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ITV 'rejected The Voice to keep Simon Cowell happy'

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The judging team of The Voice

© NBC Universal

ITV reportedly declined The Voice when it was pitched to the channel a year ago, to keep Simon Cowell happy.

The broadcaster is now bidding against the BBC to secure the rights to a UK version of the show, after it proved a hit in the US.

The Voice saw four judges - Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton - choose singers on their vocal abilities alone, as the judging panel are not allowed to see the acts when they first sing.

ITV turned down the programme because it did not want to upset X Factor boss Cowell, The Mirror claims.

"They didn't dare entertain the programme when they were offered it nearly a year ago because they still hoped to persuade Cowell to appear on The X Factor," said a source.

The 51-year-old has since confirmed that he will not appear on the judging panel for the eighth series of the competition, instead choosing to focus on the US version, which will launch in September.

The Voice - originally broadcast in Holland - is reportedly wanted by ITV director of television Peter Fincham as "a backup" for The X Factor.

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