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Why Ricky Wilson And The Kaiser Chiefs Are The Real Winners Of 'The Voice'

06/04/2014 23:30 BST | Updated 06/06/2014 10:59 BST

When Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson announced that he would be joining 'The Voice', he divided opinions and fans of his band went scuttling in various directions, with few supporting the move. But now that the band's latest album 'Education, Education, Education And War' is sat firmly at number one, it's pretty clear who the real winner of the talent show is.

For many, Kaiser Chiefs were already a distant memory when Wilson joined the panel. The music industry moves at a rapid pace and indie clubs up and down the UK had stopped playing the anthemic 'Ruby' long before Ricky dusted off his best waistcoat and joined the judging panel.

The fact of the matter is, as calendars rolled over into 2014, Kaiser Chiefs hadn't put out a record in 3 years and their last album 'The Future Is Medieval' didn't come close to replicating the commercial success of the band's previous efforts.

Kaiser Chiefs went from leading singalongs at Wembley to playing gigs at universities and things only got worse when founding member Nick Hodgson left in 2012. The teens who grew up stomping to school listening to 'I Predict A Riot' on repeat had cut off their festival wristbands, found girlfriends and closed down their myspace profiles.

With his band in need of a reboot and a rejuvenated fanbase, Ricky bravely went where no rock frontman had cared to venture - a TV talent show. While the likes of Noel Gallagher and Jake Bugg sat at home slagging off 'The Voice' and its rival show 'The X Factor', Ricky took the 'putting your money where your mouth is' concept and flipped it on his head, staking his reputation on his ability to talk the talk on Saturday night TV.

When Ricky revealed his reason for signing up - to sell more records - it was hard to fault his point and now that the band are holding the top spot in the Official Album Chart, it's pretty difficult to suggest that becoming a judge and mentor was anything but a perfect move.

By their own frontman's admission, the Leeds band were in need of something to get punters to take notice and, perhaps more importantly, hand over their cash. Enter 'The Voice'.

Now, with a number one album in the bag it doesn't really matter that Ricky's last remaining contestant Christina Marie lost out to Jermain Jackman in the show's final over the weekend. How many previous winners of 'The Voice' can you name now, anyway?

Only one person has come out of this series with a number one album and judging by the efforts of previous winners, the odds on Jermain creating a chart-topping record aren't all that great. Heck, even judge Kylie Minogue fell short of the mark with her March release 'Kiss Me Once', which peaked at number two.

By joining the panel as the dark horse - that indie bloke, from that band who made the tracks you used to sing on the way home from the pub - Ricky pulled a classic talent show stunt and happily let his fellow mentors temporarily hog the limelight and play games while he quietly worked towards his own goals.

Now that 'The Voice' is over, winner Jermain has bagged a recording contract and the rest of the show's singers are left hoping that they can at least release a single at some point. And where's Ricky? He's sitting pretty at number one and will soon make his way to a number of festivals in the UK and Europe, where Kaiser Chiefs will return to main stage slots and most likely pull in massive crowds.

It might not be what 'winner' Jermain wants to hear right now, but the true success story of this year's show isn't his own. Instead it's Ricky, Kaiser Chiefs and their album 'Education, Education, Education And War'. We'll see you at V Festival, Ricky.