Reba McEntire, Monica, and two other respected musicians have been added to the singing competition show “The Voice” as “Advisors,” and will be making their appearance in the “Battles” round of the show.
McEntire, 56, is a legendary country music recording artist who has released dozens of best-selling records. She has also appeared in several films and television series, including “Reba,” which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Monica is best known for her singles "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” and “The Boy Is Mine”, a 1998 duet with Brandy.
Australian pop singer Sia and Adam Blackstone, the music director for Maroon 5, have also been brought on board on to round out the “Advisors”.
The new foursome will be working with coaches/judges Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Adam Levine. Levine will work with Blackstone, Aguilera will team with Sia, Monica will work with Green and McEntire will partner with Shelton.
The “Advisors” will come into play after the coaches have selected their teams through the “Blind Audition” process, and will prepare the hopefuls for the “Battle” round, where each singer will go head-to-head with one another as they tackle the same song.
However, the television audience will not be voting on the “Battle” round; it will be the coaches themselves who have to decide which singers progress and which are sent home.
During a conference call on Monday, Mark Burnett, executive producer of “The Voice,” spoke to CTV.ca about what happens when the contestants come face-to-face with the “Advisors.”
“I have to tell you, there’s a moment in next week’s episode where you actually see people being really star-struck. They’re already star-stuck to begin with, with the coaches, but now they get this one-on-one mentoring, when you start adding in Monica and Reba, people are very star-stuck,” said Burnett. “They’re not just meeting these people; they’re being trained and coached by these people. I think some of these contestants had to pinch themselves. You will see a moment in the show, where someone literally blushes, and cannot believe they are in the same room.”
Burnett is well-known in the TV world for his track record of highly successful reality series, from his first project “Eco-Challenge,” to “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” “Pirate Master,” and the wildly popular musical competition “Rock Star.”
There is an eclectic selection of talented musicians involved with “The Voice,” and Burnett said he was able to land all of the artists he wanted for his roster.
“From the very beginning, I wanted Adam Levine, and Adam Levine was leaning towards saying yes at the very beginning. He’s got the rock/pop side of things,” said Burnett. “Christina was the only female I wanted as a coach. Cee Lo Green is on fire, and if you believe, he’s even bigger in England and Europe. I flew to New York for ‘Saturday Night Live’ and was lucky enough to spend time after the show with Lorne Michaels, and he told me how incredible Cee Lo was to work with, and it confirmed to me that I’ve got to make this happen. And from a youthful, fun and successful level, Blake Shelton is on top.”
Burnett also discussed one of the contestants who appeared in the “Blind Audition” rounds, Frenchie Davis, who was a semi-finalist on “American Idol,” and was even recognized by the coaches. There are also rumours that she’s not the only reality-competition veteran fighting for a spot on “The Voice.” So why is Frenchie allowed to try again on this show?
“I think it’s organic and appropriate… and in the end, some people try 25 times with slight breaks. In the end, what matters is, can they really sing? Can you really perform?” said Burnett. “Can you deal with this stage and this experience? I’ve got an obligation to the coaches to provide the very best. There’s no reason to discriminate in terms of age, or discriminate against someone who’s tried before, just because they didn’t make it before you can’t give them another chance. I think it’s the right thing to do.”
“The Voice” airs Tuesday nights on CTV, with full episodes available online at CTV.ca.