The four new judges — excuse us, we mean coaches — met with the press for the first time today to talk up The Voice, NBC’s new singing competition that’ll bow April 26. Sitting in their special over-sized chairs that swivel around when they’re ready to see the contestants, the pros talked about how the show will allow them to “mentor” newbies – not trash their dreams.
“It’s less about being judgmental and more about helping them out,” says Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who will serve as one of four mentors along with Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton.
“There is no good and bad,” Aguilera continued. “This isn’t about tearing people down. I want to bring these people up. The Voice really does stand for what it says. Instinctually, you can judge people based on the way they look. I love that fact we get to sit here with our backs turned away from these people and completely use just one sense to hear these voices. I’m not looking for vocal acrobatics, who has biggest range [of] high and low. I’m looking forward to getting moved.”
Unlike American Idol, the gimmick for The Voice is that the coaches pick contestants based only on the sound of their voices. (That’s where those goofy swivel chairs come in: If one of the coaches hears a voice they like during the initial audition process, they push a big red button and swivel around, in hopes to nab that newbie for his or her team.) Each contestant will then receive guidance from the pros before advancing into battle phases and finally, the live performance shows. The TV audience participates in the later phase and will decide who advances. The winner — who will be dubbed “The Voice” — will receive a recording contract and $100,000.
“It’s like the NBA draft except the players get to choose their teams,” explained Mark Burnett, who’ll exec produce the show with creator John De Mol. “I believe we have found an exceptional level of talent on a level of greatness. In the end they want to win.”
The show’s based on a format used in Holland, which averages over 3 million viewers and has a market share of close to 60 percent, De Mol boasted. Close to 16 million people live in Holland.
“It’s a new experience for all of us so we will be learning as well,” says Levine of the show. “We really don’t know. We are hoping to gain something as human beings, which is definitely different for us. We’ve never been in this position before, which makes it really exciting.”