'The Voice of...' is the music reality show that's become the most watched programme in the history of the Netherlands, the birthplace of reality TV, this year it will launch in the states going up against The X Factor and American Idol, and it's set to debut in the UK within the next two years. Here we reveal what it is and why even Simon Cowell is scared of the show's success...
The programme is the child of famous reality TV producer John De Mol, creator of Endemol which produces some of the world's biggest telly shows, including the likes of Big Brother, Deal Or No Deal, Fear Factor and Wipeout. The initial description of the format will probably sound familiar: Four celebrity artists receive a group of singers that they will coach and mentor throughout the competition. Individuals will be eliminated until each celebrity only has one team member left who will compete in the finals to be named “The Voice of America”, for instance, in a live finale.
So what makes the show any different from The X Factor? The twist is in the audition process: The judges are blind to the singers, only being able to judge them on their voice alone. Potential singers will perform a track as the judges sit with their backs to the stage, if any of the judges like the sound of the auditionee they can press a button on their desk to show interest in the singer. If more than one of the judges pushes their button, it'll be up to the auditionee to decide which judge they want to mentor them.
“This show truly focuses on amazing voices,” said Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios who last month announced plans to launch the show in the states this year. “The celebrity coaches are passionate about discovering, developing and nurturing new talent. As soon as we saw the Dutch format, we knew this was completely different and really exciting.”
Check out an audition from the Dutch version of the show below...
After the blind auditions, each judge will then take their group of singers into the 'battle phase' where the judges will select which of the singers they want to take through to the live performance shows. Unlike the 'judges' houses' section of The X Factor, the 'Battle Phase' of The Voice will see a much longer and in-depth process, complete with performances in front of studio audiences to allow the judges decide who they want to progress in the show.
The live shows also see a twist, rather than all of the contestants competing against each other, they will only compete against the other contestants in their group. By the last show, each mentor will have their most popular contestant remaining and all four will go head to head in the live final, which a public vote determining who will win a record contract.
The show will launch in the spring of this year on US network NBC, hoping to get a head start over rival singing reality show The X Factor which launches in the fall. Despite the pressure of Simon Cowell's X Factor and American Idol, executive producer Mark Burnett is confident the programme will be a success, saying: "‘Voice of Holland’ is a monster hit and proves that viewers will always tune in to hear incredible singing voices."
Here in the UK and the format is said to have already been purchased however as yet no announcement about which broadcaster has brought the rights has been made.