'The Voice' to Combine Blind Auditions with Strong Social Media Component
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
NBC really, really wants you to know that The Voice, which premieres April 26, is unlike any other musical competition reality series. Because, by all descriptions, it actually is. The premise alone sets the show apart: Four popular recording artists -- Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera (fondly known as "Xtina"), Cee-Lo Green and Blake Shelton -- will not only be judges, but also coaches, working closely with their unknown musical proteges to win.

Competitors will work through three stages of competition: First, the blind audition, when the judges will have their backs turned and focus solely on the voice of each performer, and then have the chance to vie for the best singers to make up their teams. Next, it's the "battle" stage, when the coaches will help their teams develop their talents, then pit their team members against each other in a sing-off, with the coach deciding who gets to advance. With only the strongest performers left, the third stage will bring all the performers together to perform in a live broadcast, when viewers will vote to save team members and the coach will decide who stays and who goes. From the final four competitors -- one from each team -- one singer will be crowned "The Voice."

It's a complicated process, but also an exciting one, as it puts ample emphasis not just on raw talent, but also on potential -- and, as the blind auditions show, not just the potential of being another pretty face in the music industry. And the hands-on training and feedback from the four coaches will likely go beyond any we've seen on shows like American Idol and The X-Factor, as well as give fans two reasons to root for a team: The singers, and their famous coaches. (I can't help it ... I'm already on Team Cee-Lo!)

The Voice will also embrace social media as a compontent of the competition, allowing the singers to interact with fans immediately after their performances in an area called the "V Room." (A novel idea, though the name might need some work -- call me immature, because I am, but my mind can't help but "go there" when I hear the "V" anything.)

NBC has hired G4's Attack of the Show host Alison Haislip to assist host Carson Daly as The Voice's official backstage and social media correspondent. The four celebrity judges will also incorporate "real-time interaction and viewer feedback in their decision-making" throughout the competition.

Want to get a head start on the social media interaction? Here's where you can find The Voice on Facebook and Twitter.

The Voice premieres Tuesday, April 26 at 9pm. What do you think of the unique rules and social media aspect of The Voice? Do you already know which musical coach you'll be rooting for?

(Image courtesy of NBC)