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A Full Breakdown of How The Voice Works

From Blind Auditions to the Live Performance Shows. 

By Jessica White
The Best Performances of Power Ballads | NBC's The Voice 2023

The Voice Season 23 was fabulous and action-packed, with Coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan, and Chance the Rapper bringing their A-game the whole way through. 

How to Watch

Watch The Voice on NBC and Peacock.

Fans once again enjoyed a talent-packed season with a fresh lineup of Artists. Below, read a little bit about The Voice rounds to learn how the singers walked through the season — from the Blind Auditions to the Live Shows. 

How does The Voice work?

The Voice Season 23 included Blind Auditions, Battle Rounds, Knockouts, Playoffs, and the Live Performance Shows, and along the way Coaches had Blocks, Steals, and Saves. These tools are exactly what they sound like: game-altering maneuvers that we'll explore in further detail shortly. 

Pictured: (l-r) Kelly Clarkson, Chance The Rapper

How do Blind Auditions work on The Voice?

During the Blind Auditions, the decisions from the Coaches are based solely on voice and not looks. The Coaches hear the Artists perform, but they don't get to see them, thanks to rotating chairs. If a Coach is impressed by the Artist's voice, they push a button to select the Artist for their team. At this point, the Coach's chair will swivel so that they can face the Artist they selected. If more than one Coach pushes the button, the power then shifts to the Artists to choose which Coach they want to work with. If no one pushes their button, the Artist is eliminated from the competition.

Nariyella performing on The Voice

How do Blocks work on The Voice?

Also returning this season is the Block, which adds another layer of Coach competition during the Blind Auditions. The Coach chairs each have an extra set of buttons with the other three Coaches' names on them, which prevents a Coach from adding a new Artist to his or her team.

Grace West performing on 'The Voice'

The Coaches can only use their Block buttons on one Artist for the entire first round of the competition. The blocked Coach only discovers they are blocked if they press their button, and though their chair will still turn, their lane lights up with "BLOCKED." If the Coach doesn't press their button, the Block is still available for another Audition.


How do Battles work on The Voice?

During the Battle Rounds, the Coaches will pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together. The Artists are vying for their Coach's confidence and decision to take them to the next round.

After each Vocal Battle, the Coach must choose which of his or her Artists will advance to the next round of competition. There are no Battle Advisors this season. Instead, Reba McEntire will serve as a Mega Mentor for all Coaches. 

The Voice Season 23, Episode 6

What is the Playoff Pass on The Voice

Per a press release, "An all-new 'Playoff Pass' allows both Artists in a Battle to advance, with the 'Playoff Pass' winner gaining a major advantage when they skip the Knockout Rounds and automatically advance to Playoffs, taking them one step closer to the Live Performance Shows. Each Coach has one 'Playoff Pass' and one 'Steal' during this round. Seven Artists per team advance (six competing in the Knockouts, and one 'Playoff Pass' Artist)." 

The Voice Team Recap Chance2

How do Knockouts work on The Voice?

Per a press release, "Artists are paired against each other, selecting their own songs to perform individually while their direct competitors watch and wait. Coaches choose the winner and the Artist not selected is available for a 'Steal.' The pressure is on as each Coach only has one 'Steal' during this round. Five Artists per team advance (four Knockout winners and one 'Playoff Pass' Artist)." 

The Voice Team Recap Kelly

How do the Playoffs work on The Voice

Per a press release, "The Playoffs are back, further bolstering the competition following the Knockouts. The 20 remaining Artists hold nothing back, and tough decisions are made when each Coach can only advance two Artists to the Live Semi-Finals." 

The Voice 2307

How do the Live Performance Shows work on The Voice?

Once the Live Performance Shows begin, the top Artists will compete against each other weekly during a live broadcast. This time the television audience will vote to save their favorite Artists.

The Voice Team Recap Blake2

How does the Instant Save work on The Voice?

The Artists with the lowest number of votes in the Live Shows will be eligible for the Instant Save and will each perform a new song 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. Those with the lowest number of votes will be sent home. In the end, one Artist will be named "The Voice" and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.

Cait Martin on The Voice

Where is The Voice filmed?

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

The Voice Mariah Jamar Battle 2307