‘The Voice’ returns with a twist


Courtesy of extratv.com

Season 15 coaches: Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton stand together before the competition starts.

Shaye Holladay McCarthy, Magazine Editor

For the past 14 seasons on The Voice, there has always been four judges even if two of them were being swapped out seasonally. This season brings back the Block from the last season, but there’s also a unique twist for a few competitors who aren’t so lucky during the Blind Auditions.

For the first time in Voice history, there is a fifth judge joining and working behind the scenes to bring back one singer on ‘The Comeback Stage.’ Usually when a singer doesn’t get a chair turn from one of the four judges and mentors, their shot at winning is extinguished, but not for everyone this season. Six lucky competitors who got no chair turns during the Blind Auditions will have a shot to re-enter the competition.

‘The Comeback Stage’ and fifth judge is a new and special twist that will make this season interesting and memorable. The coaches always feel bad about not turning when an artist is so close. This change will allow them to see an artist whom they wished got a chance to return. The addition of the fifth judge is a new concept and hopefully it will be used again.

Kelsea Ballerini will be hand picking six singers, and giving one of them a shot to comeback and walk away with a guaranteed record deal. So far, Ballerini has selected two singers (Ele Ivory and Ayanna Joni) who failed to impress the judges to return. She has four spots left for the rest of the Blind Auditions.

As the aired season continues, the six Comeback Artists will be in three Battle Pairings and Ballerini will be working with each artist individually on a song. Once Ballerini has decided the three Battle Round winners, they will move onto the Comeback Stage Finals each performing a final song. Out of the three finalists, Ballerini will select two artists to return to the stage to compete in the Live Playoffs and perform for the audiences votes.

While the artists perform, the power is then in the hands of the four coaches: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson. The two artists that have been selected by Ballerini were both close to landing a spot on the judges’ team during the Blinds, but ultimately didn’t have the voice the were looking for.

The friendly banter and pranks between Levine and Shelton has already started and small temporary alliances are being formed against Shelton who currently holds the record for the most winners coming from his team with six. This also tends to be the coach’s argument when he is competing with another coach for the same artist. Levine trails behind Shelton with four wins, but uses the excuse of having 15 seasons worth of experience under his belt. Coach Shelton, however, also has the same 15 consecutive years of experience. Clarkson often goes back to the fact that she won her first season of the show with the youngest singer, Brynn Cartelli.

By the end of the first two nights of the Blind Auditions, coach Hudson has the most singers on her team with five, Coach Levine is following behind her with four, and coaches Clarkson and Shelton each with three performers. It doesn’t come down to who fills up their team first; what matters in the end is if the artist has the voice to captivate viewers around America and earn the audiences votes to keep them in the competition through the Battles, Knockouts and help them win the Live Shows.