'The Voice': Bigger Teams, More Blind Rounds in Season 2
In season two of NBC's "The Voice," the four teams will be expanded to 12 singers per coach, more blind rounds will air and the opening performance following the Super Bowl will be "kick-ass." Or at least that's Christina Aguilera's take on the season.
Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Maroon 5's Adam Levine took their places in oversized red seats on "The Voice" set late Friday afternoon to give a rundown on what to expect in the coming season and provide an update on the first go-round. Show producer Mark Burnett was on hand to add extra hyperbole, noting the chairs themselves were stars and that his daughter and her college-age friends talk about no other vocal competition show. The self-congratulatory mood reached its apex when the traditionally soft-spoken Shelton chimed in with "we're gonna make the Super Bowl look small."
Production has already begun on season two, which will premiere Feb. 5 after the Super Bowl, though the coaches were cautious about giving away too many details. "I have everything from an opera singer to a powerhouse MC to soul singers," Aguilera said, adding that the diversity and quality was stronger than the first season.
Shelton and Levine each gave examples of how not only did they have a greater understanding of how the process worked but so, too, did contestants. One singer who got several coaches to turn their chairs around to see them perform -- the sign that the singer is wanted for a team -- asked for guarantees beyond being drafted; the singer wanted judges' commitment to keeping them around for a few rounds. That gave the coaches pause.
"All of a sudden, we're the ones pitching ourselves," Levine said.
Perhaps the greatest surprise was the amount of involvement the coaches have had in the musical careers of the singers they mentored in season one. Levine said he sang on several songs for winner Javier Colon's album, which Universal will release on Nov. 22. Pharrell Williams produced the Levine and Colon tracks.
Shelton took his two finalists, Dia Frampton and Xenia, on the road with him and has worked on their albums. Frampton, who posted on Facebook last week that she has written 70 songs since the conclusion of "The Voice," plans to release a single, "The Broken Ones," in mid-November and her album in December. Xenia duets with Jon McLaughlin on the song "Maybe It's Over" and has an album in the works.
"Having been a guy who has done this for 10 years now, it's easy to get calloused," Shelton said at the event held on the Sony lot in Culver City, Calif. "It's easy to forget what it's like to not have (success). Xenia and Dia rejuvenated me -- maybe that's why I got so attached to those two. They made me feel alive again."
Aguilera gave no details about her finalist, Beverly McClellan, who started recording in mid-October. Green's ace singer, Vicci Martinez is writing and recording with Peter Svensson, Tim Pagnotta and the Matrix team. She has created a contest inviting fans to help her name her album.
Burnett said it's highly likely Colon will return to perform on the show, but none of the performers addressed the question of whether they hope to unveil material during the show's run. That was a recipe for success last year as "The Voice" was the launch pad for Shelton's "Honey Bee," a country chart-topper, and the Maroon 5-Aguilera single "Moves Like Jagger," which hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 and is currently No. 3 in its 18th week on the chart.
"We'll have great fun with guest appearances throughout the season," was all Burnett would divulge about singing beyond the contestants.
The Voice': Artists from the show are putting out new albums
Here's the latest on and around NBC's The Voice: do you know that your favorite artists from the show are putting out new albums? Plus video from Saturday Night Live!
No surprise here, but many of the talented musicians from season one have gone back to the studio and are bringing new music your way now that you've had a chance to discover them. Here's a handy guide to the new releases in your future.
You can pre-order any of the albums by clicking on their titles below.
Previous albums Javier and Left of Center re-released on November 15. They're both currently under $10 if you pre-order them using these provided links.
The following week, November 22, drops his new release Come Through For You. Javier will be touring in support of the new album for the remainder of the year. Here's the tour schedule (sorry, still only East Coast dates announced).
Dia's new album Red arrives on December 6. She will also be the opening act for coach Blake Shelton on his "Well Lit and Amplified Tour." Here's that tour schedule.
Is currently working on a new album. No Amazon pre-order link is available yet, but you might want to check out the Vicci Martinez Live DVD from 2006, which is one of the better music DVD's I've ever seen.
Fear Nothing is the title of Beverly's new CD which arrives on November 21.
Is also working on a new album. No Amazon pre-order link is available yet, but you can take a gander at Jon McLaughlin's Forever If Ever disc, where she joins him on the duet "Maybe It's Over."
Stay tuned for more information on all these albums and more as I get it - and of course reviews of the new releases as they arrive!
One down note: I've been informed that Nakia has cancelled his November 30 appearance at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles in order to focus in recording a new album of his own.
It's a light week for news, but did you happen to catch Maroon 5 as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this past weekend? If not, never fear, because I have those clips for you below. The band performed "Moves Like Jagger" as well as "Stereo Hearts" with Gym Class Heroes' Travie McCoy.