Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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"The Voice" undergoes major competition changes for Season 23

NBC has confirmed there will be major changes to the competition for the 23rd season of The Voice.

The singing contest returned to screens on Monday, March 6, with Kelly Clarkson returning to join long-time coach Blake Shelton on the panel.

Two new coaches, One Direction’s Niall Horan and musician Chance the Rapper, have also joined The Voice for its latest season.

Amongst the exciting switches on the judging line-up, there has also been another major announcement made: Reba McEntire will serve as the Mega Mentor throughout the season, it has been confirmed.

Newsweek has everything you need to know about McEntire’s new role on The Voice.

As Mega Mentor, McEntire, 67, will help the coaches with the artists that make it through to the “Knockout” rounds, which begin on April 17.

Previous stars to hold the Mega Mentor title include Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, Taylor Swift and James Taylor.

This isn’t McEntire’s first appearance on The Voice. She featured as a Battle Advisor to Team Blake during the show’s very first season in 2011.

Her link to Shelton makes her return extra meaningful. The country singer, the only The Voice coach to star in every season, confirmed in 2022 that Season 23 will be his last.

McEntire will no doubt have a wealth of expertise to share with this year’s The Voice contestants as she has enjoyed an impressive career in film and TV, and on the stage.

The “Can’t Even Get the Blues” singer has sold more than 58 million albums worldwide, so we’re sure the singing hopefuls will be eager to hit her up for advice.

McEntire’s addition to the show isn’t the only change The Voice has undergone for Season 23.

NBC has confirmed new formats for the Battles, the Knockouts and the Playoffs stages of the competition.

During the Battles, starting March 27, a new “Playoff Pass” will allow both artists in a battle to advance. The “Playoff Pass” winner will gain a major advantage as they get to skip the knockouts and automatically advance to the playoffs.

Each coach has one “Playoff Pass” and one “Steal” during the Battles. This means seven artists per team will advance; six who will compete in the knockouts, and one “Playoff Pass” artist.

Then, during the Knockouts, artists will be paired against each other. They select their own songs to perform individually, while their direct competitors watch and wait.

Coaches will choose the winner, and the artist not selected is available for a “steal.” The pressure is on as, this season, each coach has only one “steal” during this round.

Next will come the playoffs, starting May 1. These will see the 20 artists remaining at that stage in the competition battle it out, with the coaches being able to advance only two artists each to the live semi-finals.

Shelton met his wife Gwen Stefani when they both starred as coaches on The Voice. He announced his departure from the show on his Instagram story on October 11, 2022, confirming Season 23 would be his last.

Shelton wrote: “I’ve been wrestling with this for a while and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to step away from The Voice after next season. The show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me.”

Following Shelton’s shock news, Newsweek spoke with several former members of Team Blake about the lineup change. More than one described it as “the end of an era.”

NBC has confirmed there will be major changes to the competition for the 23rd season of The Voice.

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