The Voice Kids Executive Producer Defends Putting The Crying Kid On Air
The reality TV controversy of the week was Romy breaking down after no chairs turned for her on The Voice Kids.
The Executive Producer Julie Ward has now spoken to TV Tonight about the decision to air Romy’s audition.
She told TV Tonight:
“Even until Friday there were discussions. Is this a risk we need to take or not take? But we were confident that we had gone so far down the track with Romy and her family that in fact if we had pulled it she would have been more upset.”
Ward oversaw extensive rehearsals to anticipate anything that might happen, including readying the coaches for an upset contestant.
“During the rehearsal period with the kids we would rehearse with the chairs turned, with some of them turning, and no chairs turning,” she says.
“We let them sit in the chair to get familiar with the character that was ‘the chair’ to prepare them as much as we could.
“Of course putting them into the (Live) situation it was going to have a life of its own, but we did as much as we could to prepare them and their families. There were all sorts of meetings to keep them in close communication and to give them feedback from the psychologists.”
“I remember it very clearly when she broke down in tears. All of us were thinking ‘Oh my God.’ We were all on the edge of our seats wondering ‘How is this going to play out?’” she recalls.
“But it is part of the format that the coaches have to work with the kids as much as they possibly can so that they don’t walk off the stage upset. We also have Producers standing by with the parents close by.
“In the case of Romy the coaches jumped up immediately and it was genuine. I guess we realised how great they were at that moment, particularly Joel. He drove that really well. The other thing that touched me was how the audience supported her. They were upstanding, and it was like a huge, big hug.”
TV Tonight asks whether it was right to include this footage and Julie Ward responded “I thought ‘People will be wondering if that happened.’ So to the extent that it was well-handled by the coaches, the family, that it was a positive experience with her walking off saying she would be back…. I felt it was something we needed to share with the audience,’.
In a previous blog post I wrote I had no problem with it being included.
The TV Tonight interview also includes her comments on why they did not re-shoot the scene and what protocols are in place when the contestants are doing publicity.