The Voice executive producer Mark Burnett tells EW that audiences who stick around for the next week’s battle rounds won’t be disappointed.
“Next week’s first battle is one of the best hours of TV I’ve ever been involved in producing,” says Burnett, who also produces Survivor for CBS and Celebrity Apprentice for NBC, and will exec produce the Primetime Emmy Awards this September on Fox. “It’s really, really fun. It’s agonizing. The coaches like all of the people, they’ve coached them, they have to do a battle where they sing the same song. You really feel it. It’s very tense.”
The show, which has racked up record ratings for NBC, moves to 10 p.m. next week — which also keeps the program out of reach of American Idol when that show shifts to Tuesday for its performance finale episode on May 24.
The show’s signature coach thrones, Burnett assures, will still be involved. “They’re just not spinning around,” he says. We’ll also see enhanced sets.
“The battle rounds go up a notch, it’s a huge set — artistically and physically,” Burnett says. “Every performance will feel like a Grammy's performance.”
Burnett says running out of contestants on Tuesday’s second episode, then having rejected singers audition a second time, was an example of how The Voice has remained flexible and adapted to challenges on the fly (the show itself was put together in just over three months).
“I said to [host Carson Daly], ‘You go out there and just tell them what happened,’” Burnett says. “There was no script for this. What’s really unbelievable is those singers had not rehearsed the second song.”
Daly will be featured more heavily in the battle rounds, as well. “He’s fantastic and full of music credibility,” Burnett says. “He’s not looking like he’s trying too hard — he’s just Carson being Carson.”
Burnett says he’s had hardly a minute to enjoy the success of the show, as he’s been neck-deep in producing the series, delivering the tapes on Monday to air on Tuesdays. Though The Voice is potentially expandable, NBC will likely stick to its original first season commitment rather than stretch out the show with more episodes. NBC announced that it will feature a special one-minute sneak peek of the next episode during the network’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday (4-7 p.m. ET).
Are you looking forward to Phase 2 of The Voice?