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A Full Breakdown of How The Voice Works

From Blind Auditions to the Live Performance Shows. 

By Jessica White

The Voice is an action-packed competition, and Season 24 Coaches Niall Horan, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, and Reba McEntire are bringing their A-games.  

How to Watch

Watch The Voice Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

Each season, fans enjoy a talent-packed lineup of powerhouse Artists all ready to show the Coaches what they've got. Making it to The Voice stage is no simple feat, and it's even more impressive when the Artists get to deliver dynamite performances to the coveted Live Shows. Artists can't rely solely on the love of their Coaches, though: They must also showcase their star power to the nationwide audience to receive enough votes to win. Boasting a delightful combination of country, pop, and rock-influenced Artists, you never know which legendary Artist will rise as The Voice's champion.  

RELATED: The Voice Coaches Through the Years: A Timeline 

The Voice is a life-changing experience for any inspired singer. Below, read a little bit about the rules governing The Voice in Season 24, from the Blind Auditions to the Live Shows.

The Coaches stand and clap on The Voice episode 2410

How does The Voice work? 

In The Voice Season 24, Artists were chosen during Blind Auditions, and then they will successively compete (and some advance) in Battle Rounds, Knockouts, Playoffs, and Live Performance Shows.

Along the way, Coaches can utilize Blocks, Steals, and Saves to impact the course of the competition. These tools are game-altering maneuvers that we'll explore in further detail below.  

Split images of Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Reba McEntire, and Niall Horan on The Voice.

How do Blind Auditions work on The Voice

During the Blind Auditions, the decisions from the Coaches are based solely on Artists' voices and not their looks. The Coaches hear the Artists perform — but they don't get to see them, thanks to rotating chairs.

RELATED: Every Blind Audition on The Voice Season 24, Broken Down by Team

If a Coach was impressed by the Artist's voice, he or she pushed a button to select the Artist for their team. At this point, the Coach's chair swiveled so that they could face the Artist they'd selected. If more than one Coach pushed their button, the power then shifted to the Artist to choose which Coach they wanted to work with. If no one pushed their button, the Artist was eliminated from the competition.  

Reba McEntire sits in her chair and listens to a performer

What is the age requirement to audition for The Voice

Anyone who wishes to audition for The Voice in hopes of becoming a contestant must be at least 13 years old. There have been dozens of talented teenagers who have taken the stage, such as Season 19 winnerCarter Rubin (who took home the crown at 15 years old) and Season 18's Levi Watkins, who auditioned at just 14.  

Carter Rubin performing

How do Blocks work on The Voice

One of the first game-changers in The Voice was the Block, which added another layer of competition between Coaches during the Blind Auditions. At Coach's chair, he or she had a small set of buttons with the other three Coaches' names on them. Each Coach who pressed their main button to select an Artist during a Blind Audition had the to option to press a button with another Coach's name to prevent that person from having the option of adding said Artist to his or her team.  

The blocked Coach only discovered they were blocked if they pressed their button for the same Artist. Then, though their chair still turned, their lane lit up red with the word "BLOCKED." If the blocked Coach didn't try to press their button for that Artist, the Coach who used his or her Block could try again.

Each Coach could only successfully use their Block once during the competition.

The Voice Judges' Chairs

How do Battles work on The Voice

During the Battle Rounds, the Coaches had to put two of their own team members against each other in a duet.

RELATED: Every Winner from The Voice Season 24 Battles

After each Battle, the Coach then hasd to choose which of his or her Artists would advance to the next round of competition on their team. However, each Coach had two Steals (which are explained in more depth below), through which they could bring another team's Battle-losing Artist onto their team.

The Coaches pose together on stage during The Voice Episode 2412

How do Knockouts work on The Voice

In the three-way Knockouts, each Coach pitted three Artists from their team against one another. Each Artist then selected their own song to sing in competition against — and in the presence of — two teammates.

To prepare for this high-pressure competition, the Coaches enlist a legendary Mega Mentor  — for Season 24, that's country music icon Wynonna Judd — to advise all Artists competing in the Knockouts. 

RELATED: The Voice Season 24 Mega Mentor Has Been Revealed — And She's a Country Legend

After each Artist sang in their Knockout round, each Coach chose the winner to move onto the Playoffs. However, Coaches had one Save available, which allowed them to retain an Artist who didn't win their Knockout, as well as one Steal. 

The Coaches and Carson Daly on the voice episode 2412

How do Steals and Saves work on The Voice

Steals are in play during Battles and Knockouts. Each Coach has two Steals to use in each of those two Rounds, to allow other Coaches to bring Artists who would otherwise be heading home onto new teams.

Saves are in play during Knockouts, allowing Coaches to retain one artist who lost their Knockout for the Playoffs.

John Legend and Reba McEntire hug on the voice epsiode 2412

How do the Playoffs work on The Voice?  

Artists who survive the Knockouts advance to the Playoffs, which are the final stop before The Voice Live Shows. In this stage, Artists again select their own songs to perform in competition against the other Artists on their team, but each competitor get the stage to themselves for the first time since Blind Auditions.

Each Coach can only select three Artists to advance to the Live Shows, and no Steals or Saves are available at this stage. Only 12 total Artists will head to the Live Shows.

Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan play fight

How do the Live Shows work on The Voice

Once the Live Shows begin, all the Artists compete against each other during live weekly broadcasts.

At this point, the power shifts from the Coaches to The Voice fans: After each performance, the television audience votes to save their favorite Artists.

RELATED: How to Vote on The Voice 

The Artists with the lowest number of votes will be eligible for the Instant Save and will each perform a new song after the results are announced to prove why they should continue in the competition.

America will then have the opportunity to save their favorite performer by voting on The Voice Official App or NBC.com after setting up an NBCUniversal Profile. The Artists who get the least number of votes and don't win the Instant Save are eliminated from the competition each week.

In the end, one Artist is named “The Voice” of the season and receives the grand prize of a recording contract.

John Legend and Gwen Stefani sit in their respective chairs

How do Instant Saves work on The Voice?

Instant Saves come into play during the Live Shows, allowing viewers to vote to retain Artists who would otherwise be headed home after the first round of voting is complete.

Niall Horan and Reba McEntire pose together at their coaches chair on The Voice episode 2410

Where is The Voice filmed? 

The Voice is filmed at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California.

Each year, dozens of inspired Artists flock to the West Coast with hopes of seeing one of the iconic red chairs turn on the studio lot.  

Originally published Sep 20, 2023.