The Voice

The Voice is a multinational singing competition television franchise. The series started in the Netherlands as The Voice of Holland in 2010. Many other countries have adapted the format and began airing their national versions in 2011 and 2012. It has become a rival to Simon Fuller's Idol and Simon Cowell's The X Factor.

Contestants are aspiring singers drawn from public auditions and local karaoke bars. The show's format features three stages of competition. The first is the "unseen" audition (recently changed due to a proposed lawsuit from the American Legion of Blind persons), in which the four coaches listen to contenders in chairs facing opposite the stage as to avoid seeing them, and can trigger a button rotating their chairs to signify that they are interested in working with that artist. If more than one coach turns the chair for one artist, the artist chooses the coach he or she desires to work with. The blind audition ends when each coach has a set number of artists to work with (such as ten in the U.K. version, sixteen in the U.S. version or sixteen in the Dutch version). Coaches will dedicate themselves to developing their singers mentally, musically and in some cases physically, giving them advice, and sharing the secrets of their success.

The competition then enters into a battle phase, when the coaches pit two or three 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 only one to advance. If no specific winner can be identified the competition turns to a game of fate via a coin toss.

At the end of the battle episodes, the strongest members of each coach's roster proceed to the live stage shows. In this final performance phase of the competition, the top contestants from each team compete against each other during a live broadcast. The television audience vote to save one contestant on each team, leaving the coach to decide on live television who they want to save and who will not move on. In the next round, the public chooses between the two artists left on each team, and the coach also has a vote that weighs equally with the public vote.

Finally, each coach will have his/her best contestant left standing to compete in the finals, singing an original song. From these four, one will be named "The Voice"—and will receive the grand cash prize of a recording contract. Starting with the U.S. version, the coaches usually perform together in the first episode. Also in the U.S. version, the 2012 season marked the first time that any contestant could be eliminated and no coach was guaranteed a spot in the finals.

One of the cornerstones of The Voice format is the social media participation via Twitter, Facebook and the especially designed platform “connect.” Users are able to login via their Facebook account and retrieve background information about the show. The platform also offers the possibility to stream the show online as well as to vote, interact with friends and to discuss various topics and questions asked by the producers throughout the show.

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