After receiving harsh words from industry insiders last week and dismal chart predictions, ‘Cruel’, the debut single from Alfie Arcuri, this year’s winner of The Voice, has set a new record for the show’s worst performing winner’s single.
As Tone Deaf reported last week, industry pundits didn’t expect ‘Cruel’ to shift even 1,000 copies before the end of the week, citing a poor performance in the iTunes singles chart, where the song peaked at a very lukewarm 24.
The track did eventually break the 1,000 units sold mark, but just barely, failing to move even 1,500 copies. According to News Corp, ‘Cruel’ debuted at Number 89 on the ARIA singles chart after selling a mere 1,458 copies nationally.
Arcuri’s single beat the record previously set by Anja Nissen, whose single ‘I’m So Excited’ sold 3,023 copies. It follows a significant dip in ratings for the show, which has long been criticised for failing to launch a single career out of its growing pool of victors.
Last year’s winner, Ellie Drennan, managed to move just 5,907 units of her single, ‘Ghost’, in its first week. As News Corp notes, this is in stark contrast to last year’s X Factor winner, Cyrus, who managed to sell 35,000 copies of his single, ‘Stone’.
The song had a team of high-calibre pop songsmiths behind it, including writers for Jason DeRulo, Demi Lovato, and Justin Bieber, but some industry pundits felt it was simply a mismatch for Arcuri. Some even suggested the song was overproduced.
“The guy has a very good voice but the song is totally wrong for the winner,” one industry insider told Noise11. “He can sing. The song didn’t give him credit to his voice. It was too cool. It was overly produced. It just wasn’t good.”