14 SHOCKING TRUTHS ABOUT "THE VOICE" THAT EVERY FAN SHOULD KNOW
1. IT'S DUTCH
"The Voice" in the U.S. is actually a spinoff of the original, "The Voice of Holland," which first aired in the Netherlands in September 2010. "The Voice" premiered in America in April 2011 and is now in its 7th season. There's also "The Voice of the Arab World," "The Voice of China," and "The Voice Kids" (in ten countries!).
2. LOTS OF BUSY WORK
According to behind the scenes insight from the TODAY show, "The Voice" uses a staff and crew of about 600 people, makes 12 set changes, and uses more than 1900 lights for one live show. No wonder the stage is always so bright and intense.
3. JUST SIGN THE DOTTED LINE
Contestants are required to sign a contract before appearing on the show that says (among other things) that NBC may 'remove or replace' a contestant at any point in time. The contract also makes it very clear that the experience could well be a bad one, stating it "may expose [them] to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation." No pressure, though.
4. UNCOUNTED VOTES
Producers have admitted that they have in the past failed to count thousands of votes cast via social media and text. Sorry, but that time you hurt yourself jumping over the couch to vote at the last second might not have been worth it after all.
5. BLEVINE IS REAL
Ok, maybe calling Blake and Adam Levine "Blevine" is a bit of a leap, but it's not a stretch to believe in their undeniable bromance that keeps us entertained twice a week. It's true: Blake Shelton and Adam Levine can't get enough of challenging each other, and between auditions they're frequently running to each other to chat.
6. BLAKE'S EXPERIENCED
Maybe it won't be such of a shock that Blake is in the lead as the only coach with three wins on "The Voice" if you consider that he's done this judge thing before. Blake appeared as a judge on the country-singing competition "Nashville Star" in season 5.
7. THE PRE-GAME
Ever wondered why "The Voice" never has a bad audition? Sure, some people don't get a chair to turn, but we hardly actually think they were bad singers. Well, it's no coincidence, because "The Voice" staffers call managers and agents all over the country to find the best singers, particularly those with difficult histories in the business, and recruits them to audition.
8. EH, MAYBE NEXT SEASON
Just like the judges sometimes tell the contestants that they'd be great if they came back next season, the producers (who make the original cuts) can invite someone back for a future season that they don't think is right for the current one. I suppose it never hurts to have hope, right?
9. NOT-SO-BLIND AUDITIONS
While the judges haven't heard the voices until the contestants hit the stage, that isn't their first audition. In fact, there are three total: an audition with the producers and other staff, which includes an interview; a callback for executive auditions; and then, if all goes well, an invitation to perform for the judges on national TV.
10. 90 SECONDS PLUS A MONTH OR TWO
Although the blind auditions that we see only last about 90 seconds, the process leading up to the performance can take upwards of a month. Preparations include rehearsals with and without the band, photo shoots, interviews, and more before the games really begin.
11. SO CLOSE AND YET...
Just the other day, I found myself asking, "How do they know how many people they'll send home? Do they just happen to have the right number of contestants and the last one is the last spot on the last team?" While this question is obviously a little naive, it's not a bad question. If you're curious, the answer is unfortunately, no. When the spots fill up, that's it, and not everyone who comes to the blind auditions gets to actually try out.
12. CAMERA-OFF, HANDS-OFF
This may not be too surprising considering that the coaches have established careers beyond coaching "The Voice" contestants, but some coaches don't do much actual coaching. Season 6 contestant Ddendyl said that they only met with coach Shakira for rehearsals to be filmed for the battle intros. "We coached with her a few times and then the majority of our growth was left to us on our own."
13. SPOILER ALERT!
In case you're wondering, Taylor Swift appears on season 7 as a celebrity coach, much like season 6's Chris Martin, coaching across all teams. There will be other celebrity guests as well, so I won't spoil everything for you, though the information is out there if you're curious.
14. HAPPY ENDINGS
A bit of good news: Lots of contestants (and crew members) form real friendships and still perform with each other, and the exposure does help some artists to jumpstart their careers. So while hardly anything we see on reality TV is actually genuine, we can be sure that these real people are getting at least some real benefits from one of America's favorite reality competitions.