The Voice: Exposing 10 Alleged Fabrications Surrounding the Show, Straight from the Cast and Crew

Featured image Blake Shelton in his chair in The Voice US and Lauren Bannon in the final of The Voice UK

With The Voice returning for its 22nd season in September and new dynamics already appearing between the coaches after a new promo showed Camila Cabello and Blake Shelton arguing, there’s a lot to be excited about for fans of the show. Whilst it’s one of the more open and self-aware talent shows on TV, it’s fair to say that not everything in the show is as authentic as it seems.

From blind rehearsals that aren’t quite as blind as they appear to completely fabricated drama between the coaches, fans may be surprised to learn just how much of the show is fake.

The Show Reaches Out To Singers To Audition

Vicci Martinez singing on season 1 of The Voice

Whereas other talent competitions use large-scale, stadium auditions to narrow down a huge pool to just the most talented or interesting acts, The Voice makes use of a more reliable method to ensure that they get great singers for the blind auditions. As former contestant Vicci Martinez told Cosmopolitan, they often go all-out to convince singers to join the show for an audition.

This means reaching out to managers, scouts, and singers themselves and being very persistent at times to get artists they want to join the show. Whilst this means that singers unwilling to wait out in line for hours to audition can get a chance, it also means the show often has a much better idea of who they’re getting.

Coaches May Already Know About Contestants During Blind Auditions

The Voice coaches during the shows blind auditions

The entire idea of a blind audition is that the coaches must decide to say yes or no to a singer based entirely on their voice and nothing else. This may not always be the case, however. An insider told Woman’s Day that coaches are often told not just the name of who is performing but also some details about their backstory.

The reason for this is reportedly so that coaches have a better idea of what questions to ask the contestant to get the most interesting answer. Blind auditions are one of the unique elements that have made The Voice one of the best talent shows of all time so it’s interesting that they may not be as blind as they appear.

Some Coaches Don’t Really Coach

Ddendyl auditioning on The Voice with a rendition of Stand By Me

One of the things about The Voice that may make it appeal to potential contestants is the idea of getting to spend time training with the show’s unique superstar coaches. Unfortunately, not all of the coaches are as hands-on as others when it comes to working with their singers.

According to former contestant Ddendyl, speaking to the Washington Post, Shakira’s “coaching” for her only really involved coming in for the filmed segments that appear in the show. Instead, her improvement mainly came about from her own work as well as with vocal coaches and producers.

The Show’s Producers May Encourage Coaches To Turn

Guy Sebastian slumped in his coachs chair on The Voice Australia

Many were shocked last year when Guy Sebastian, a coach on The Voice Australia, appeared to reveal that the producers sometimes tell them when to press their buzzer. However, Sebastian quickly corrected this sensationalist reporting that he felt downplayed the coach’s agency in the show, as reported in

Though the show might not be quite that staged, he did acknowledge that producers would sometimes give them reminders about format changes that allowed for bigger teams and similar elements that might make them more inclined to press their buzzers. It seems that coaches still have the final say though.

Contestants Are Prepared Well In Advance For The Blind Audition

Charlie Drew performing his blind audition on the UK version of The Voice

There is a sense of tense unpredictability to the blind audition stage of the show, but this is just another of the many secrets behind The Voice. In reality, the contestants have been well-prepared for the moment, though whether this actually helps the nerves of the performers much is not clear.

Charlie Drew, a contestant on the UK edition of the show, informed Radio Times that the blind audition is essentially the fourth stage of auditioning. Contestants are also reportedly given the chance to rehearse their performance in the studio a week before their blind audition to get them used to the space.

The Voice Completely Invents Drama Between Coaches

Kelly Rowland looking unhappy in The Voice Australia 2020

Whilst the conflict between Camila Cabello and Blake Shelton seems real enough in the season 22 promo, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time the show has faked conflict between the judges to get people talking. In The Voice Australia 2020, an incident branded “Buzzer-gate” in which Guy Sebastian and Kelly Rowland became heated after he pressed his buzzer despite having a full team is one example of this.

This entire scenario was likely a complete fabrication as, according to US Coach John Legend, it shouldn’t even be possible. As reported in Woman’s Day, the buzzers are actually only meant to go off if the coach still has places available on their team, meaning it must have been changed to allow Sebastian to press his. This seems to prove beyond doubt that the event was scripted.

The Chairs Don’t Actually Make A Sound When They Turn

The Voice judges in their chairs with Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Nick Jonas and Blake Shelton

Fans love to argue about which reality show is the fakest and often focus on elements like how real the drama is and whether the competition is as fair as it seems. One element that’s also worth talking about though, is how much of what makes the show dramatic is added in post-production.

It’s unlikely to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of the show, but it is interesting that one of these is the “whoosh” sound that the chairs make when they turn. Season 6 contestant Kat Perkins told Cosmopolitan that the chairs don’t actually make a noticeable sound when they turn, and it’s all added in later.

Auditions Can Be Autotuned

cassadee pope singing on the voice

Though it’s unlikely anyone would be surprised at how ubiquitous autotune is even for shows that apparently present live performances, it’s still certainly misleading for a show that brands itself around the importance of the singer’s own voice to make use of it during their auditions.

As reported in Buzzfeed, a Redditor called Rockitlikearedhead who claims to be a former contestant revealed that this was already taking place over 8 years ago. According to their account, the song that the viewer gets to hear is actually an autotuned version of the contestant’s blind audition and not the authentic version that the coaches hear.

Contestants Don’t Really Get To Choose Their Songs

Frenchie Davis on The Voice season 1

After the blind audition, during which the contestants present their song choices to producers, it turns out that contestants might not have much say at all in their choice of song. Whilst this doesn’t necessarily make the show more fake, the fact that contestants are often judged on their song choice does make it seem a slightly misleading element.

According to season 1 contestant Frenchie Davis, talking to Cosmopolitan, contestants were often just given songs by producers or coaches and weren’t told why they had no say in the matter. This ultimately proved a source of frustration for her and other contestants.

Contestants Can Be Rejected And Asked To Come Back

Lauren Bannon singing in the final of The Voice UK

Whilst it may be presented as each crop of singers being the best the show could find for that season, it turns out The Voice‘s selection process takes a lot more than just skill and talent into account. At times, even singers good enough to compete may be told to re-audition another year when they might make a better addition to the overall balance of the show.

Ddendyl told The Washington Post that she was one contestant who benefited from this, having already auditioned ahead of season 5 before being accepted the next year. Over on the UK edition, Digital Spy reported that 2018 finalist Lauren Bannon had also been rejected from the show four years before.

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