COVID-19 forces format changes on The Voice

New format changes on The Voice mean some coaches and contestants will appear on the show remotely after production was brought to halt due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Channel 9 recently said format changes will make the reality singing show, which returns on May 24, "more interesting", however media expert Rob McKnight isn't sure.

The Voice coaches Boy George, Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian and Kelly Rowland. Picture: Supplied
The Voice coaches Boy George, Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian and Kelly Rowland. Picture: Supplied

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"I think the fact is Channel 9 are making the best of a bad situation," McKnight, who runs TV Blackbox, told Confidential.

"You can't blame them for trying to talk it up. Are these changes they would've made without the coronavirus lockdown? The answer is probably not.

"The one thing I would say is adversity can bring about creativity, so it may actually end up better although it's unlikely that with the judges remotely it will be a better product. But it still might be a great product and I look forward to seeing what they do with it."

The Voice could look a little bit different this year. Picture: Supplied
The Voice could look a little bit different this year. Picture: Supplied

Nine head of content, production and development Adrian Swift recently said two thirds of filming has been completed.

"The series will begin looking as it has previously, but later in the series it will be different to what people might be expecting," Swift told Mediaweek.

"To be honest, as a producer, I think those changes are going to make it more interesting."

Coaches Delta Goodrem, Boy George, Kelly Rowland and Guy Sebastian will return to the series, and new hosting duo Darren McMullen and Renee Bargh will make their debut.

The coronavirus pandemic has stopped Kelly Rowland from travelling to Australia for this year’s season of The Voice. Picture: Richard Shotwell/AP
The coronavirus pandemic has stopped Kelly Rowland from travelling to Australia for this year’s season of The Voice. Picture: Richard Shotwell/AP

Earlier this year it was revealed that US-based Rowland was unable to travel to Australia for filming due to travel restrictions and later filming was postponed due to social distancing measures.

"The filming of The Voice has been temporarily postponed in the wake of the coronavirus and new government protocols," a Nine spokesman previously said.

"The show is still currently on track to begin airing in its originally planned time frame, which will be announced in the coming months."

Other format changes include the introduction of The Playoffs and Showdowns, as well as the Block during the blind auditions, which will see each coach allowed two Blocks which will deny the other coaches the chance to pitch for the amazing voices they hear.

Originally published as COVID-19 forces format changes on The Voice


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