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The Voice suffered a big drop in ratings on Saturday night, falling to a new series low as the second part of the battle rounds was screened.

Despite having no competition from Britain’s Got Talent – which is being shown on Sunday this weekend – the show pulled in just 5.9m viewers between 7.10pm and 9.20pm.

The audience reached a peak of 6.5m at around 9pm during the final sing-off between Karl Michael and Nadeem Leigh – but still represented a big drop from the previous edition.

The first two battle rounds, which were shown across a single weekend on May 11 and 12, pulled in audiences of 7.5m and 7.1m respectively.

Last weekend the show took a week’s break to make way for the Eurovision Song Contest, before returning to screens last night.

The fall in viewing figures mirrors that of the 2012 series, which also saw its audience decline as the show moved from the ‘blind’ auditions into the later stages of the competition.

Although The Voice has consistently lost out in the ratings to Britain’s Got Talent – which regularly pulls in audiences of around 9m – it did see a rise in viewing figures when it moved to a later time slot to avoid a schedule clash.

The drop in audience comes in the wake of the news that the show will return for a third series in 2014.

The BBC confirmed the news on Saturday night, shortly after a call for applicants for next year had been shown at the end of the programme.