'The Voice' Season 3 Gives Coaches Option to Steal Performers, Adds New Round
After teasing upcoming changes on Season 3 over the last few weeks, NBC’s The Voice gathered reporters at executive producer Mark Burnett’s Malibu home on Sunday to reveal what that change would be.
The Emmy-nominated musical competition has added a new option during the battle rounds in which coaches can steal the round’s losing performer for their own team and extend their time on the series.
“So we stop all the rumors, here’s the official evolution of the format,” Burnett tells reporters. “We know we go from blind auditions to the finals, which is where these coaches will narrow down their teams. This year, there’s much more at stake. When they have their battles and select one person to stay with them, another coach can buzz in and steal that person the other coach has sent home.”
Dubbed “the Steal,” coaches can each use the option twice to save someone from elimination during the battle rounds. And if more than one coach wants to steal someone, the performer then chooses which team to join.
“The Steal” also adds an extra round between the battle rounds and the live performances called “the knockouts,” in which the competitors perform a song of their own choice.
So, here’s how it all plays out: The coaches go into Battle Rounds with 16 performers. That gets cut down to eight plus two stolen performers. Those 10 from each team then go into the new “knockouts” round and only five performers from each team advance to the live rounds.
Burnett and the panel -- which included host/producer Carson Daly, social media correspondent Christina Milian and coaches Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton -- expressed that the change not only gave talented performers another chance, but also reignites the competition between coaches.
“We want to give America great TV,” Daly, who took a much more vocal stance in his role of producer at Sunday's event, told Celebuzz. “And that’s one of the reasons we got to ‘the steals,’ which we though was fun, brings the chair back into play, the functionality of ‘I want you,’ and brings the power shift back into play that works well in the blind auditions. Yeah, we just felt it works well for us.”
In the world of reality TV competitions, the format change certainly pales in comparison to the panel shakeups going down at American Idol, The X Factor and even the network’s own America’s Got Talent. But, Daly says they aren’t concerned about battling for buzz.
“We don’t sit around looking, we don’t counter-produce our show,” the 39-year-old tells us. “We know what The Voice is capable of. We’re nominated for an Emmy. We’re the only singing competition nominated for an Emmy. We’re incredibly humbled by that, yet we’re excited by it. We think it’s a new time for these types of shows on TV and we hope we represent that. And we’re busy working on Season 3 and making that better. We don’t have time to worry about what other shows are doing.”
In fact, Burnett didn't seem to feel worried about whether the coaches are able to stick with the show in the future and says that they're currently in talks for future seasons. He says he fully expects that they will need to switch them out at some point, but that there will always be a spot on the panel for them when they want to return.
"We look forward to it," Daly weighs in. "What’s beautiful about The Voice is that we have four of the biggest names in music. They have schedules. We’ve been lucky enough to have them now for three seasons. We don’t know what’s going to happen. What he said was absolutely true. We have no idea about Season 4, Season 5 and more. We’re lucky to be in the position we are now and we’re there under the understanding that should someone need to go and do a tour and that means someone else has to sit in their chair, so be it. We are excited about that.”
The Voice Season 3 debuts Monday, Sept. 10 at 8 PM on NBC.
What are your thoughts on the changes for Season 3? Tell us in the comments section below.