with contestant Leo Ihenacho, 31, after he performed Holding Back the Years.
Looking flustered, she could be seen giggling and blushing before telling him: “All I can say is, we would have a good time together.”
One viewer tweeted: “Kylie flirting on BBC1 for the good of her next album, I hope it works.” Another said: “Kylie is just so cringe on this.”
But Caroline Sullivan posted: “Kylie is a synonym for adorable.”
The Voice drew an average audience of 8.4m last week, compared with 6.2m for the start of its 2013 season. The episode peaked at 10.6m, a dramatic increase on the 6.8m peak of last year. – Daily Mail