'The Voice's third season to feature new "steals" and "knockout" format changes
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/15/2012
NBC has announced the third season of The Voice, which will premiere on Monday, September 10,will feature two new format-altering twists.
The Voice's third edition will mark the first time the reality singing competition will in air in the fall television season and result in it going from airing against Fox's American Idol, which beat out The Voice's second season in the TV ratings earlier this year, to airing at the same time of year as The X Factor, which delivered solid but less than smash-hit ratings when its first season aired on Fox last fall.
However, the new edition will introduce some changes in attempt to maintain its viewership throughout the entire duration of the show, as in past seasons, The Voice has experienced a ratings dip during the "battle" rounds which followed the "blind auditions" phase and proceeded the live performance shows, TV Guidereported.
Instead of featuring the usual "battle" rounds in whichThe Voice coaches select singers to square off two at a time in a series of singing face-offs that decide which person will advance and which one will be permanently eliminated from the competition, the next season will allow each coach the opportunity to potentially "steal" his or her rival coaches' losing contestants once each "battle" round determines a winner.
Similar to the "blind auditions" phase, if more than one coach wants to recruit the singer in question, it will be up to the contestant to decide which celebrity's team he or she would like to join. According to TV Guide, Aguilera, Green, Levine, and Shelton will each be able to save two contestants over the course of the "battle" rounds, meaning each team will be comprised of 10 amateur singers rather than eight going into the next phase of competition.
"We all just wondered, what is it that we can do during the battles to keep the competitive element going. And this came out of a collective talking. Last weekend we taped it, and it was very exciting. It worked better than we hoped. It's been a kind experience. People who deserve to stay will stay," executive producer Mark Burnett told the magazine, adding that the idea of utilizing more spinning chairs crossed his mind although he had ultimately decided against it.
"I think the audience would reject it. It's not real. [They would say] that we're trying too hard."
In addition, The Voice's third season will feature a new two-week "knockout round" after the "battle" rounds conclude in which the coaches will each whittle their teams down to five singers. Those 20 contestants will then get to sing in the live performance shows, which are scheduled to begin airing in October.
WhileThe Voice host Carson Daly told TV Guide he's glad the show will no longer lose great talent that's hard to come by during the show's cutthroat "battle" rounds, he agreed with Burnett that it was important for producers not to go overboard with the changes as to not "mess with the DNA" of the show.