'The Voice's' Adam Levine on What to Expect in the Knockout Rounds
The new elimination round forces the remaining 40 contestants to "rely on their own skills or their own intuition" by picking their own songs, says the Maroon 5 frontman.
NBC’s The Voice will premiere its newest addition to the show -- The Knockout Rounds -- on Monday night.
After turning chairs throughout the Blind Auditions and pressing buttons to “steal” artists throughout the Battle Rounds, the coaches are putting their teams to the test in a new way during this week’s Knockout Rounds, and instantly eliminating anyone who can’t handle the pressure.
Currently, Voice coaches Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine each have 10 artists on their teams – eight battle winners and two steals. But by the end of the week, only half of the contestants will remain. The Knockout Rounds will air on Monday and Tuesday of this week -- 8-10 p.m. EST both nights.
During this round, each contestant will sing a song of their choice and go head-to-head against a fellow team member – but they have no clue who their opponent is until their coach announces the match just seconds before they are to perform.
Maroon 5 singer and show coach Levine praises this season’s addition of the Knockout Rounds and asserts that individual song selection is incredibly telling of a contestant’s artistic potential.
“What we’ve learned from working on the show is that we can’t do everything for these guys,” Levine told reporters at an New York press event for the show on Friday. “To be a performer is selecting the songs that best suit you -- the songs that will get an audience going, get people’s attention, play to your strengths as a vocalist…It’s nice to have an isolated section of the show where they have to essentially rely on their own skills or their own intuition."
Each opponent will be watching from a stool inside the ring, while the rest of the team watches the match backstage. After each pairing, the coach will select which singer continues forward to the live Playoffs Round.
Another differing attribute of this week’s episodes is that coaches will find themselves working with castoffs from other teams. Yet Levine tried not to cancel out the coaching styles of Aguilera or Green when working with his steals.
“You admire them in a different way because you weren’t their coach; you automatically respect whatever it is that they decided to do that got your attention for the steal,” Levine explained. “It becomes for us a guidance process, rather than trying to build something out of the raw materials that you start out with in the Blind Auditions. They’re that much further along.”
The winners of this week’s Knockout Round will advance to the live Playoffs Round, set to air for three nights during Election Week. With five competitors remaining on each team, viewers will then vote to save their two favorite artists, while the coach handpicks a third. These top 12 will then move onto the live shows, which begin on Monday, Nov. 12.
The additions of the Knockout and Playoff Rounds pushed Levine to adjust his game plan – or lack thereof.
“I’ve done away with strategy,” he admitted. “The only strategy I know at this point – not only on the show, but just in life – is whatever hits me, whatever moves me, whatever makes me feel something. I think about things like pitch and all of that crap, but it’s just boring at this point to talk about whether someone’s pitchy or not – which we do anyway, actually."
And although Levine got his season one victory with Javier Colon under his belt and Season 2 finalist Tony Lucca signed to his recording label, he refuses to make any overly optimistic promises to his team.
“Winning The Voice clearly is a really important, amazing thing, but it’s almost like I’d be doing everybody on a team a disservice if I said they were all gonna win," he says. "It would be more important for me to help them along and see however long their journey lasts on the show."
The Voice’s Knockout Round begins Monday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.