‘The Voice’ Preview: Adam Levine Dishes on Knockout Round

Cory Lopez / October 29, 2012

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Voice contestants, to your corners — the Knockout Round is about to begin.

NBC’s The Voice kicks off the newest addition to the singing competition series on Monday night. After saving and stealing singers for their teams in the Battle Round, coaches Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine each move on with 10 artists.

But, those squads will shrink to just five contenders by the end of this week. On the Knockouts, artists go head-to-head with fellow team members, each singing a song of their choice. The contestants have to prepare blindly, however, as the pairings are made just seconds before they hit the stage. It’s a format that Levine says will showcase a new side of  the singers’ artistry.

“What we’ve learned from working on the show is that we can’t do everything for these guys,” the Maroon 5 frontman told reporters in New York City on Friday. “A huge part of what it is, I think, to be an artist…is selecting the songs that best suit you, the songs that will get an audience going, get people’s attention, kind of play your strength as a vocalist. And sometimes that decision needs to be left to the artist themselves.”

While collaborations with the coaches certainly have their benefits, “it’s nice to have an isolated section of the show where [the contestants] have to essentially rely on their own skills, or I guess their own intuition,” Levine continued. “There’s a number of reasons why someone would choose it…[and] it shows us a huge part of who they are.”

In turn, the coaches can consider the contestants’ song choices in their knockouts. “It kind of makes the decision easier,” Levine explained, “because then we say, ‘OK, well, this person had a great voice.  But then this person chose this amazing song, created this amazing moment for themselves, and we have to go with them.'”

This round will also present the coaches with a new challenge: Working with the castoff contestants they snagged from the opposing teams during the battles. But, Levine sees an advantage in taking new artists under his wing at this stage in the game.

“You admire them in a different way, because you weren’t their coach,” he said. “So, you automatically respect whatever it is that they decided to do that got your attention steal. In fact, it makes our job easier because we see how they started to succeed on their own merit. And then it becomes for us as kind of a guidance process rather than trying to build something out of the wrong materials that you would start out with in the blind auditions. They’re that much further along.”

Tune in to The Voice’s Knockout Rounds on Monday and Tuesday at 8 PM on NBC.

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