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'The Voice': Shakira and Usher debut strong in ratings

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How did NBC’s The Voice perform for Monday night’s big return premiere with Usher and Shakira in the red chairs?

It depends on which comparison you use. Last night’s The Voice spring kickoff had 13.4 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49, easily winning the night.

Normally you would stack those numbers against the show’s Monday premiere on the same night last year. But that episode was a day after NBC aired the Super Bowl and had a giant 6.7 adult demo rating. So it’s down 30 percent from that. Another comparison (and in this case, NBC would argue, the more fair one) is the show’s season 3 premiere last fall, which had a 4.2 rating. So it’s up 12 percent from that round.

Overall, I say this is a good number for the show — especially since the series swapped out half its judging panel, with Xtina and Cee Lo expected to rerun in the fall. How often do you see a judges panel shakeup without a ratings drop from the show’s previous cycle? And given NBC’s recent severe ratings woes, some wondered if The Voice return would suffer. But clearly fans are fully capable of turning on NBC again when the broadcast network has a show they actually want to see.

And since some of you below are debating these Voice numbers vs. Fox’s American Idol this season, here’s some help: Last night’s Voice is down 22 percent from Idol‘s January premiere. But it’s higher than every Idol episode since January.

The return of Revolution, however, is bit less sunny. After a four-month break, the freshman adventure-drama returned to 7.2 million viewers and a 2.7 rating. That’s down 13 percent from the show’s prior average, yet was still easily enough to win 10 p.m.

Meanwhile Fox’s The Following continued its decline to a season low — down 8 percent this week. The Voice put the hurt on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, which dropped 28 percent this week. On CBS, The Voice seemed to pressure the network’s 8 p.m. hour, with How I Met Your Mother dipping 10 percent to a season low.

Full Chart:

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'The Voice': This auditioner is sexy, and he knows it -- EXCLUSIVE

A wannabe singer transforming a beloved pop song into a moody, acoustic ballad? Been there, done that. What Voice season 4 auditioner Christian Porter does to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” though, is something different altogether. The only thing this cover shares with the original is its lyrics; otherwise, Porter’s take on “Sexy” is a bluesy, falsetto-tinged jam that seems tailor made to go viral. (For good reason: As commenters have pointed out, the performance seems to have been inspired by Noah Guthrie’s own acoustic “Sexy and I Know It.”) Prompting three of the competition’s four judges to turn their chairs around is a good start.

Check out Christian’s new spin on the electro-dance duo’s hit below — and tune in for more memorable blind auditions when The Voice returns on NBC March 25.

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Shakira's claws come out on 'The Voice': First look at the new coach -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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The Voice may have lost one spicy Latina judge in Christina Aguilera, but newcomer Shakira seems poised to infuse season 4 with a kinder-hearted, just-feisty-enough zest. In the exclusive video below, the 36-year-old Colombian superstar gamely takes on old-timers Blake Shelton and Adam Levine (after three seasons, she promises a contestant, “They’re almost deaf!”), slyly mocks the super-casual posture of fellow new judge Usher (pictured), and even rushes the stage during blind auditions to hug a singer she wants on her team. The competition is on! And don’t worry — she isn’t above segueing into Spanish to get her point across. (Silly Blake Shelton assumes she’s referring to a very spicy dip.)

Season 4 of The Voice premieres March 25 on NBC. Watch Shakira in action below: READ FULL STORY

'The Voice' return poster: Usher and Shakira join the team

Ready for an exclusive first look at the new Voice poster?

Below is The Voice‘s midseason key art that features returning coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton mixing it up with newcomers Shakira and Usher. “My god, they’re very competitive,” Shelton recently said about the new coaches. “Especially Shakira. I’ve gotta hand it to her, she came in with her claws out — she definitely had done her research and saw the bartering that goes on in the blind auditions and she was ready for it.” Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera are taking a cycle off, but are expected to return this fall.

The Voice debuts on Monday, March 25, along with the midseason return of Revolution. Here’s the new ad … READ FULL STORY

Man involved with Manti Te'o scandal also auditioned for 'The Voice'

The Manti Te’o hoax web just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

For the uninitiated, Manti Te’o is a star Notre Dame linebacker whose inspirational story of overcoming the death of his grandmother and girlfriend caught the media’s attention over the past college football season. But Deadspin published an article Wednesday that revealed that the girlfriend never existed in the first place. Central to the complex story is a guy named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who allegedly either conceived of the hoax with Te’o, or tricked Te’o into believing it.

But this isn’t Tuiasosopo’s only moment in the media spotlight. He also auditioned for the upcoming season of The Voice, EW has confirmed. Us Weekly broke the news, saying Tuiasosopo also spun quite a story for producers. READ FULL STORY

'The Voice' winner Cassadee Pope talks Blake, her upcoming album, and dealing with haters

Ready for your mind to be blown? According to 23-year-old Cassadee Pope — newly crowned winner of NBC’s The Voice — the ever-eccentric Cee Lo Green is actually “really normal” in person. “You can sit down and have a conversation with him and it’s not weird,” she explained yesterday during a visit to EW’s offices in New York City. “He’s very intellectual.”

Cassadee’s insight about Cee Lo is much more surprising than her recent win, which seemed foretold as soon as her cover of Blake Shelton’s “Over You” shot to No. 1 on iTunes’s singles chart. While the singer says she never thought of herself as season 3′s frontrunner — “I knew that stuff can happen in this show and not be lasting” — she will admit that her iTunes sales made her “very optimistic” before Tuesday’s finale. And though Cassadee feels like her victory still hasn’t really sunk in, she also can’t wait to get back to the recording studio in January and start work on a debut album that combines pop, rock, and country — sort of like “an edgier Taylor Swift [record], not as country, with more mature lyrics and more challenging vocals and melodies.”

Intrigued? Read on for more about Cassadee’s time on the show, her relationship with mentor Blake Shelton — and her near miss with the Muppets.

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New 'Voice' judges Shakira and Usher take a ride with Adam Levine and Blake Shelton -- VIDEO

With Cassadee Pope crowned season 3′s Voice victor, it’s out with the old and in with the new judges.

In a new promo for next season’s show, newcomers Shakira and Usher bond with returning judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton (the only two judges with winning team members) over music, naturally. After the odd couple picks up the Latin songstress and R&B crooner, the four egos fight over control of the radio. Struck by “a total eclipse of the heart” (we’ve all been there …), they finally agree on a station.

Watch the jam session below: READ FULL STORY

Maroon 5 debut new single on 'The Voice,' season 2 champ Jermaine Paul returns -- EXCLUSIVE

Last season’s Voice champ Jermaine Paul will return to the singing competition this week to perform his debut single “I Believe in This Life,” EW has learned exclusively. Paul takes the stage again as part of the show’s first live results show, during which the Top 12 artists will be revealed. The results show will also feature Voice coach Adam Levine and his band Maroon 5 premiering their latest single “Daylight.”

The Voice‘s first live results show airs Thursday from 8-9 p.m. ET on NBC.

Read more:
‘The Voice’: Meet the Top 20!
‘The Voice’ breaks battle rounds ratings curse
‘The Voice’ Recaps and Episode Guide

'The Voice' breaks battle rounds ratings curse

The Voice. Sure the singing competition show’s ratings are huge for those spinning-chair auditions, but once the series goes into the battle rounds, look out — those numbers drop like a rock.

Not this time.

The Voice has shown better retention of its audition-round ratings than previous cycles of the show. And last night, ratings went up for the second time this week. Yeah, The Voice is calling the current episodes “knockout rounds” but they’re basically a twist on the battle format — and all part of NBC and executive producer Mark Burnett’s plan to change the show this cycle specifically to reduce the number of viewers ditching once auditions ended (more coaching,  knockout rounds, adding “the steal”).

Voice had 12.1 million and a 4.6 rating in the adult demo. That’s up 7 percent from last week and was the night’s top-rated show. READ FULL STORY

'Voice' Team Christina members watch -- and cringe at -- their blind auditions: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

The buttons have been shelved, the chairs have rotated back to their original positions, and, most importantly, the teams have finally been picked — meaning that after four weeks, it’s time for The Voice to move from Blind Auditions to Battle Rounds. But before the competition heats up even more, members of each coach’s team get to enjoy a brief reprieve. Well, as long as you think being forced to watch video of your own audition while sitting in a room filled with your fiercest competition sounds relaxing.

When Team Christina gathers to watch their blind auditions for the first time, who thinks she sounded ridiculous, who muses that choosing to sing an Xtina song was “kinda like suicide,” and who reveals that she almost blacked out onstage? Watch this exclusive video to find out:

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NBC renews 'The Voice' for two more rounds

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NBC has ordered two more editions of its hit reality show The Voice.

While a fourth cycle was already a given since the network recently signed new judges Usher and Shakira for the show’s spring edition, this announcement confirms the musical competition series will be back next fall as well. And no wonder — NBC adding The Voice to its fall lineup just led the network to win Monday night in the ratings — the start of the official broadcast season — more than doubling the network’s performance on the same night last year. READ FULL STORY

Billie Joe Armstrong will still appear on 'The Voice'

Although it’s unclear how many promotional appearances Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong will have to miss while he seeks substance abuse treatment following his onstage rant at the iHeartRadio festival, his previously taped segments on NBC’s singing competition The Voice will still air as planned.

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Ratings: 'Go On' stays strong, 'New Normal' slips

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NBC’s freshman sitcoms Go On and The New Normal fired second round into their regular time periods Tuesday night. One title remained quite strong in the ratings, while the other slipped slightly.

First, the really good news for NBC: The Voice is continuing its upward trend, rising 13 percent this week compared to last Tuesday’s performance. The one-hour Voice had 13.3 million viewers and a 4.5 rating among adults 18-49. After last week’s softer-than-hoped-for return of the music competition series, NBC has to be pretty thrilled that both Monday and Tuesday editions posted gains, gathering strength before next week’s deluge of premieres.

Now what would be nice to see here is NBC’s comedies rise too — since they’re getting a stronger lead-in from The Voice this week. That’s a lot to ask for in new scripted shows, however, which tend to settle in the ratings for their first few episodes (at the very least).

Go On (9.3 million, 3.3) was down merely a tenth of a point in the show’s second week in this time period, which is still strong. New Normal (6.2 million, 2.2), though, already performing much softer than Go On, fell 12 percent from last week. The difference between the rating of The Voice and Go On isn’t as worrisome as the gap between Go On and New Normal, since the comedies are supposed to make good audience flow partners for each other. Both shows are on their third episodes (counting their preview airings). READ FULL STORY

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