The four-time Emmy Award-winning “The Voice” returns with the strongest vocalists from across the country invited to compete in the blockbuster vocal competition show’s new season.
EGOT winner and multi-talented musician, actor, singer and songwriter, John Legend, makes his debut as a coach this season. Coming off of her second consecutive win in Season 15 – this time with a country artist - three-time Grammy Award winner and musical icon Kelly Clarkson returns alongside lovable veterans Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, as well as host Carson Daly.
The show’s innovative format features four stages of competition: the first begins with the Blind Auditions, then the Battle Rounds, Live Cross Battles and the Live Performance Shows. Additionally, the digital companion series, “The Comeback Stage,” returns in Season 16 and is more challenging than before. The series offers six artists, who were previously eliminated from the competition, a chance to return and compete for a spot in the Live Shows with help from a “fifth coach.” It will take more work to be awarded that coveted last spot in the live shows this season, however. Not only will the six artists who did not make teams in the Blinds return to compete against each other for a spot in the Live Shows with the help from this season’s “fifth coach” (Grammy-nominated artist Bebe Rexha), they will also perform against eliminated artists from later rounds, making the competition even more exciting.
During the Blind Auditions, the decisions from the musician coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the artists perform, but they don’t get to see them — thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the artist’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the artist for his/her team. At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the artist he/she has selected. If more than one coach pushes his/her button, the power then shifts to the artists to choose which coach they want to work with. If no coach pushes his/her button, the artist is eliminated from the competition.
Also returning this season is the “block,” which adds another layer of excitement during the Blind Auditions. The recently redesigned coach chairs each have an extra set of buttons with the other three coaches’ names. The block button prevents a coach from adding a new artist to their team. The coaches can only use their block buttons on one artist for the entire first round of the competition. When a coach hits the block button with the name of the other three coaches, the coach who hit it automatically turns around. The “blocked” coach only discovers they are blocked if they press their button. The blocked coach’s chair will still turn, however, instead of their lane lighting up with their name, it says “BLOCKED.” If the coach doesn’t press their button, the block is still available for another audition.
Once the teams are set, the battle is on. The coaches dedicate themselves to developing their team of artists, giving them advice and sharing the secrets of their success, along with help from their celebrity advisers. This season the coaches enlisted music industry heavyweights to prepare their artists for the Battle Rounds. Legend teams up with Khalid, Clarkson with Kelsea Ballerini, Levine with Charlie Puth, and Blake Shelton with Brooks and Dunn.
During the Battle Rounds, the coaches will pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. After the vocal battle, the coach must choose which of his/her singers will advance to the next round of competition, while the losing artist is available to be stolen by another coach. Each coach has two steals available during the Battle Rounds.
At the end of the Battle Rounds, only the strongest members of each coach’s roster remain and proceed to the brand-new round, the Live Cross Battles.
For the first time in “Voice” history, the coaches will go head-to-head, pairing their artists against other coaches’ teams for the Live Cross Battles. All 32 artists will be seated by team on dramatically lit benches around each side of the stage. The coaches will put up artists on their team to go against an artist from another team. Each artist will perform an individual song and their fate is in America’s hands. America will get to vote overnight to decide the winner of each Cross Battle. The next day, Tuesday, Carson Daly will reveal the winners of each Cross Battle live on stage.
For the first time ever, the coaches will have the opportunity to Save or Steal eliminated artists live in the moment. After Daly reveals America’s vote for a particular pairing, a live countdown clock will appear. Coaches will only have 10 seconds to decide if they want to push their button to save or steal. Each coach will have one steal and one save to use over the course of Cross Battles, giving us the opportunity for multi-button steal/save moments!
We will leave the Cross Battles with a Top 24 heading into the next week of Live Shows.
In the Live Playoff Rounds, the top 24 artists will compete to secure a spot in the Live Shows. Each team has six artists left. Artists will perform and the top two vote-earners on each team will automatically advance. Each coach will then have to select one of their remaining artists to complete their roster and move on to the final phase of the competition — the Live Shows.
In the final live performance phase of the competition, the top 12 artists will compete each week against each other during a live broadcast. The television audience will vote to save their favorite artists. Three artists with the lowest number of votes will be eligible for the “Instant Save.” These artists will each perform a new song that represents why they should earn the save. America will then have the opportunity to save their favorite performer by tweeting out #VoiceSave along with the artist’s name. The singers with the lowest number of votes will be sent home each week. In the end, one will be named “The Voice” and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.
“The Voice” is a presentation of MGM Television, Talpa Media USA Inc., Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television. The series was created by John de Mol, who serves as executive producer along with John de Mol, Mark Burnett, Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Stijn Bakkers.
(This content is not eligible for SAG Awards consideration)