THE VOICE: Mark Burnett, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Carson Daly Tease the Big Format Changes to the Series
August 13, 2012 by Marisa Roffman
We still have a month to go until THE VOICE returns for its third season, but it’s now official to say changes are coming to the series.
“We know that we go from Blind Auditions — tons of fun — to the Battles, which is where these coaches will narrow down their teams,” executive producer Mark Burnett told reporters Sunday night at a press conference. “This year, there’s much more at stake. When they have their Battles, they select one person to stay with them and one person to leave, the other coaches can buzz in and steal that person [that was eliminated]…It became incredible [to see this year], because there are people you’ve seen in the past and the question was in the press and public [that] someone went home that probably could have won another music show. In this case, the other judges can buzz in [to make sure they stay on the show].”
For host (and producer) Carson Daly, he felt this change was something important that the series needed to do.
“There was something about what happened last year,” he said. “It was like a football game for us, we really care, we look back, we watch the tape, we see where we can improve, and one of things [we noticed] is the minute we put somebody’s life on the line, the minute we said to them as a show, ‘This could be it. Go get ‘em,’ we got a performance from them that maybe even their coaches didn’t think was coming. As producers, when we said, ‘This is on the line. It’s now or never,’ we got great TV. We wanted to make more great TV. The [addition of] Knockout Rounds represent the second part of the Battle umbrella that gives us great, great TV.”
But given there are now additional contestants to contend with, how exactly will all of these changes work?
What we were told is each coach gets two “steals” to use during the course of the Battle Rounds. If any coach hits their button to save the recently-eliminated contestant and they are the only one who buzzes in, they get the singer on their team. If multiple coaches buzz in, much like the Blind Auditions, it then falls to the contestant to decide what team they’ll join for the Knockout Round.
As for that Knockout Round, the new element to the series will allow for a few interesting tweaks to the format.
“The [singers] will perform against each other [in the Knockout Round],” Burnett shared. “They will all line up, they’ve all chosen their songs; they do not know who they’re singing against. The coach will decide which two are in [that particular] Knockout. The rest will leave the stage and those two stay on center stage. One [performer] takes a stool in the corner [of the stage], camera on them, the other one sings the song of their choice. They probably don’t even know each other’s songs.”
While this could be more pressure on the coaches, they seemed to be all for this new opportunity.
“[The way it's filmed] is a particularly brilliant, amazing piece of television,” Adam Levine enthused. “Having them sit on stage and watch the other person crush it or totally screw the pooch…half pretending to enjoy it [if it's good].”
“It actually makes the artists and the vocalists grow that much more to continue this, because then when you pair them up in that scenario, it actually makes the two of them step up their game,” Christina Aguilera added. “And it brings out the best in them. And that’s why I love it. It actually pumps them out.”
And a bonus, it seems this Knockout Round will allow viewers to get to learn a bit more about the constants since they’ll get to choose their own songs to best represent themselves.
“‘If you were going to be an artist on this show, what kind of artist would you be?’” Daly said of what the song twist brings to the series. “‘Would you pick a Bruno Mars song? Would you pick a Carly Rae [Jepsen] song? Would you do an ironic cover? Would you take yourself serious[ly], would you dance?’ So it’s the first time the coaches got to see in the Knockout Round what their artists might do without their advice.”
But it won’t be all fun and games — after the Knockout Round, the coaches will be down to five contests who they’ll bring into the live shows…where there will also be a few changes occurring. Burnett said that unlike previous seasons, all of the contestants will perform each week during the Live Rounds. (How that will work when there are 20 singers? You’ve got me. But they’re apparently going to do it.)
What do you think of all these changes?