NBC and an all-star production team that includes Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice), John de Mol (Big Brother, Fear Factor) and Warner Horizon (The Bachelor), along with Talpa Productions are teaming up to produce a new singing competition set to premiere in spring 2011. It may even go head to head with Idol.
The network has acquired the rights to The Voice of Holland (when Adam Lambert appeared on it recently, a report called it “The Dutch Version of Idol”. The Voice has displaced both Idol and X Factor to become a top-rated show in the Netherlands, with one report claiming its 3 million viewers make it the most-watched talent show in Dutch TV history.
It’s similar to both X Factor and Idol, but departs in some significant ways.
The Voice has a panel of four coaches (not yet announced) who have careers as popular performing artists. During the audition rounds, the coaches sit in rotating chairs with their backs to the contestants (so they can only hear the singers, not see them). If they like the performance, they push a button, sending the contestant to the next round and claiming the contestant as one of their students. If more than one judge likes a contestant, the singers gets to choose which judge will be his/her coach.
“Somebody will show up with all the right moves and look like a star, but their voice is only good, not great, and they don’t get chosen, ” Burnett said. “You’re dealing only with your sense of hearing — do you believe this voice is worthy of your commitment? The coaches have skin in the game and will be a part of the careers of these young performers after the show.”
Once the teams are set, coaches will mentor contestants and pit their teams against each other, with viewers voting on the winner. The final performance phase of the competition will be aired live.
So what do you think? Sound interesting? I’m intrigued by the idea of mentors picking contestants without actually seeing them. So if the don’t look like a star, then what happens? Makeovers?
Hm. I love singing competitions, but between American Idol and the new X Factor, I’m not sure my schedule has room for one more.
Could the sudden proliferation of singing competitions have something to do with Idol’s apparent decline? It seems like NBC is smelling blood in the water.