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New reality show, 'The Voice,' premieres with top vocal coaches
Television • Singer and producer Mark Burnett warble about new reality TV show.

By David Burger The Salt Lake Tribune

Published April 21, 2011 7:37 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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Ready for another televised singing competition show?

If you're fan of Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton, you might be.

"The Voice," which debuts Tuesday on NBC, is a vocal competition series modeled after "The Voice of Holland," that country's top-rated vocal talent discovery show.

This Americanized version, hosted by Carson Daly, features the four musician coaches, and three stages of competition.

Blind audition • If a coach is impressed by a contestant's voice, the coach pushes a button to select the contestant. At this point, the coach's chair will swivel to face the contestant selected. If more than one coach selects the talent, the power shifts to the contestant, who may choose which coach they want to work with throughout the competition.

Battle phase • Coaches dedicate themselves to developing singers and giving them advice. 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 face-off, the coach must choose which singers will advance.

Live performance • Each coach will eliminate eventually four singers from their 8-person roster. Four singers move forward to the live rounds, where America gets to vote. In the final episode, one singer represented by each coach will compete.

TV voters will decide on the one winner, who will receive a recording contract and $100,000.

Producer Mark Burnett and Aguilera, in a media conference call, talked about the competitive nature of the show, and about Aguilera's latest live hiccups:

How much [does] "image" play into who gets signed to record deals?

Aguilera • There is a pretty big double standard between the music industry and what nowadays are considered the right tools you need for a record deal ... Technology has advanced itself that we can definitely play with a vocalist's style or interpret their style. We can — through marketing, through Internet — build a face, a body, whatever we can to sell a record. But I think what's great about this show is the fact that we take it back to real music and we take it back to a time before there was any such thing as, say, an MTV.

What about the coaches' styles?

Burnett • Christina is the voice of reason. We have three very irreverent, naughty boys who are all coaches. And thank God for Christina. [She] always brings it back to the business and what's going on. And she is absolutely the rock ... If more than one coach turns around [during the blind audition phase], the power shifts then to the singer and it's the coaches who are pitching each other why that singer would be better served by this coach. And it gets very, very funny. As Christina said, she thought that Adam Levine was [preparing] to run for President he was campaigning so hard for some people. It was very, very funny.

On any rivalry between Britney Spears and Aguilera:

Aguilera • I am a huge supporter of her. In light of the fact that both of our careers started off together and are still going and going strong, I just think at this point in the game it's extremely important to be supportive of fellow artists and especially females who get pitted against each other and torn apart. So, you know, as an old friend of mine from the Mickey Mouse Club, I just think it's important at this stage in the game to really show my support.

On which contestants Aguilera is likely to choose:

Aguilera • What really resonates with an audience is the true passion. And I'm not one of those artists that keeps up with where I'm at on the Billboard charts and my record sales and things like that. I have to do what I feel is right as an artist and then let it out into the universe and what happens, happens.

On Aguilera's recent much-publicized struggles with live performances:

Aguilera • What hiccups? I have no idea no what you're — No, I'm just kidding. I'm totally kidding. What I honestly think [is] that there's a time and a place and a reason why everything happens. And lo and behold the show gets sort of placed in my lap. I think it's the perfect time in my life because of in light of the past year there's been, you know, obvioussetbacks. I've gone through a really hard divorce as anybody ... I mean it's a really life-uprooting time.

And there have been hiccups along the way that have, you know, unfortunately for someone that is getting divorced in the spotlight, you know, the whole world gets to witness and judge and watch. I can laugh about my own hiccups and my own, you know, experiences in life, you know, because I'm getting through it. You know, I'm getting through, healing after a really hard time in my life as anyone going through a divorce would. But I get to share these experiences with these people to say, you know, not every performance day is going to be a great day. And I would have loved to have earlier someone along the way for me who was going to tell me you know what, it's going to be great. It's going to be bad. You're going to have great performances. You're going to have flubs. You know, there are things that happen in every performer's life. You know, sometimes it happens on tour. Sometimes it happens on national television. And you have to roll with that. You have to be strong enough to get back up there and not falter within it.

On YouTube phenomenon Rebecca Black:

Aguilera • I'm so sorry. Sometimes I live under a rock. I don't know who Rebecca Flack is. Mark, do you? I'm sorry I don't. I'm sorry I don't. I'm sorry.

On singers she admires:

Aguilera • Lauryn Hill. Jennifer Hudson has a beautiful voice and I've truly enjoyed working with her. And Florence [of Florence And The Machine], she has quite a striking and interesting voice. Adele, I think she has a really cool something that's going on right now. So those would be the three.

dburger@sltrib.com

Twitter: @davidburger

Facebook: facebook.com/tribremix and facebook.com/sltribmusic —

Vote for the

'The Voice'

The new reality show premieres on NBC Channel 5 Tuesday, April 26, at 8 p.m.



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