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FORMAT GUIDE

THE VOICE OF…

FORMAT GUIDE – THE VOICE OF… V0511 PAGE: 1/163
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. COPYRIGHT NOTICE 05
2. INTRODUCTION 06
3. NOTE OF THE PRODUCTION TEAM 07
4. THE SHOW 10
5. THE COACHES 13
6. THE DREAM TEAMS / SUPPORT TEAMS 16
7. THE TALENTS 17
8. THE HOST 19
9. THE BAND 20
10. THE MUSIC DIRECTOR 21
11. GENERAL STRUCTURE 22
12. EPISODE STRUCTURE 23
13. PRESS AND PUBLICITY 25
14. ATMOSPHERE AND IMAGE 33
15. STYLING AND MAKE UP 35
16. CANDIDATE SUPERVISION 38
17. PHASE 1: THE PRE-SELECTION 41
17.1 SELECTION OF THE CONTESTANTS 43
17.2 THE OFF-SCREEN PRE-SELECTIONS 47
17.3 THE PRE-SELECTION JURY 49
17.4 SELECTION BY THE PRE-JURY 50
17.5 MIX OF SINGING QUALITIES AND PERSONALITY 53
17.6 INTERIM EVALUATION 55
17.7 200 SUITABLE CONTESTANTS 57
17.8 PUTTING THE SONGS TOGETHER 59
17.9 200 CONTESTANTS CHOOSE A SONG 60

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17.10 FROM 200 TO 150 CONTESTANTS 61
17.11 THE INTERVIEW DAY 63
17.12 STEP BY STEP: THE PRE-SELECTIONS 65
17.13 PRE-SELECTION STARTING POINTS 66
17.14 THE CANDIDATE CONTRACT 68
17. PHASE 2: THE BLIND AUDITIONS 69
18.1 WHAT DO WE SEE IN A BLIND AUDITIONS EPISODE? 72
18.2 THE COMPOSITION 75
18.3 RECORDING THE ENVELOPES 79
18.4 THE ARRANGEMENTS 80
18.5 REHEARSALS WITH THE BAND 81
18.6 IN STUDIO: THE BLIND AUDITIONS 83
18.7 ELEMENTS OF THE BLIND AUDITIONS 85
18.8 BLIND AUDITION STRUCTURE 89
18.9 RECORDING AND EDITING 91
18.10 BLIND AUDITION WORKFLOW 98
18.11 COACHING THE CONTESTANTS 100
18.12 THE INNER CIRCLE: FAMILY AND FRIENDS 102
18.13 AUDIENCE 103
18.14 BAND 104
18.15 THE COACHES 105
18.16 COACHING THE COACHES 107
18.17 THE HOST 111
18.19 PITFALLS AND DIFFICULTIES 112
18.19 THE WILD CARD 115
19. PHASE 3: THE BATTLE 117
19.1 WHAT DO WE SEE IN A BATTLE EPISODE? 118
19.2 THE BATTLE STRUCTURE 122

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19.3 ELEMENTS OF THE BATTLE 123
19.4 RECORDING THE BATTLE 125
19.5 LOCATION AND SET 132
19.6 WHO BATTLES WHO 134
19.7 THE SONGS / ARRANGEMENTS 137
19.8 THE INNER CIRCLE: FAMILY AND FRIENDS 140
19.9 AUDIENCE 141
19.10 BAND 142
19.11 THE HOST AND COACHES 143
19.12 THE SUPPORT TEAMS / DREAM TEAMS 145
19.13 THE SING-OFF 147
19.14 CUTTING AND EDITING 149
20. PHASE 4: LIVE 151
20.1 THE SHOWS 152
20.2 STRUCTURE 155
20.3 THE COACHES 159
20.4 PERFORMANCES BY THE COACHES 160
20.5 HOSTING DUO AND SIDE KICK 161
20.6 LIVE BAND 162
20.7 GUEST PERFORMANCES 163

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1. COPYRIGHT NOTICE

TALPA CONTENT B.V. EXCLUSIVELY HOLDS ALL WORLDWIDE
INTELLECTUAL RIGHTS TO THIS CROSS MEDIA TV FORMAT.

All rights reserved. No part of this document, nor of the format
described herein, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
disclosed in any form or by any means, whether electronically or
otherwise (including but not limited to CD-ROM/DVD, internet pages
and manners of reproduction or disclosure not known at the date
hereof), without prior written permission from the copyright owner.

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2. INTRODUCTION

This document contains confidential information and guidelines and is
strictly limited to parties who have concluded a licensing agreement
with Talpa Distribution B.V., for the production of the series of The Voice
Of…

The information contained has been bundled in order to provide
maximum support and clear directives to ensure the quality of
production and the success of The Voice Of… format.

All adjustments on the original format (as described in this
Format Guide) need to be green lighted by Talpa International
Productions. Keep in mind that the title, logo, graphics, music,
sets designs, promo sequence and promo type are a compulsory
part of this format. We also want to emphasize that you can’t
make any concessions whatsoever when it comes to the original
quality standards regarding talent, sets and overall look and
feel.

We trust that your production of The Voice Of… will be very successful
and highly entertaining! Please do not hesitate to contact us or The
Voice Talent Agency (regarding talent) if you need additional support or
have questions and/or suggestions.

Best regards,
Talpa International Productions

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3. NOTE FROM THE PRODUCTION TEAM

On behalf of the Dutch (original version) production team of The Voice
Of… we wish to share our most significant experiences of The Voice Of…
with you.

NATURE OF THE SHOW
It is important to launch the show as a different kind of talent contest
right from the start. The viewers/audience must immediately realize
that this is something completely new. That it's all about the voice!!!!!
That it's different from all those other talent shows! You should pay a
great deal of attention to this aspect right from the start! You can also
communicate this directly with the Blind Auditions, as a unique way for
the coaches to put their teams together.

RESPECT AND INFLUENCE
In other talent shows, the contestants are often completely ‘molded’ by
the production team regardless of their own wishes. In this talent show,
the contestants actually have an influence (the choice of song, styling,
make-up, staging, etc.) and they are treated with respect. The tone of
voice is always positive; this is not humiliation television! Make sure
that you keep this in mind at all times! Both in front of and behind the
scenes. You must also make sure that the contestants get proper
guidance and supervision.

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SOCIAL MEDIA AND PUBLICITY
One of the strong points of this program is the intensive use of social
media, both by the contestants and by the show itself. In contrast to
other talent shows, the contestants are allowed to communicate a great
deal both in the social media and in the press. However, you must
provide the contestants with a detailed briefing about what you expect
from them. Certainly during the Blind Auditions and The Battle, the
show will not be broadcast on TV in line with reality, so it is important
for the contestants not to reveal any results etc. ahead of time by
means of social media.

In contrast to other talent shows, the contestants are also deployed
frequently in the media. This gives you an opportunity to get lots of
press coverage. Make sure you use your favorites. Don't be afraid that
they are getting more attention than other contestants; instead, make
full use of their role as favorites and their popularity to promote the
program. However, you should make sure that the other contestants
have some coverage too.

During media appearances, the contestants are also allowed to sing as
long as they are accompanied by the show's live band (or a pianist).
They are not allowed to perform with a band. This maintains the high
standards of the show and makes sure that the pianist or band can
cover up any errors. This performance must also be thoroughly
prepared/rehearsed.

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OWN IDENTITY
In this show, the contestants keep their own identity. They sing what
they are best at, songs in their genre, songs they want to sing. They will
not have to leave their ‘comfort zone’. There are no themed episodes,
so in every performance the candidate can sing a song which suits him
or her. For example, a rock singer will remain a rock singer throughout
the whole show. Other talent shows tend to push contestants into a
corner by means of themes. This is a unique point of The Voice Of…,
which you must therefore communicate clearly in the press and during
the promos for attracting contestants. You must also make sure that
contestants only sing songs within their genre, discuss song choices
with them and make sure that contestants never have to sing a song
which they think does not suit them (or their voice).

We hope that this document gives you sufficient insights into the
process we have gone through in the Netherlands.

On behalf of the Dutch production team, we wish you every success
with your local production of The Voice Of…!

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4. THE SHOW

The Voice Of… is the ultimate talent contest and is therefore the next
step in talent shows. A show in which the absolute key factor is talent.
Real talent. In this show it’s all about the voice... and not the looks!
There’s no room for one-day-flies or wannabe stars. Only the very best
of the best will do; the best voice combined with the best mentality,
that’s what the show is all about and no concessions are possible in this
respect! The Voice of… centers on the search for the nation’s new big
star. The search for that one person with that special something, a real
first-class act with the ability to stick around and deliver their very own
unique sound.

Four extremely famous national performing artists/singers (later on we
call them: the coaches) personally select their own contestants during
the exciting first auditions. Throughout these selections quality is the
key word, because right from the get-go the standard will be high.
Extremely high. An extensive off-screen search, held by the casting
team and genuine talent scouts, will ensure that only the best
applicants make it through to the actual Blind Auditions.

So, on camera and on air, no embarrassing auditions as we’ve become
accustomed to on other talent shows, but serious tryouts with people
who really know their stuff.

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The show kicks straight off with the spectacular Blind Auditions. Forget
the usual room that forms the backdrop for most selections, on this
show the setting is an impressive pop stage with an audience (200-400
people) and live band! The Voice Of... auditions start with a unique
selection method: The Blind Audition. As the name suggests, the
contestants cannot be seen, they can only be heard by the 4 coaches.
Our four top performing artists/singers will therefore only be able to go
on the contestants’ voice quality and technique, without being distracted
or influenced by their appearance. Because as the title says, we’re
looking for The Voice… not The Looks.

During these first Blind Auditions, the top performing artists are seated
on chairs that automatically turn away from the candidate before he or
she enters the stage to sing. If the coaches are impressed with
someone’s voice, they can press their “I Want You” button during the
Blind Audition. If they press the button, their chair automatically spins
round to face the stage. And that is when the coaches see the candidate
for the very first time! What will they think when seeing the talents for
the very first time?

Naturally the coaches are allowed to give their uncensored but always
positive opinion about the candidate’s looks, style and performance, but
once they’ve pressed that button, there’s no way back!

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In the end, all the chosen contestants will be coached by one of the top
artists/singers, who will closely work with a team of professionals. Their
years of experience in the business have made them aware of the fact
that a career in music is built on more than talent alone. Hard work,
discipline and the drive to constantly better yourself are just a few of
the necessary elements to really make it to the top in the music
industry. And the coaches don’t just coach their talents; they actually
get up on stage with them during the LIVE shows, to perform together!

It’s a long road to the final, and therefore the talents are coached by
their professional team every step of the way. And once they’ve made it
to the final, we will at last find out which one of them possesses the
ultimate combination of talent, vocal ability and character to really
make it big.

Because the winner of The Voice Of… is guaranteed to take the national
music industry by storm!

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5. THE COACHES

Four extremely successful national performing artists/singers – with
huge chart-topping successes to their name – take each other on in the
battle to find the new big national singing star.

With these four top performers (The Coaches) fronting the show and the
fact that quality is the key word, the credibility and the cooperation
from the music industry will be huge.

In the arena of The Voice of..., the coaches play a crucial role. You must
pay a great deal of attention to the profile of the coaches.

They must be able to do far more than sing well themselves and have
proven their value in the entertainment industry.

The coaches must meet the following criteria:

• They are at the top of the entertainment business.

• They have major hits and industry awards to their name (gold discs,
sold-out concerts and number 1 hits).

• They are good communicators, alert and quick-witted.

• They believe in what they are doing.

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• They have life experience (aged between 23 and 50).

• They understand that their credibility is crucial.

• The viewer must feel they are honest and sincere.

• They genuinely know how to coach talent.

• They understand the charm of their mutual rivalry.

• They take their role seriously.

• They have a pop background.

• They are masters of musical technique. They are able to discuss
tonalities, live accompaniment, modulations, clarity, purity, etc.

• They (preferably) write lyrics themselves or compose music.

• They (preferably) play one or more instruments.

• They have a network from which they can source their support
teams (these ‘dream teams’ play an important role from the Battle
episodes onwards).

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The Dutch version of The Voice Of… had four coaching spots and five
coaches. This is because one of the spots was occupied by a duo. A
coaching duo gives the content an extra dimension, but it is not
compulsory for the format.

The Voice of Holland, for example, had a coaching duo who did not
always agree about the contestants. It could take an irritatingly long
time before they finally agreed. And sometimes one of the two would
already be pressing the button enthusiastically before the other had
made up his mind.

We advise the following mix:

COACH 1
Triple A artist, mature, former singer, older aged (45+), broad.

COACH 2
Triple A artist, in charts, pop, young/mid aged (23 – 40), broad.

COACH 3
Well known, in charts, bit more alternative, young mid/aged (23 – 40).

COACH 4
Young (23 – 30), upcoming, in charts since 3-4 years, in the beginning
of his/her singing career, well known.

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6. SUPPORT TEAMS / THE DREAM TEAMS

Literally and figuratively, these teams only come into the picture during
The Battle. These are the specialists in the coach's inner circle. They
may be stylists, producers, singing teachers, speech therapists and
other experts. The coach will discuss with them which supervision a
candidate needs to take the next step. The coach will also discuss with
his or her support team which talents should drop out in The Battle
shows and in the live shows.

The support team will really come into the picture during the recordings
for The Battle episodes. The intention is for the coaches to persuade big
names in the music industry from their own network to join their
support team. The support teams (or dream teams) generally consist of
the coach's own regular producer and songwriter.

The support teams (dream teams) play an active role when it comes to
coaching and supervising the contestants off and on camera. Together
with the editorial team, the members of the support teams will
determine the choice of song for The Battle and Live shows. They are
also jointly responsible for choosing the type of arrangement for the
songs.

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7. THE TALENTS

The Voice Of... has no room for talentless wannabes. Only the crème de
la crème of the national singing talent has a chance to win a place on
the show. Contestants who can sing ‘fairly well’ won’t do. There are
enough other shows for them already. The same goes for contestants
who just want to get their face on TV and are looking for their 15
minutes of fame… They can also go elsewhere.

For The Voice Of... we are looking for top talent. People with real ability,
who are good enough for a professional music career… and who are
capable of proving their talent to us with their breathtaking voice,
fantastic entertainment skills and vibrant personality.

Any talent – in the 18+ age category – who is convinced of his or her
own capability is welcome. And if they can accompany themselves on
guitar, piano or whatever other instrument, that is a welcome bonus!

Contestants can enter themselves as a solo act, but also as a duo. But,
for the contestants who have come as a duo, there is absolutely no
guarantee that they will be picked together. Maybe only one of them
has the qualities that the coaches are looking for, and that is a risk a
duo must be prepared to take.

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Before the Blind Auditions kick off, an extremely tough off-screen
selection has already taken place. This preliminary selection is
necessary to guarantee early on that only the greatest talents are given
a place in the actual on-screen Blind Auditions.

There will be a busy and active search leading up to the off-screen
selections. Not only to find the best talents, but also to discover new
talents that would normally never enter themselves for this kind of
competition. Because for The Voice Of... only the very best of the best
is good enough.

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8. THE HOST

The host of The Voice Of… is someone who:

• Has experience of major (live) entertainment shows.

• Has experience of live presentation.

• Can keep track of what is going on.

• Can memorize scripts.

• When necessary, is able to improvise.

• Is a good interviewer.

• With humor and emotion; in turns serious and light-hearted.

• Is a well-known personality and will preferably also have a
background in or affinity for music.

• Fits in with the program as regards age and image.

• Is a people’s person (talks easy with everyone).

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9. THE BAND

One condition for The Voice Of… is that the contestants are
accompanied by a live band. It is important to choose a professional
band, preferably a band which consists of musicians who normally
accompany major artists in the country in question. This gives an extra
new dimension to the show and immediately gives it an extra quality
stamp and extra production value right from the very first episode,
compared to any other talent show! It is also preferable for the
program's arranger (i.e. for the songs) and the Music Director to be
familiar with the band.

The band will have different members in each phase of the program.

The Blind Auditions:
4 people
Piano, drums, guitar, bass guitar

The Battle:
6 people
Piano, drums, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, keyboard

Live:
13 people
Piano, drums, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, keyboard, brass (4
people) and backing vocals (3 people)

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10. MUSIC DIRECTOR

The team for the program must include a Music Director. He or she will
be responsible for all the musical components of the program.

This person:

• Will have plenty of experience in the music industry.

• Will have wide and in-depth knowledge of songs and artists.

• Will have experience in several music genres.

• Will be able to read and write music.

• Will be able to (re)arrange songs.

• Will be able to work out the right keys for the contestants.

• Will be able to lead the band.

• Will act as a sounding board for the editorial team.

• Will act as a sounding board for the coaches and support teams.

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11. GENERAL STRUCTURE

The Voice Of… consists of 4 different phases/components:

PHASE 1
• The Pre-Selection
• Off-screen!

PHASE 2
• The Blind Auditions
• 5 episodes (70 minutes net)

PHASE 3
• The Battle (+ Sing Off part)
• 3 episodes (70 minutes net)

PHASE 4
• Live shows
• 9 episodes (90 minutes net)

• The Result shows
• 9 episodes (25 minutes net)

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12. EPISODE STRUCTURE

EP. THE VOICE OF…
1. THE BLIND AUDITIONS
150 acts at the start of the show.
2. THE BLIND AUDITIONS

3. THE BLIND AUDITIONS

4. THE BLIND AUDITIONS

5. THE BLIND AUDITIONS
At the end, each coach will have chosen 14 acts
(or: 13 Blind Audition + 1 Wild Card).
6. THE BATTLE
Each coach has 7 Battles and 1 Sing-Off.
7. THE BATTLE

8. THE BATTLE (+ sing off part)
Each coach continues with 6 acts to Live.
9. LIVE SHOW 1(+ separate result show)
Coach A + B each with 6 acts > go down to 5 acts.
10. LIVE SHOW 2(+ separate result show)
Coach C + D each with 6 acts > go down to 5 acts.
11. LIVE SHOW 3(+ separate result show)
Coach A + B each with 5 acts > go down to 4 acts.

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12. LIVE SHOW 4(+ separate result show)
Coach C + D each with 5 acts > go down to 4 acts.
13. LIVE SHOW 5(+ separate result show)
Coach A + B each with 4 acts > go down to 3 acts.
14. LIVE SHOW 6(+ separate result show)
Coach C + D each with 4 acts > go down to 3 acts.
15. LIVE SHOW 7 (+ separate result show)
4 Coaches are present x 3 acts = 12 acts will perform.
Each coach continues with 2 acts.
16. LIVE SHOW 8 > THE SEMI-FINAL(+ separate result
show)
4 Coaches X 2 acts = 8 acts will perform.
Each coach continues to the final with 1 act.
17. LIVE SHOW 9 > THE FINAL
4 Coaches > 4 acts will perform (including own single).
1 WINNER

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13. PRESS AND PUBLICITY

Long before The Voice of… is broadcast on TV, the style of
communication with the press and public will have made it clear to
viewers and journalists that this is not just another talent show, but a
sensational new step in the genre.

It is important that the program is launched as a completely different
kind of talent show right from the very first introduction. It is important
to communicate that this is a talent show where only genuine talent is
welcome! A talent show with no room for wannabes. In this show,
everything revolves around one thing, and one thing only: THE VOICE!

Only real talent, only people who can really sing, will be given the
opportunity to take part in The Voice of…. This is the message which is
constantly communicated.

You should not use a negative strategy which communicated everything
The Voice Of… was not.

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The pillars of the communication are as follows:

1.
Only real talent, only people who can really sing, will be given the
opportunity to take part / need to apply.

2.
Only the voice counts. Appearance, age etc. do not come into it.

3.
Super coaches with their dream teams help the contestants take the
next (truly big) step in their career.

4.
The Voice of… is also a competition between the coaches.

5.
Quality takes centre stage. This applies to the contestants, the coaches
with their dream teams and the goal they all have in common: the
singer who wins will have the world (and its stages) at his or her feet.

During the first round of introductions (press releases etc.), you can
immediately introduce the phenomenon of the Blind Auditions, as this
reinforces the feeling that the show revolves around the voice. You
should also reveal at this stage that the contestants will be accompanied
by a live band. You must also introduce several of the coaches during
this first introduction, as it lends credibility to the show!

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As regards publicity, the first phase involves attracting contestants. To
achieve this, promos are broadcast on TV and radio (with regards to the
TV promos calling for contestants, see pages 41 and 42 of the format
guidelines and the compulsory order and format of the 2 different
promos).

Calls for contestants are also made via newspapers, social media
(Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) and the regular internet
channels. It is a good idea for the coaches to appear on various talk
shows to explain the concept of the show. Footage of the Dutch version
can also be shown here to support the concept.

It is important that right from the very first day on which the new show
The Voice Of… is announced, the names of the coaches and their role in
the program are known. Certainly if the program is being broadcast for
the first time, they play a crucial role in all forms of publicity.

The coaches must never make comparisons with other talent shows, but
must always emphasize that the most important thing in this show is
the voice of the contestants. They must also clearly reveal their own
role.

The coaches also feature in the calls for contestants. In these promos,
they make it clear who they are looking for and they also make a
promise: I will help you take the next step in your career. But... you
must be able to sing!

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A week before the program is broadcast, there needs to be a large-scale
press viewing (preferably attended by several of the coaches and the
host) where episode 1 is played to the (short-term) press. This will
create a lot of coverage in newspapers, on the internet and in the
various show programs on TV.

In the week before the first episode, in the Netherlands (original
version) we deployed various paid and unpaid marketing campaigns:

• Outside ads/billboards (2 weeks, major campaign).

• Radio ads on the 4 biggest radio stations.

• Newspaper ads in the 3 biggest newspapers (front page).

• Internet (various clips were 'leaked' and released to popular
websites of newspapers and show programs).

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As regards media, in the Netherlands (the original version) we looked
for obvious partners for the program:

RADIO
The Voice of Holland partnered with the most popular morning radio
show. The contestants would appear on this show on the morning of the
broadcast of The Voice of Holland. This was a kind of sneak preview for
that night. On the same radio station, we also worked with the Saturday
afternoon show. After the broadcast (which was on a Friday in the
Netherlands), the coaches and contestants did calls with to react on the
show.

SHOWBIZ PROGRAM
The most popular daily showbiz program got all the news (scoops) from
the show. Well-known contestants (with famous parents, for example)
and other news stories were rolled out in advance, so that during the
week before the broadcast, there was planned publicity every day. This
program also received footage as a teaser for the next episode of The
Voice Of…

NEWSPAPER
The most popular newspaper in the Netherlands had the first right to
news stories from the program. Clips of the program were also ‘leaked’
or made available via this newspaper's website. This newspaper also
had the first right to exclusive interviews with the contestants.

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TALK SHOW
After the Friday broadcasts, a popular Sunday afternoon show (talk
show) featured the ‘rejects’ from The Voice Of… as a first exclusive.

In the Netherlands, a few other smaller partnerships arose during the
course of the broadcasts. All forms of cooperation involve a preferential
position in exchange for considerable efforts to promote The Voice Of...
Certainly at the start, you definitely need this media to draw attention
to the broadcasts and the fact that the program will soon hit the
screens.

CONTESTANTS FEATURED IN THE PRESS ON A REGULAR BASIS
In contrast to many other talent shows, we made a deliberate decision
to use the contestants for promotional purposes. This allowed us to
generate far more (positive) publicity; there were huge number of
interviews with various contestants. We complied with all kinds of
requests from the press, from interviews to photo shoots. Often, this
does not happen with other talent shows in order to keep the
competition ‘fair’ in terms of the amount of attention each candidate
gets in the press. In fact, a condition of The Voice Of… is that
contestants ARE featured in the press. It does not matter that some
contestants get (much) more attention than others. It will help greatly
to ‘hype’ the show.

We sometimes held back a little in the Netherlands when it came to
interviews with/promotion of the big favorites, so as not to give the
impression that the competition had already been won.

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It is important to make it clear to the contestants that they are not
allowed to respond to press requests themselves. They must refer all
requests immediately to the show's press officer (there is also a clause
about this in each candidate's contract, which they have signed). In
addition, the contestants may never answer questions from the press in
interviews which have not been agreed in advance. In addition,
someone from the press office or the show's editorial team will always
be present at interviews and appearances in the various media!

PRESS RELEASES
You will need to send out press releases with regard to various
newsworthy facts and occasions. Sometimes you can release minor
news stories or scoops. This 'controlled flow' keeps attention focused on
the show.

THE WEBSITE
We cannot overemphasize the importance of The Voice Of… show's own
website. The site is not only where the contestants can apply, it is also
where the content of the program can be explained in detail. The list of
candidate requirements on the site immediately makes it clear that
wannabes have no chance of being accepted and that the show is all
about the quality of the voice.

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On the site, you can also communicate that there are preliminary
rounds which will not be shown on TV. This shows that there are
auditions which form a high barrier to entry and that only people with a
good enough voice will be allowed to take part in The Voice Of….
It is certainly worth putting the crucial elements of the format on the
site too. For example, the role of the coaches and their mutual rivalry.
Experience has shown that journalists and TV producers will also get
their information for interviews, talk shows and stories from the site.

As soon as the first promos are sent out, which are always the calls for
contestants with the coaches, the site must therefore be fully functional
and complete, with information which makes the press and public
conclude that The Voice Of… really is the next step in talent shows.

Our experience was that the show's website and social media generated
a lot of free publicity. This has a snowball effect which gives you the
opportunity to spread and reinforce the core message of the format
time after time. It is of course important for the press officers,
producers and program makers to time the flow of publicity effectively,
so that the interest of the press and public reaches its peak at the time
of the first broadcast.

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14. ATMOSPHERE AND IMAGE

Form and content go hand in hand in The Voice Of… and contribute to
the unique image of the show.

The atmosphere and image are strongly influenced by the locations. For
each part of the show, the format stipulates specific locations which
become more impressive in every stage (from The Blind Auditions to the
Battle and from The Battle to Live) and in every respect.

1.
Off-screen selection: facilities of a luxury hotel/conference center.
Although the auditions are not shown on TV, it is still important for the
show to radiate quality during this stage.

2.
The Blind Auditions. Intimate studio with around 250 - 500 people in
studio. The studio is in a music center (pop stage), with attractive
foyers and dressing rooms where the contestants are filmed before and
after their performance; their family and friends are filmed too.

A warm-up person creates the right atmosphere and makes sure that
the members of the audience play an active role in the show. The
reactions of the people in the room are important to make things extra
difficult for the coaches, who can only hear the contestants but cannot
see them.

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The rotating chairs for the coaches are a trademark of The Voice Of... If
the coaches press the I Want You button, the chair rotates through 180
degrees and they will see the candidate they have chosen for the first
time. Important: the contestants perform with a live band! For
recognition purposes, at least 1 life-size logo in 3D must also be clearly
visible on the stage (hand with microphone).

3.
The Battle. The contestants fight it out against one another in a genuine
boxing ring (in a studio setting). The host takes on the role of boxing
referee. The atmosphere in the room is that of a tough boxing arena.
For the location, a ‘classic’ factory or another monumental, industrial
building would be suitable. The location (studio) must evoke the
atmosphere of a genuine fight. There are approx. 700-1,000 people
audience. The surroundings of the building must also reflect this, in
connection with the exterior shots which will be filmed. The contestants
perform with the same live band as during the Blind Auditions, but with
2-3 extra band members. Here too, for recognition purposes at least 2
life-size logos in 3D must be clearly visible (hand with microphone).

4.
The live shows are large-scale in structure. With the emphasis on large-
scale. The live band has become a live orchestra. The set has Award
Show allure combined with the look and feel of a live concert, and there
are approx. 1,500 people in the audience. This will be the first time the
contestants have performed in front of a large audience.

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You must convey the feeling that this is an awesome experience for
them. Here too, for recognition purposes at least 2 life-size logos in 3D
must be clearly visible (hand with microphone) and the show must have
the feel of a TV concert as regards lighting, set and LED screens/floor.

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15. STYLING AND MAKE-UP

The show has a regular team of stylists and make-up artists. In contrast
to other talent shows, the contestants have a lot of influence. They
don't have to wear anything they don't like and we don't try to
transform them into someone they're not. There is no boring uniformity
in this show; instead, it has clear characters and types. From a rock
bitch to a singer/songwriter, and from the girl next door at the piano to
a tattooed pop artist. The clothing and make-up must maintain and
enhance the various ‘types’ and ‘characters’.

It is important for the stylists and make-up artists to be fully aware that
they must not impose their own will on the contestants. Discussion and
agreement are key elements here.

THE BLIND AUDITIONS
Contestants will bring along a selection of their own clothes to wear
during their performance. A stylist will select the most suitable outfit.
Basic make-up will be applied.

THE BATTLE
The contestants are styled, but as close to their own clothing choices as
possible. You should merely aim to improve their basic style a little.
They are not styled from top to toe. The contestants will wear more
make-up than in the Blind Auditions, although there are no total
transformations. At this stage, do not pay too much attention to their
hair either.

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LIVE
Both the styling and make-up are used to maximum effect during the
Live shows. You must still make sure that everyone keeps their own
style, but you should pay a great deal of attention to every detail and
some contestants will undergo a minor transformation as regards outfit,
make-up or hair.

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16. CANDIDATE SUPERVISION

You must make sure that the promises you communicate in the
episodes are kept behind the scenes. The Voice Of… promises that
contestants will be helped to a high level in their career. This promise
must be kept, in order to avoid negative publicity by disappointed
contestants. In addition, the close supervision of the contestants also
guarantees the quality and image of the show.

Enhancing content, monitoring quality, avoiding negative publicity and
ensuring that the production runs smoothly are the key words when it
comes to candidate supervision. This project has at least 4 people
working as full-time candidate supervisors. They are also the first point
of contact for contestants as regards questions and comments.

Members of the supervision team are always there for the contestants
at recordings, press appearances, meetings, briefings etc. When
recordings for the real-life soap are made, someone from the special
supervision team will also be present.

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THE BLIND AUDITIONS
Before they take part in The Blind Auditions, the contestants must be
aware of the possibility that their performance may not be broadcast if
none of the coaches press the I Want You button. Although a rejected
singer may not necessarily have problems coping with the rejection, for
the family and friends who have helped him or her along the way, the
disappointment can sometimes be hard to handle. The disappointment
can be twice as bad if they are not prepared for it. A disappointed
candidate can generate negative publicity.

Before The Blind Auditions, the contestants will be given close
supervision. They will be told which family members and friends they
can take with them to the studio and what kind of cooperation is
expected from their inner circle.

As well as the written instructions they need, contestants who make it
through to The Blind Auditions will also be given a special telephone
number which they can call at any time. This means they will always
have a direct line to one of the three editors/candidate supervisors who
will man this special telephone in turn. A direct line of this kind to the
team gives the contestants a lot of confidence in the team and avoids
problems (and mistrust) as a result of miscommunication.

The team will focus on supervising and guiding the contestants. Taking
care of the friends and family of the contestants is a production task in
itself.

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THE BATTLE AND LIVE
Here, the work of the supervision team becomes more and more
intensive. This is also because the presence of the contestants is
required more frequently for filming clips, meetings with the coaches
and the dream teams on camera, styling and discussions about their
performance. As the team of supervisors expands (coach, members of
the dream team, stylists, vocal coach, dance coach), it is important for
the candidate supervisors to maintain their neutral relationship with the
contestants. Contestants must feel that they can always turn to them
for honest advice.

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17. PHASE 1: THE PRE-SELECTION

The first phase of the program is the pre-selection. In this phase, you
start broadcasting promos and start looking for contestants for the
program.

The promo sequence and promo type are a compulsory part of the
format and consist of the following promo sequence/type:

1.
Promo with the falling rock/weight: in this promo, we see a man or
woman singing very badly and then being flattened by a heavy weight,
after which we see 1 or 2 very good singers (from the Blind Audition of
a Dutch episode). After the “painful audition” from the start of the
promo, the voice over takes over with the following text:

This show has only room for REAL talent. Apply on www.thevoiceof.com

This promo’s graphics will be supplied by Talpa with the correct logo and
local program title and must be broadcast before the promo with the
coaches.

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2.
Promo with the coaches: once the coaches are known, a high-quality
promo will be recorded with each coach which also refers people to the
website to apply for the show (a subtitled DVD of the promos with the
Dutch coaches is available and shows the text and look and feel for each
local promo abroad).

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17.1 SELECTION OF THE CONTESTANTS

For The Blind Auditions, you need around 150 - 160 contestants. This
means that a total of between 3000 - 4000 contestants must be called
up for the (off-screen) pre-selection in order to end up with around 150
for the (on-screen) Blind Auditions.

A minimum of 4 months are required in order to find 3000 - 4000
contestants who meet the essential condition of being able to sing well.
This means there can be no doubt about the quality and potential of
their voice.

For The Voice Of.., you are only looking for people who really can sing!
The quality of their voice is the most important thing, with the promise
that the coaches will work with the contestants to achieve a
breakthrough in their career. This is the message to be used in the
promos for potential contestants, which can be broadcast on TV after
the coaches have been chosen! Each promo shows a coach encouraging
contestants to apply for the program.

As the marketing (promos, press, etc.) immediately makes it clear that
The Voice Of… is a high-quality show with a highly professional
approach and is not about putting people down and humiliating them on
TV, there will be many applications from contestants who are seriously
trying to make a career in the music industry but who have not yet had
the breakthrough they need. No wannabes, therefore, but driven
professionals who must be treated with respect.

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You must also actively seek out (major) singing talents. Several talent
scouts must actively visit music schools, local talent contests, record
companies, cabaret and music academies, pop training courses; in brief,
they must seek out genuine singing talent!

These talent scouts (4 - 6 depending on the size of the country) will
spend at least 3 - 4 months searching for the top talents in all genres:
Rock, soul, dance, pop, urban, MOR, singer-songwriter, local. It should
be clear that these are the most important genres, but if a top reggae
singer is found, for example, or a country singer, they would also be
welcome to attend The Blind Auditions.

The talent scouts must have broad A&R experience and should therefore
come from the creative side of the music industry. This means they will
have a large network of producers, musicians, artists and other scouts,
semi-professionals, backing vocals, commercial singers/songwriters,
participants in or winners of previous TV talent shows, record companies
with many demos of new talent and the alternative circuit which has
many more musicians.

They will need to find most of the contestants in their own networks.
They will therefore need to approach people and ask them to audition
and must also be very persuasive. They will also get their contestants
from the local pop academies, conservatories, music schools, local
talent shows, the internet (YouTube) etc. They will also visit local talent
contests.

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As well as the standard application form, the website for the show also
has an online audition tool which allows contestants to audition by
means of a computer and special software which assesses and analyzes
the quality of their singing.

There are three ways of becoming a candidate:

• Via the application form on the website.

• Via the online audition tool on the website.

• Via a talent scout (record company) or tips from friends, neighbors,
family or fans, who want to bring a talent to the attention of the TV
makers.

All contestants, also those who have been found by the Talent Scouts
and the talents put forward by various record companies, will be sent to
the program's website and asked to complete an official application form
there. For a high-quality show such as The Voice Of..., from a publicity
point of view it is not desirable for the audience to feel that the program
is fixed from the start.

The first shift takes place by means of the uploaded song demos sent
along with the applications forms. Anyone who REALLY can't sing will be
dropped immediately.

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Although the site expressly asks for ‘proof’ of the candidate's singing
quality, our experience is that not everyone will send a ‘link’.

The contestants who have not sent a link will be put on the reserve list.
Our experience in the Netherlands showed that this list later provided a
few more interesting contestants. You should therefore approach these
people in a proactive way, asking them to send a link to an MP3 with a
demo of the candidate's singing abilities.

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17.2 THE OFF-SCREEN PRE-SELECTION

The off-screen pre-selection is the most crucial and most important
phase during which these talents must be found. During this period of
around 3 - 4 months, around 150 - 160 talents will be chosen to
participate in The Blind Auditions from the thousands of applications
received, via (off-screen) selection procedures in the country in which
contestants must sing in front of a (pre-) jury.

The off-screen pre-selection will separate the wannabes and freaks from
the genuine major talents. Singers with the potential to reach the ‘top’
will go through to the Blind Auditions. Unlike other talent shows, this
off-screen selection method means that the viewers will not get to see
any wannabes and untalented singers in the episodes. As the pre-
selection takes place off-screen, The Voice Of... does not involve TV
humiliation, but feel-good TV.

Contestants will have applied for the program in various ways or will
have been actively recruited by the Talent Scouts. All these applications
will be incorporated by the editorial team into a (FileMaker) system. It is
important to use a good system which saves all the info for each
candidate. In the Netherlands, we used FileMaker software and each
candidate was given a unique candidate number so that we could
quickly retrieve all the relevant info.

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All the approved contestants who have applied will be invited to sing at
one of the pre-selection days. The pre-selections take place in a
conference center or hotel where, for the off-screen auditions, two or
three rooms are set up with a table for the jury (these will NOT be the
coaches!), a camera and a good microphone to record the auditions,
and possibly a piano. There is also a general reception room where
contestants can register and wait for their turn in the audition room.
The editorial team has a separate room where they can interview
potential 'next round' contestants in order to find out more about their
background.

Hundreds of contestants will gather every day in this hotel or
conference center. After they have registered, these contestants may
individually sing three (short) songs a capella for the (pre-) jury. They
may accompany themselves during one of these songs on piano or
guitar if they wish.

The atmosphere during the pre-selection is that of a real professional
audition and the off-screen selection team will not use the harsh
criticism, jokes and cutting comments which are so typical of other
talent shows.

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17.3 THE PRE-SELECTION JURY

The members of the team carrying out this off-screen selection will be
genuine professionals. They will be able to recognize a good voice,
singing qualities and character. They will also (provisionally) assess the
development potential of a candidate. The team will make notes which
will be included in the candidate file.

This pre-selection jury consists of:

• The Executive Producer (or other key team member of the show)

• A Vocal Coach

• A Talent Scout

• A representative of The Voice Talent Agency

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17.4 SELECTION BY THE PRE-JURY

After an audition, the (pre-) jury will immediately record their verdict in
an automated system (FileMaker). A candidate will be marked as
(potentially) ‘through’ or ‘not through’ (to the next round) and brief
statements will be entered about the candidate (singing qualities, looks,
etc.). The pre-selection audition for each candidate is also recorded on
video (with perfect sound quality) and is immediately saved in an
automated video environment, with the name and candidate number.
This means that, after the pre-selections, the audition can easily be
viewed and assessed by several people from the casting team.

During this off-screen audition, the candidate will not immediately be
told whether he or she is through to the Blind Auditions. Everyone will
get a letter saying that we will let them know the results in x number of
weeks. However, potential next round contestants will be sent to the
editing room for an interview.

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THROUGH TO THE EDITORIAL TEAM
After an audition, if the pre-jury think they have a potential participant
for The Blind Auditions, this candidate will be sent to the editorial team
immediately after his/her audition for the pre-jury. Here, a brief
discussion takes place in order to find out more about the candidate's
background and life. This discussion will look more closely at the
candidate's potential as regards the content (storylines) of the show.
The candidate does not yet know that he/she might have been selected.
All the details are saved once again by the editorial team in the
automated (FileMaker) system.

CANDIDATE FILE
A separate file is therefore created for each candidate (including
photos). The file contains all the details relating to the candidate. For
example, this folder will contain a copy of the candidate contract / quit
claim. It also contains specific information about the candidate's family
and background, as well as the comments of the selection team and
later also the comments of the coaches. This could quite often be
‘sensitive’ information. These could be very personal things about a
candidate, or surprising characteristics which the program makers want
to keep a secret. For this reason, the candidate files are only intended
for the ‘top’ of the production team.

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COACH PREFERENCE
A question, which each candidate will need to answer, is which coach
they would prefer. With this knowledge, the contestants for the later
Blind Auditions can be distributed among the episodes to ensure a
sufficiently good range of preferences. Otherwise, the contestants for
one coach could already ‘pile up’ in the first episode.

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17.5 MIX OF SINGING QUALITIES AND
PERSONALITY

During the pre-selection phase, it is important for the selection team to
select the best singers from the group of thousands of applications.
Although the quality of the voice is the essential factor, during the off-
screen pre-selection process you must also look at the other qualities
and possibilities of a candidate, i.e. the personality/character/
background/drama (how good they would be on TV). A mix of good
singers and strong characters is extremely important in order to have
the best possible selection of contestants in a single episode.

One condition for this program is that a strong character must ALSO
have a good (or at least reasonable) voice, in any case good enough to
take part in The Voice Of… Don't forget that within the selection of 150 -
160 contestants attending the auditions, you only need to find 56 (4 x
14) contestants to go through to the next round (The Battle). It is
therefore also important to look for good contestants who might be
marked as NOT THROUGH during the Blind Auditions (or in whose case
none of the coaches press the I Want You button). There must be a
minimum of 25 contestants with a reasonable to good voice (they must
never have a bad voice) who are mainly suitable contestants for The
Blind Auditions because of their personality or looks.

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So in the casting, you mainly look for genuine singing talent and this is
what makes The Voice Of… truly different. But, as said, from experience
it became very clear that personality is just as important and that you
must also pay attention to this aspect. So there is a great risk that of
the 150 contestants who take part in The Blind Auditions, many end up
on the cutting room floor immediately after the recording because they
have little or nothing to offer in terms of personality. So remember; this
show is also about building and telling stories! There are a lot of sweet
young girls who have a nice voice but lack conviction, a good story or a
special personality. In the editing, this can result in a lack of interesting
contestants who do not make it through, which makes it difficult to
maintain a good variety of contestants over 5 episodes with some going
through and some not making the grade.

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17.6 INTERIM EVALUATIONS

After each selection day, there will be an evaluation with all the pre-
juries present. Each pre-jury will present the contestants they feel
should go through to the Blind Auditions. The jury members of the other
‘rooms’ and members of the casting team will view the tapes together
and listen to the vocal qualities. By means of a majority of votes, at the
end of the day the group will then decide whether a candidate ends up
on the shortlist as a potential candidate for the Blind Auditions.

After each new pre-selection day/round, meetings will be held to
establish the total mix, or the total so far. Here, we examine how many
potential contestants we already have and whether specific contestants
are still required (genres, types), in which case the Talent Scouts will
have to actively seek out these contestants. In this case, extra off-
screen auditions will have to be scheduled a few weeks later.

During these meetings, we also keep examining the total number of real
talents on board. The ‘lesser talents’ or ‘double talents’ (the same types,
genres) can also be dropped here, so that after each pre-selection day
there is always a fresh update of potential talent.

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One pitfall with this program is thinking too far ahead and looking at
things like appearance, age and image during the first selection round.
The team doing the off-screen selection must avoid the tendency to
choose characters and darlings far too early. However, the selection
team must not completely ignore matters such as appearance, flair,
personality and other promising characteristics.

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17.7 200 SUITABLE CONTESTANTS

After around 200 suitable contestants (the shortlist) have been found
and each member of the casting team and The Voice Talent Agency is
convinced that sufficient talent has been found, the casting will stop and
the next phase in the pre-selections will begin: reducing the total
number to around 150 contestants who will definitely take part in the
Blind Auditions.

When drawing up the shortlist of 200 contestants, you must pay
attention to the following:

• Singing qualities (outstanding voice!).

• Age (18 - 50).

• Whether there is a surprising contrast between the candidate's
appearance/looks and voice.

• Whether the candidate can accompany him- or herself on an
instrument.

• Whether the candidate is already famous to some extent – as a
singer or for some other reason. A winner of a talent show, or a child
of famous parents, for example.

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• Personality/character (potential for development into a real star).

• Music genre.

• Backgrounds/interesting stories (drama).

• Coach preference.

• Duo or individual.

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17.8 PUTTING THE SONGS TOGETHER

During the pre-selections, the (music) editorial team must also select
60 - 100 songs to be sung during the Blind Auditions.

The list of 60 - 100 songs must represent all genres: pop, rock, pop
rock, singer/songwriter, ballads, up-tempo, mid-tempo, domestic,
foreign etc.

The condition is that all the songs must be recognizable to the viewer
and must be catchy (i.e. they must be commercial). The songs are
always from the top 10 from 1980 to the current time and must (still)
be played frequently by popular radio stations when the show is
recorded.

All these songs must be ‘cut’ to a version lasting one and a half minutes
for The Blind Auditions. It is important for the songs to be cut properly.
The basic principle is couplet, refrain, bridge. The couplet will often have
to be cut in order to quickly arrive at a recognizable section (i.e. the
refrain). The bridge often gives contestants an extra opportunity to
show what they are made of.

After ‘the cuts’ have been approved, these songs are written in sheet
music form for the audition band which will accompany all the talents
live during The Blind Auditions (see the arrangements section).

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17.9 200 CONTESTANTS CHOOSE A
SONG

On the basis of a list of 100 songs compiled by the editorial team, the
contestants are allowed to ‘rank’ 50 of these songs. Number 1 will be
their most favorite and number 50 their least favorite.

From this list of favorites, the editorial team and Music Director will
choose the song which the contestants must sing during their second
pre-selection round and therefore also during the Blind Auditions (if
they are among the last 150 - 160 contestants who will actually take
part in The Blind Auditions; contestants may therefore still be
eliminated during this second pre-selection round). The contestants can
therefore state their preference for a particular song, but in the end the
editorial team will work out which song is most suitable for the
candidate. This is also in order to avoid some of the songs being chosen
too frequently.

The 200 or so contestants (the shortlist) will be told before their last
pre-selection which song they will have to sing (and which song they
will therefore also sing during The Blind Auditions). They will be emailed
an MP3 of a cut version of the song lasting 1 minute and 30 seconds.
They will also receive a copy of the lyrics so that they have time to learn
the song thoroughly at home.

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17.10 FROM 200 TO 150 CONTESTANTS

The contestants on the shortlist (around 200) will be invited to attend
the last off-screen round.

On this last selection day, each candidate has 10 minutes to work on
the chosen song together with a Vocal Coach and the band’s pianist.
During this session, the definitive key for the song will also be
established to give the candidate the best possible chance of a good
performance.

During this session, the pianist and the Vocal Coach will also carry out
an assessment. They will advice the program team of their findings
about each candidate's vocal qualities: average – good – outstanding.

On this day, the contestants on the shortlist will also be given an in-
depth interview by the editorial team, away from the cameras. This is in
order to gather extra information about their particular backgrounds.
This information will be added to the existing candidate file.

Based on this advice and their own experiences (personality,
performance, star quality, etc.), the selection team (consisting of the
Executive Producer and key members of the program team) will make a
last selection, reducing the size of the group from around 200 to around
150 - 160 contestants.

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After this process it is important to take another critical look at the mix
of songs that the contestants will sing. The mix might have become
unbalanced because of the loss of several contestants in the second and
last pre-selection round. For some contestants, this could mean that
their chosen song will have to be replaced with another preference and
that the key will have to be worked out in a separate session. A song
can only be sung a maximum of 2 to 3 times during The Blind Audition
recordings.

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17.11 THE INTERVIEW DAY

Now that all 150 contestants for The Blind Auditions are known, it's time
for the so-called interview day. As the recording days of The Blind
Auditions leave little time to get good (individual) quotes, everyone will
also be interviewed a few weeks before the Blind Audition days, because
there is no time for this during The Blind Audition days.

In a studio setting, 2 large projection screens will be set up. By means
of a projector, the graphic elements of The Voice Of… will be projected
onto both screens slightly out of focus. This is the background of the
interview setting. It is comparable to a quote setting against a green
screen, however for this program we have chosen a more innovative
variant. We had two video screens measuring around 3 x 2 meters set
up in a V shape. These showed the (graphic) design of The Voice Of…
The (HD) camera was on a dolly track and moved slowly from left to
right during the interview. The combination of these elements
(projection, HD recordings, dolly and rails) makes it possible to zoom in
when editing without a loss of quality. This lends a new and higher-
quality dimension to the standard quote setting.

Using the candidate file, the editorial team will prepare the questions to
be asked during this recording session. It is important to also ask about
nerves, expectations, reasons for taking part, coach preference etc..
The interview must ‘enhance’ the candidate's personality. It is also a
combination of serious questions and ‘fun’.

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Contestants who say they have a great voice can sing something
already at this stage, contestants can make the V (Voice) logo with their
fingers and sing ‘I am The Voice Of Holland’ etc.

After this day, the intention is that you will have a stock of interviews
and quotes for each candidate that you can use for the editing of the
Blind Auditions.

The contestants who are presented ‘blind’ in the episode must therefore
also be filmed ‘blind’ in this section (in silhouette). As you might want to
present extra contestants ‘blind’ in the final editing, it is a good idea to
film at least 25 extra contestants on a ‘blind’ basis. By this, we mean
that contestants who have not in principle been marked as blind in the
composition can be filmed both ‘blind’ and in the normal way, to make
sure you have plenty of choice in the final editing. And never forget that
you will actually only use 5 episodes x 12-16 contestants of the 150
contestants in your edit.

The contestants who you will film receiving an envelope do not need to
be filmed on this interview day.

On these days, we will also give the contestants advice about what to
wear and they will be told that they may not change anything about
their appearance before the Blind Audition recordings and that they
must wear the same clothes they are wearing during these interview
recordings (for the sake of continuity). Various quotes and statements
from these interviews will be used in the introductory clips for the Blind
Audition episodes.

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17.12 STEP-BY-STEP: THE PRE-
SELECTIONS

• Draw up candidate contract.

• Create website (+ online tool for auditions).

• Call for contestants / promos with the falling rock and separate
promos with the coaches (TV/radio/print).

• Talent scouting (x number of talent scouts will search the whole
country).

• 3000 - 4000 contestants to audition in conference center/hotel.

• Selection team will choose around 200 contestants for shortlist.

• Compile list of 100 songs to be selected for Blind Auditions.

• Contestants choose a song and rehearse.

• From the shortlist of 200 contestants, select the final 150-160
contestants for the Blind Auditions.

• Interview recording days (2 - 3).

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17.13 PRE-SELECTION STARTING POINTS

• Right from the start, you must communicate that the most important
requirement for this program is that the contestants must really be
able to sing very well! Explain that this program differs from the
existing talent shows.

• Do not limit the candidate recruitment process to the TV and
internet. You should also get record companies and other people in
the music industry to offer their talents. Use ads in newspapers and
music magazines, but also promos on radio.

• Send out your own scouting teams, to music schools, singing and
dance academies, local talent contests etc. The world of semi-
professional singers is an attractive source of talent.

• Launch a website, containing info about the program, the rules and
an application form. The site should also contain information about
other social media.

• Use social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook to find
contestants.

• Actively look for talent via YouTube. Many would-be singers put clips
of themselves on there in the hope of being discovered. Approach
these YouTube talents in a proactive way.

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• Make sure that the contestants can audition online via the site
(ONLINE AUDITION) and launch this site at the same time as you
broadcast the promos calling for contestants.

• Make sure that the contestants are given very good supervision.

• Create a personal file for each participant, and use it to record all the
information about the candidate. Both the personal backgrounds of
the participants and everything that happens with the contestants
during the production will be recorded in this file.

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17.14 THE CANDIDATE CONTRACT

It is absolutely compulsory to ask all of the contestants to sign a
contract (TV contract and separate music contract) even before they
have taken part in the Blind Auditions. As many of the contestants are
already (semi-) professional, often write their own music and lyrics,
have a manager and sometimes even a recording contract, the contract
requires careful attention.

Particular attention must be paid to the music clauses in the contract.
Because of candidate confidentiality and credibility and in order to avoid
negative publicity, in Holland we draw up the agreement in consultation
with a musicians' union.

On the last selection day, the music contract will be handed to the
contestants. The contract will be explained by a lawyer to the talents as
a group. After this, there will be an opportunity to ask questions in an
individual session. The contestants will be given 5 - 10 days' thinking
time to read the contract. Within this period, the contract must be
signed and returned to the editorial team. If the contract has not been
signed and returned within 5 - 10 days, the candidate may not
participate in the Blind Auditions.

In order to prevent a contract being leaked, all the contracts have a
specific watermark (number).

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18. PHASE 2: THE BLIND AUDITIONS

The first five episodes of The Voice Of... are taken up by the Blind
Auditions. Right from the start, the production value and singing
level are extremely high. The Blind Auditions are therefore held on a
pop stage in front of a big and excited audience and with the
singers being accompanied by a LIVE band.

Every candidate starts off with the same first challenge: The Blind
Audition. The coaches are unable to see the contestants, they can
only hear them. They will purely judge them on their singing talent
and technique and not on their looks. Because when someone has a
real talent, their looks should be of secondary importance.

During this first Blind Audition, the four coaches that will be judging
are seated on special chairs. Before the contestants take their place
on the stage, these chairs turn around 180 degrees ensuring that
the artists are seated with their backs to the contestants.
Preventing them from seeing them in any way.

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TOUCH MEANS TURN
Each individual coach has the whole duration of the audition to decide
whether he(1) is charmed by what he hears. If he is blown away by a
voice, he can press the “I Want You” button in front of him. If he
decides to do this, his chair will immediately turn round to face the
candidate. This is the first time that the coach actually comes face to
face with the candidate and can see what he or she looks like... This can
be quite a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant. Of course the coach can
speak his mind once he sees the talent, for instance: what does he think
of the candidate’s looks, his or her style, and of the total performance.
But once the coach has pressed the button, there’s no way back. Once
chosen, the candidate remains chosen!

If none of the coaches press their “I Want You” button, the talent in
question will be sent straight home. And that can be a real shame,
because what if the girl with the just-not-quite-perfect voice turns out
to have fantastic looks and the personality to match?

1
Every time the male form is used, the female form can of course also be read.

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If only one of the coaches picks a talent, the deal is sealed. He will be
coaching the talent during all other episodes. But if more than one
coach is vying for one of the talents, and several of the “I Want You”
lights are burning, the stakes are raised. In that event, it’s up to the
talent to decide who they want to have as their mentor and coach! Who
do they feel is the ideal coach to build their career with and finally make
their dream take off? And why? Duos that audition can be judged
individually or as a duo. It might be the case that only half of the duo is
picked by a coach. For the duo this causes a dilemma: do they remain
loyal to one another and choose to leave the show as a unit, or is this
unique chance too big to pass up and do they decide to go their
separate ways? How important do friendships prove to be when it really
comes down to it?

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18.1 WHAT DO WE SEE IN A BLIND
AUDITION EPISODE?

The Blind Audition
Each episode (70 minutes net) has room for approximately 12 - 16
complete Blind Auditions, including 2 - 4 Blind Auditions of contestants
who were not chosen / for which none of the coaches pressed the
button (the total number of auditions depends on the total length of the
episodes).

The Portrait/Cover Story/(Blind) Introduction/Reality segments
A so-called ‘portrait’ is made of every candidate a few weeks before the
recording of the Blind Auditions. Each talent is in front of two projection
screens for their portrait piece, while the graphics of The Voice Of… are
projected onto it. Interviews (candidate with the host, candidate with
the reporter, host with family/friends of the candidate, host with the
coaches) and reality segments (following the candidate behind the
scenes with and without the host, candidate being reunited with
family/friends after the audition, following family/friends of the
candidate during the Blind Audition) will also be filmed during the Blind
Audition recording days (before and after each audition).

The Envelope
A few contestants are surprised on location – for instance while they are
at home, at work or maybe during a jam session – with the great news
that they have made it through to the actual blind audition rounds.

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The Online Audition
A few contestants are selected via the online audition. This is also a
sponsor moment. (In the case of the Dutch production of the show The
Voice of Holland, the sponsor was Vodafone.)

The Audition and reality before and after the Auditions
The basic show elements are combined with reality images of the
contestants on the actual Blind audition day, potentially along with an
interview done by the presenter just moments before they are about to
take the stage for their first appearance. The story behind the
contestant can also start running just before they walk onto the stage.
And it can be backed up by a pre-filmed interview.

The host talks to contestants who have an interesting story. He
therefore doesn’t talk to everyone. Talents who won’t necessarily
provide one of the most interesting storylines can simply be filmed by
the team and a reporter. The big amount of lead-up stories and exciting
messages on social media – like Twitter and Facebook – will also be
included in some introductions.

And then it’s finally time for the Blind Audition! The chairs of the
coaches are turned away from the audience tribune and the contestant
can take it away.

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The host follows the performance step by step. He can decide to
accompany some of the talents after their performance or maybe have
a quick chat with the coaches if necessary. During the auditions the host
takes on the roll of flying goalie (as The Blind Auditions are really
between the candidate and the coaches, in Holland we chose to always
have the host watching the action backstage with or without the
family/friends of the candidate in question and almost never in the
studio where the auditions were being held, unless certain situations
occur in which case you can decide on an individual basis whether the
host should be in the studio).

Meanwhile friends, family and/or classmates of the contestants can
closely follow the Blind Audition on several plasma screens backstage.
After the Blind Audition, the talent makes his/her way back there and is
greeted by supporters to welcome them with happy cheers… or
disappointed hugs. And of course the presenter checks just how joyful
or sad the contestants are themselves!

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18.2 THE COMPOSITION

Finally, the 150 - 160 audition contestants and the choice of audition
song will have been worked out. For The Blind Auditions, the important
thing now is to compose the 5 episodes VIRTUALLY. This composition
will be used as a guide for planning the audition days and the
composition of the edit. Experience shows that 60% of this composition
will correspond with the composition of the actual broadcast.

All episodes will be planned out on 5 large foam boards. Each episode
therefore has 30 contestants. In the Netherlands, we used the following
planning structure:

• COVER STORY (5 contestants per episode)
These are contestants with an unusual story or a strong personality. A
more detailed portrait of these contestants is drawn up during the Blind
Audition day. These contestants are definitely expected to feature in an
episode.

• ENVELOPE (6 contestants per episode)
These are contestants who are paid a surprise visit at home or on
location with an envelope and the news that they have been selected for
The Blind Auditions. Here, you should look out for unusual situations for
a candidate, and these contestants often have an unusual personality
too.

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• BLIND (5 contestants per episode)
These are contestants who stand out because of their looks in contrast
with their voice. Here, one could mention a small female with the voice
of a big black soul diva. Or a tough-looking guy with a high voice. An
overweight girl with a wonderful voice. Or perhaps a boy with fantastic
looks but a voice which is less good. These contestants are filmed
‘blind’. Both during the interview days (2 - 3 weeks before the Blind
Audition days) and the day on which the Auditions are filmed, you only
reveal during the Auditions what this person looks like. The interview is
therefore in silhouette, during the arrival and backstage section you
only see details of this person and also during the first 30 seconds of
his/her Audition, you only see details (hands, feet, etc.).

• OUTSTANDING SINGING (5 contestants per episode)
The backbone of the program. For each episode, you need 5 contestants
who can sing extremely well. Contestants who will amaze the viewer
with their vocal qualities.

• BRIEF (9 contestants per episode)
These are the ‘remaining’ contestants. Contestants who do not stand
out particularly because of their looks, story or singing abilities. They
are not specifically taken into account, however this group may certainly
contain contestants who are chosen by a coach. However, in the first
phase they appeared to be of average interest

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In the end, 5 episodes must be put together with the variety mentioned
above. You must take this composition into account when planning the
recording days. You can also estimate which contestants the coaches
will press the button for, or which contestants you would very much like
the coaches to press the button for (outstanding personalities with a
reasonable singing voice).

After this, you can put together the recording days for The Blind
Auditions. Take a good mix and balance into account.

For example:
Candidate 1 Brief Man
Candidate 2 Cover Story Woman
Candidate 3 Blind Woman
Candidate 4 Outstanding Singing Man
Candidate 5 Envelope Duo
Candidate 6 Brief Man
Candidate 7 Brief Woman
Candidate 8 Blind Man
Candidate 9 Outstanding Singing Woman
Candidate 10 Cover Story Duo
Candidate 11 Envelope Man
Etc.

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Also keep an eye on the ratio between possible THROUGH and NOT
THROUGH contestants; contestants you think the coaches will press the
button for and contestants you think the coaches will not press the
button for. Make sure there is a good range. This is important for the
experience of the coaches and the experience in studio. Of course,
every now and then it is also a good idea to put two very strong singers
one after the other to ensure the surprise factor. Otherwise the show
will become too predictable for the coaches and the audience. In
addition, you must make sure that the same songs do not feature too
close to one another.

In your planning, you must also take into account the preferences of the
contestants for a particular coach. Make sure you achieve the right
balance for this in the composition.

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18.3 RECORDING THE ENVELOPES

As well as filming the pre-recorded interviews, you must also pre-record
the so-called envelopes. These are the contestants who will be filmed on
location (at home, work or in an unusual location) receiving an envelope
telling them they have been selected for The Bind Auditions.

In the Netherlands, we filmed 3 envelopes a day (therefore 10 days in
total). The preproduction of these filming days and the presentation of
the envelopes must of course take place without the candidate's prior
knowledge. He or she should have no clue what is about to happen and
must be taken by surprise. The preproduction often takes place via
parents, friends or colleagues. The important thing is that they must
never tell the candidate what is going on.

In this envelopes item, you are trying to capture the candidate's
surprise and joy because he or she has been selected for The Blind
Auditions. Let friends and colleagues give their reactions and ensure a
party atmosphere. These clips also provide a glimpse into the
real/normal life of the candidate, and you must therefore ensure that
you are filming in locations that are typical of the candidate.

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18.4 THE ARRANGEMENTS

After the songs were cut to a version lasting a minute and a half, the
arranger started writing the sheet music. Once the sheet music has
been written for all 60 - 100 songs, it is time to rehearse and record all
the songs with the band.

In a sound studio, the band will record all the songs in 2 days. These
sessions must be planned in good time and take place about 2 weeks
before the start of The Blind Auditions. The band will play the songs in
the specific key required for the candidate in question. This means that
a song will sometimes have to be recorded two or three times because
the key will be different for each candidate.

All these songs will be recorded in the sound studio. After the recording
session, each candidate will be sent his or her specific version (in the
right key) in MP3 format. This will give the contestants plenty of time to
practice at home with the right arrangements.

The above method ensures that the maximum quality of singing and
teamwork between the band and the candidate is achieved during The
Blind Auditions.

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18.5 REHEARSALS WITH THE BAND

Before the start of The Blind Audition recordings, there will be two
rehearsal days on the recording location. Only the candidate, the band,
the Music Director, a Vocal Coach and the program team will be
present.

This allows all the contestants to rehearse their songs on the stage with
the band. This takes place 2 days before the real Blind Auditions. This
method provides a last quality boost to make sure that the singing is as
good as possible. The contestants also get a certain feeling of security
as the location, routing and stage will not be new to them during the
real Blind Auditions. In brief, the contestants will be used to the band
and vice versa, the contestants will be familiar with the stage and will
know what kind of performance is possible for them.

Each candidate will sing his or her song once or twice. They will be
given tips about their performance by the program team. In addition,
the microphone technique (the correct use of the microphone) and use
of the floor monitors (speakers through which the candidate hears the
music) often require attention or coaching.

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In addition, the routing during the Blind Audition days will be clearly
explained to the contestants on this day. The key members of the
program team will be present to give the contestants a final explanation
about what will happen on the Blind Audition days and will give the
contestants individual support and briefing. Every possible matter will
be covered (where do I walk onto the stage, where do I leave the stage,
where do I stand after I have sung my song, when might a chair turn
round, what happens if none of the coaches presses the I Want You
button, etc.).

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18.6 IN STUDIO: THE BLIND AUDITIONS

After the 150 - 160 contestants have been selected, it's time for the
coaches to select 14 contestants each (or 13 if the Wild Card option is
used) during the Blind Auditions. Selection on the basis of the voice
alone is the most important starting point and for this reason the
coaches sit facing away from the contestants during the audition. After
all, everything revolves around the voice; it is the very soul of the
program. For this reason, the coaches cannot see the contestants, they
can only go by what their ears are telling them. Beauty and flair, an
unusual image and allure have no influence on them.

The specially designed rotating chairs are therefore also important for
the coaches. The model of chair removes any doubt from the minds of
the people in the room and the viewers: the coaches cannot catch even
the slightest glimpse of the contestants. These rotating chairs are (of
course) a compulsory element of the Blind Auditions!

As well as the competition between the contestants, the mutual rivalry
between the coaches takes centre stage, because they all want to be
responsible for that new major talent at the end of the journey called
The Voice Of…!

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For this reason, there are many moments that the director and the
cameramen must look out for, which they cannot and must not miss.
The body language of the singing contestants during the Blind Audition
is one of these. While they are standing there singing, you can
sometimes see them waiting almost desperately for the moment of
salvation when one of the coaches' chairs turns round.

The reactions and faces of the coaches are also essential. Faces that
speak volumes while they are listening, not to mention the surprise,
irritation and sometimes amazement shown by the coaches when they
see who they have chosen. Or who they have just let walk away. The
bluffing and poker faces of the coaches when they turn round (or do not
turn round) also form an important aspect of the show.

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18.7 ELEMENTS OF THE BLIND
AUDITIONS

• The auditions and selections by the coaches
There are an average of 12 - 16 full auditions in an episode lasting 70
minutes. In these five episodes of the Blind Auditions, the coaches
determine which contestants will go through to The Battle. That means
14 contestants per coach. In the case of a shared coaching spot (for
example a duo), the duo will also have 14 contestants between them. If
the Wild Card option is used, you need 13 contestants (+ 1 Wild Card).

• Introduction of the contestants
As regards form and content, there are various different options for the
introduction.

THE ENVELOPE
You can surprise a candidate who has survived the off-screen selection
– with the camera running – with an envelope saying that he/she has
made it through to The Blind Auditions (see previous section).

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Examples: if the candidate comes from a well-known musician's family,
the clip can be filmed within the family circle. But it may also involve a
candidate with a ‘dramatic’ life story or there may be other reasons to
film an introductory clip.

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INTERVIEWS
All the contestants will be interviewed by the host or a reporter during
the Blind Audition days before and after their audition.

BLIND INTRODUCTION
The clips which we call the ‘blind introduction’ require special attention.
The aim of these clips is to allow the viewer to experience what the
coaches are going through when they have to decide whether or not to
choose a candidate based purely on what their ears are telling them.
This allows the viewers to experience along with the coach how difficult
this is. Several times per show, before the performance we will also
leave the viewer in the dark as regards the age, appearance and other
features of a candidate, and the viewer will also only get to hear the
voice for a while without seeing the singer. The excitement about the
performance is built up with a film clip which, for example, only shows
the candidate's feet on their way to the studio.

When filming these blind introductory clips, the art is not to make
standard choices. So don't always pick out the large older lady with the
voice of a little girl or the skinhead who sings like a choirboy. That is
boring and predictable!

The element of surprise for the viewers also lies in the ‘born star with
the supervoice’ who they do not immediately get to see.

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• Reality
The contestants are followed behind the scenes before and after their
auditions. These reality moments are placed in the line-up for the edit.
This may take place in the presence of the host or just with a reporter.

• Host interview
Contestants with an unusual story are given a host interview: a chat
before they go into the studio to do their audition. The host can also
interview the family and friends of the contestants. A chat with the
coaches is another option.

• Confrontation with family and friends
This involves the candidate meeting the waiting inner circle after his/her
performance.

Even during the off-screen selection, you must look out for the unusual
clips you could film in order to introduce the contestants during the
blind auditions. They are called introductory clips but their purpose far
exceeds this.

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A few examples will make this clear:

• The candidate is definitely not a beginner and already has experience
and a certain level of popularity. Or already has some level of fame.

• The candidate is the child of famous parents or comes from a well-
known musical family.

• The voice and appearance of the candidate form a remarkable
combination.

• The candidate has additional skills. For example, he or she might play
an instrument or have an unusual act that gives his or her
performance that special something.

• It might not just be one candidate, but a duo or a group. Mother and
daughters. Identical twins.

• The candidate has a moving life story or has gone through something
dramatic.

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18.8 BLIND AUDITION STRUCTURE

For each episode, you must record more auditions than you will
ultimately use for the episode.

Between 150 and 160 contestants will take part in the Blind Auditions.
5 recording days are required for this.

The line-up has room for 12 - 16 contestants per episode (70 minutes
net). This includes the contestants chosen by the coaches and 2-4
contestants who were NOT chosen by one of the coaches! Many
contestants who are eliminated during the Blind Auditions will therefore
not end up in an episode (around 3 per episode). For each complete
Blind Audition (including the introduction, blind audition, comments by
the coaches, being reunited with family/friends), you must take into
account a broadcast time of 5 minutes.

In order to build up tension and to distribute the choices made by the
coaches evenly over five episodes, it is important that the auditions
which were held on different recording days are cross-cut during
editing.

In order to avoid a problem with continuity, the coaches must wear the
same clothes every day. This makes it possible to cross-cut auditions
from days 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in a single episode.

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During the Blind Auditions, the contestants will get one and a half
minutes for their performance, which ends with the decision of the
coaches and the reason for this decision.

In the line-up and scripts, the various kinds of clips that can be used to
introduce the contestants are called ‘Cover Story’, ‘Envelope’,
‘Outstanding Singing’, ‘Brief’ and ‘Blind’. The type of introduction for a
candidate is a content-related decision that depends on the balance
required by the line-up.

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18.9 RECORDING AND EDITING

Next to the multicam (studio) camera’s, 5 camera crews (1 being a
steadycam) are recording ‘behind the scenes’.

The 5 camera crews each need approx. 2 hours to record all general
shots (and part of the interviews in main foyer) before the multicam
crew starts filming the actual auditions in studio.

On an audition day the contestants arrive in 2 shifts (before and after
lunch or dinner break). As (in principle) you have already captured a big
part of each candidate's story during the interview days, during the
audition days you record a lot of inserts to make this interview more
fun. You record general shots of waiting contestants and the make-up
team at work, as well as obtaining extra interviews (also with family and
friends). Here, the interviews were about the excitement of the day,
expectations and family members and friends were introduced. The
most interesting contestants were also interviewed by the host.

Using the steadycam, each candidate was filmed walking into the
building, into the waiting room and through the door to the backstage
area.

In the dressing room used by the coaches, at the beginning (and end)
of each day you need to record brief interviews about their (the
coaches’) expectations. Also you need to record statements from the
coaches (expectations, looking back at choices/contestants) in the
studio recordings breaks and at the end of the studio recordings day.

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As soon as the multicam crew starts filming, the camera crews head off
to several fixed locations.

During a recording day, the contestants will pass through several
‘stations’; these are the moments during which TV/content/reality is
made. There are 5 of these ‘stations’ in total. These are as follows:

Station 1 - The Foyer (2 camera crews):
This is the place where all the contestants for that recording day will get
together with their Inner Circle members (at least 3, max. 5). Two
camera crews will film the entrance stories here. This will take place
with a commentator or with the host. These camera crews will also film
the contestants walking onto the stage and then walking to the
Backstage room afterwards. One camera crew will take position
‘Reception 2’ after the majority of interviews is done. This team also
keeps track of whether returning contestants need to give a last
reaction (station 5).

Station 2 – Backstage (1 camera crew):
This is the place where the candidate must wait for his/her entrance
onto the stage. This is where we build up the suspense at the last
minute and get several quotes about the nerves of the candidate and
his or her last expectations (hope). This area is preferably right next to
the stage so you can and really sense the candidate's tension here. In
order to emphasize this, you can light this area in a tense blue.

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A lot of general shots are also filmed here: the candidate coming in
from the lift, waiting on the flight case, waiting by the door and walking
onto the stage. A few extra quotes were also obtained here. These were
mainly about the suspense and excitement, or emphasized the
candidate's story once again.

Station 3 - The Audition Room / The Stage (multicam):
This is where the multicam crew takes over and the recording of the
audition takes place.

Before a candidate comes on stage, the multicam crew must first record
the waiting coaches and the audience a few times. These shots can be
used to good effect to further improve the build-up of suspense just
before the performance.

For editing purposes, it is also important to have enough reaction shots
of the coaches during the blind audition. You must tell the coaches to
express their feelings and emotions as much as possible during these
auditions.

Station 4 - Reception Area 1 with Inner Circle (2 camera crews):
This is where the Inner circle (family, friends, etc.) of the candidate can
watch their candidate on screens (viewing the room/audition). The
reactions and emotions of the family are followed by the camera crew.

At the end of the audition, the candidate will go immediately to this
area. This must be located very close to the audition room, so that the
candidate is still feeling his/her first emotion when he or she arrives.

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Two camera crews and the host will film the Inner Circle and the
candidate's initial reaction. When the candidate comes out, a logo loop
appeares on this monitor wall. This is generally the position where the
host is. This means that he can also be on the stage very quickly if
necessary.

Station 5 - Reception Area 2 (1 camera crew):
At this second reception area (often involving some stairs and a short
distance away from the first reception area), there is a camera crew to
record the second reaction of the candidate with his or her family.
Experience shows that contestants only tend to really ‘break’ at this
second reception area. Here too, we shoot footage of the disappointed
or happy contestants leaving the Audition building with their families.

Working with a second reception area means that you can be sure of
capturing every reaction. Some Inner Circle (family, friends, etc.) are
also located here. A first family (family of contestant A) can be in the
first reception area, so the second family (family of contestant B) can be
in the second reception area and the next family (family of contestant
C) can again be in the first reception area as soon as the other family is
done with recordings. This ensures that the multicam / studio never has
‘to wait’ for the other camera teams (behind the scenes).

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EDITING A BLIND AUDITION EPISODE
The ideal situation is for all the auditions to be pre-edited first (in
separate independent blocks) and then for the audition programs to be
compiled. This is because it is difficult to evaluate an audition based
only on the multicam footage. In fact, it is the sum of the various
camera teams and the multicam that make the candidate's story
complete.

The build up of an episode:

Cold open
A hysterical edit of all the highlights and one-liners from the show. The
format is always explained here too. This cold open flows seamlessly
into the leader

Leader
Opening presentation by the host. Interview block with the coaches.
Over the course of a minute, show a quote by each coach stating what
he or she is looking for and his or her expectations.

The auditions
12 - 16 auditions then follow. The structure is as follows; the first
audition always features someone who represents the entire format.
This means someone with a huge ambition to be a singer, who makes
an enormous impression on the coaches.

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This contestant has an enthusiastic family watching along on the
monitor and who went mad with joy when he made it through, but it
could also be someone who just failed to get through and was very
disappointed because he didn't make it (to emphasize one more time
how high the standards are).

The second candidate is always very good too, to confirm once again
how good the contestants were. This is often followed by a candidate
who does not get through (preferably crying). In the end, around 10
contestants out of the 12 – 16 will go through in each episode, meaning
that 2 or 6 would not.

It goes without saying that exciting moments are always positioned
before a break, to make sure there is always a good cliffhanger to the
next part. The last contestants of the show are always the best, so that
each episode works up to a climax, with the final singer either being
extremely good or leaving the viewer with a huge feel-good moment.

Sometimes a candidate's story is cut together with someone else's
story. This makes it possible to present 2 contestants at once. This
works best with stories with an enormous contrast (the folk singer and
the cool rock dude, the love & peace girl with the guy from the army
etc.). You should never do this for the first candidate because you want
to show an audition as quickly as possible.

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The editing pace is relatively slow and has a lot of story telling. The
entire program does not contain any clips or quick-fire blocks, except if
a voice-over opportunity is required.

The music
The music for The Blind Auditions is always feel-good music which
generally comes from the charts. Film/drama music is only used if the
subject calls for it (i.e. something very exciting, sad or euphoric). The
intention is to have a slight pop/dance music feel for The Blind Auditions
and to have a more serious and more impressive feel (a lot of
film/drama music) for The Battle. A great deal of music clips should be
used to keep the pace going!

Humor
As we do not get to see any bad contestants during this talent show,
you should mainly try to add humor through music. In the storytelling,
you should try to turn the contestants into characters as much as
possible (the nervous girl, the reggae guy, the opera diva). In Holland
(original version) any events which did not serve the story line in
question ended up on the cutting room floor, after that we looked for
music which really suited the candidate's personality to ensure a strong
block.

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18.10 BLIND AUDITION WORKFLOW

Experience has taught us that you cannot get through 30 - 35 blind
auditions per recording day if the production team does not operate to a
strict schedule when recording The Blind Auditions. Not only must there
be a quick changeover of the inner circle in the studio for each
candidate, there are also 5 - 6 camera crews running around behind the
scenes to film the reality part of the show (including the interviews with
the host, the family, the contestants walking into the studio, backstage
footage just before the audition).

Each camera crew will be accompanied by a reporter / item director
and/or editorial producer who knows exactly when and where he should
be and who he should be there with. You are operating according to a
tight schedule that is also laid down in the script, which shows the
photos of everyone who must be interviewed and where and when this
must happen.

The art also lies in the preproduction. Make sure there are ‘hotseats’
everywhere so that contestants and the Inner Circle (family, friends,
etc.) can be in the right places in good time. For example, in the Foyer
you need 3 ‘hotseats’ for contestants whose turn it is to go to the
Backstage room, and in the Backstage room there must be 3 ‘hotseats’
for contestants waiting to go to the Audition studio (the stage).

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The Inner Circle must be in the viewing area (reception area 1) in good
time. The Backstage production coordinator and the Inner Circle
supervisor will therefore maintain contact about which Inner Circle (for
which candidate) should go to the screens (reception area 1). If people
are building up at Reception Area 1, the Inner Circle will go to Reception
Area 2 where they can also watch the action on plasma screens.

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18.11 COACHING THE CONTESTANTS

Before the contestants start their Blind Audition, in groups of 3
contestants they will be given a short briefing by one of the key
members of the program.

In this last briefing, they will be told:

The routing of the day.

That they must give their performance their best shot.

That if they go wrong or forget the words, they should just keep on
singing (the band NEVER stops playing during a Blind Audition).

That they must sing right through to the end of the song because even
in that last second a coach might still press the button and turn round.

What happens if 1 coach presses the button (they belong to that coach).

What happens if several coaches press the button (the candidate can
choose, the candidate can play them off against one another).

What happens if nobody presses the button (the chairs will turn round
at the end).

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What is expected of the contestants after the songs (to remain standing
in the middle of the stage).

You should ask about their coach preference and possibly have some
influence here (by saying that coach X already has a lot of good people,
so they should think of coach Y instead).

They will be told to only decide which coach they want on stage after
the comments/case put forward by the coaches (keep your options
open!).

It will be explained to them that the role of the coaches is to coach! And
therefore not to look for someone from the same genre (therefore a
country coach will not only be looking for country contestants) or a copy
of themselves.

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18.12 THE INNER CIRCLE: FAMILY AND
FRIENDS

Friends and family who come to the studio with the candidate to give
that essential moral support can follow the audition on large plasma
screens in the foyer and near the exit of the audition room. How they
are responding to their candidate's performance will be followed by a
camera crew there. Here, we also see happy contestants who are
through to the next round, as well as unhappy contestants who did not
make it, in the arms of the inner circle after their performance.

The members of the inner circle of several contestants will also be
interviewed by the host. The people in question will be determined in
advance, so that the host knows what and who to ask. You must always
look out for a good anecdote, a funny or moving revelation or a
remarkable personal characteristic. The focus of the interview must
definitely be on the candidate as a person and less on his or her musical
ambitions.

In the studio, chairs are reserved for (some of) the contestants' inner
circle on the tribune and in a strategic place for the cameras. After the
performance by ‘their’ candidate, they will have to leave to make room
for the inner circle of the next singer.

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18.13 AUDIENCE

The audience in the studio are sitting there during the recordings for a
good reason. The audience is more than a living decor that can provide
the necessary atmosphere. We have given the audience a more active
role in building up the excitement in the episode with the help of a
warm-upper.

As already stated, the coaches sit with their backs to the studio. It is
the task of the warm-upper to involve the people in the studio in the
auditions. He or she can do this by explaining to the people in the
audience that they can help a candidate by cheering and clapping if they
do not think that the coaches are responding quickly enough. The
people must understand that they can try to influence the coaches by
expressing their enthusiasm for a candidate. All the people in the studio
do not necessarily need to express the same opinion. Here too, the
enthusiasm should be divided.

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18.14 THE BAND

During The Blind Auditions, the live band consists of 4 people:

• Piano

• Drums

• Guitar

• Bass guitar

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18.15 THE COACHES

Please note that there are many moments that the coaches and the
director must focus on during The Blind Auditions:

• The body language of the coach and the relief of the contestants
when a coach turns his or her chair around.

• The same applies if the candidate has finished singing and none of
the coaches has responded.

• The look on the faces of the coaches when they see who they turned
round for. Or who they didn't turn round for... (amazement, relief,
disappointment).

• The glances between the coaches. They keep an eye on one another
and play bluff poker with each other, for example after they have
pressed the button and seen the candidate for the first time, they
might fake a disappointed look for the coaches who have not yet
pressed the button (obviously in this case, it was a good-looking
candidate with a great voice).

• The reactions of the coaches if one of the other coaches has decided
to press the button. What will they do?

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• The reactions of the coaches to the audience. Applause and cheering
or even painful silences. What will the coaches think? Will they ignore
the sounds from the studio, or not?

• The reactions of the coaches if they are NOT chosen by the candidate
who they turned round for.

• Doubt as to whether they should/should not press the button during
a Blind Audition

It is very helpful and advisable to watch several Dutch episodes (with
subtitles) with the coaches as there are several layers/situations during
and after The Blind Auditions which the coaches must take into account.

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18.16 COACHING THE COACHES

The coaches must be made very aware that the cameras will be keeping
a close eye on them while they are listening to the contestants perform.
People who are listening to something with great concentration often
tend to do so without moving, with their eyes closed. Although this is
not forbidden, the coaches must be made aware that too much of that
kind of thing doesn't make very exciting TV. As the viewers cannot read
their thoughts, the coaches must show (mimic) what is going through
their minds. If they have any doubts… a hesitant hand hovering over
the I Want You button and then being withdrawn. Excitement… when
they hear a high note being held for an incredibly long time. Horror or
disapproval… faced with a bad audition. Shaking their head in hesitation
or laughing at a surprising interpretation of a text.

What is important is that they simply show what they are thinking.
What they are looking out for. That they are keeping a close eye on the
other coaches; that they are responding to the audience in the studio.
That they are shocked by a wrong note or surprised by a high note held
for an incredibly long time. And of course there is irritation because
another coach has stolen a candidate from under their nose. The
coaches must be aware that their mutual rivalry and the battle to win
the best candidate expressly form part of the program.

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In order to avoid the coaches either having nothing to say or saying too
many similar things, we have come up with a list of keywords which
they can use in their comments. This is also to ensure variation in terms
of which contestants go through and which don't.

THE RULES
The coaches sit with their faces turned to the audience. Their chairs
have rotating disks which are linked to special software. If the coach
presses the I Want You button on the desk in front of him or her, the
chair rotates through 180 degrees. This is when the coach gets to see
for the first time who produced the voice he or she fell for.

The chairs are built in such a way, with sides up to head height, that
there can be no doubt about it: the coach absolutely cannot see who is
singing.

The coaches can see each other, however. A coach who is having
doubts can respond when his or her neighbor presses the button, by
also hitting the I Want You button just to be sure. They might also get
angry if a coach's colleagues think that he or she presses the button too
frequently or too quickly. Or irritated if a coach responds too frequently
to the decision of the coach next to him.

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If none of the coaches press the button, The Voice Of... is over for the
candidate. In this case, someone from production will operate the
software which means that all the chairs will rotate through 180 degrees
in sync, and then the coaches will be able to see who they have let go
and can give their (always positive) comments. Will we see regret or
relief on their faces? But once they have made up their minds, that's it.
Even if the coaches regret letting a fantastic candidate walk out the
door, they cannot go back on their decision. This is one of the rigid
format rules of The Voice of…

In order to get the best and most sincere reactions, under no
circumstances may the coaches see the contestants in advance. It must
be pointed out to the coaches that they must clearly show surprise and
amazement if that is what they feel.

If a coach is the only one to press the button, he or she can add the
talent in question to the group of contestants he or she will be coaching.
If two or more coaches have pressed the button, the candidate can
choose which coach he or she wants. The contestants must be able to
give good reasons for their choice, and must be prepared for this point
so that they can think what to say at the crucial moment.

In turn, the coaches must argue their own case and try to get the
candidate in their own team. After all, the coaches are competitors.
Because who will coach the ultimate winner of the final?

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All the contestants, even those who have to leave the show, will be
given their moment with the coaches. The coaches will explain why they
made their decision. If there is any criticism, this may certainly be
brought up, but remember that The Voice Of... is not a TV show which
uses humiliation.

STEERING THE COACHES
As a program maker, you must not get under the feet of the coaches by
trying to tell them who they must choose. Nonetheless, there will be
some situations that cannot be left entirely to take their natural course…

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18.17 THE HOST

This host (M/F) must feel at home in many different areas, because he
will have to carry out many different tasks. This jack-of-all-trades must
be able to link all the components of the episode together with no
problem. In an interview, he will quickly be able to get to the heart of
the matter and open up emotions. In The Blind Auditions, you will meet
the host in various different places during the episode. Interviewing the
contestants, their family and friends, coaches etc.

However, the host must not be left to sort all this out on his own. Well
before each episode, he will be given a script containing photos and bios
and will be given a thorough briefing by the editorial team. The script
states the focus of the interviews he must carry out and the editorial
team will provide the accompanying information and questions. The
host will always be kept up to date with current developments, and also
with events during the recordings that he did not witness first-hand.

The host will also explain the program (optionally in the form of a voice
over) and will draw attention to the special effect of the ‘blind
auditions’. Particularly when the so-called blind introductory clips start
playing, he will point this out again.

The host also plays an important role in deepening the reality, which
forms an important part of the line-up. This requires a feeling for drama
and emotion, which the host must not be afraid of when it is
encountered or unleashed by him.

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18.18 PITFALLS AND DIFFICULTIES

During the Blind Audition process, the Dutch team (original version)
spotted a few critical moments.

There is a danger of the coaches being too eager or even too slow in the
beginning when it comes to selecting their contestants. In the first case,
there is a danger of them reaching their quota of 14 contestants very
quickly. In the second case, in the end they will have to make do with
contestants who they would ‘rather not’ have chosen. The problem is
that when the recordings of The Blind Auditions kick off, they do not
know what is on offer, so they cannot compare the candidate with one
another.

The problem is even greater if the contestants have a clear preference
for one (or two) of the coaches. This can also cause contestants to ‘pile
up’ for one of the coaches. The temptation to deal with this problem by
‘fixing things’ with the coaches ‘behind the scenes’ must be avoided,
and we can offer the following solutions for this:

• Make the coaches aware of the problem caused by their eagerness or
the fact that they are holding back, so that they can deal with it.

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• Play it safe and if you have a coach who is not getting anywhere near
enough contestants, whisper to this coach which candidate has
expressed a preference for him or her. This is also a way of retaining
contestants who you really need to keep on board for the content.
The coaches are free to follow or ignore the advice you give them.

• When allocating the contestants to the five programs, you should
take the preferences of the coaches into account, so that each
audition round is certain to have people to their taste.

• Also take into account the preferences of the contestants when you
are allocating them to a particular recording day. A good distribution
will also ensure that the contestants for one coach do not pile up
during an episode.

The contestants who are taking part in The Blind Auditions will be able
to choose from a number of songs. This will not be a limited selection,
so there will certainly be a suitable song for them in there somewhere.

There is a risk, during the chat with the coaches after the performance,
that rejected contestants will come to their own defense with the
argument that they were not allowed to sing what they wanted. The
supervision of the contestants also includes making sure they are
committed to their choice of song, so that they do not try to use this
defense as a reflex.

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Candidate supervision is not only the magic word during The Blind
Auditions, but also after these auditions. You must certainly provide
good follow-up care for the contestants who have been rejected

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18.19 THE WILD CARD

You can choose this option to add an extra candidate to the teams. This
campaign will be promoted for a few weeks on the radio, but only once
The Blind Audition selections have closed and also after The Blind
Audition recordings.

The Wild Card also offers a fresh chance for a candidate who was not
chosen during The Blind Auditions. If the coaches have come to realize
that one (or more) of the contestants deserves another chance, then
this candidate can try for a Wild Card. The Wild Card can also be used to
generate publicity.

THIS IS HOW THE WILD CARD WORKS:
The Wild Card must be earned. This takes place with the aid of a
popular radio station. The radio station will allow applications to be
made through its website.

The singers who apply will be assessed using the same strict criteria
that apply to all the contestants: the only important thing is the quality
of the voice. The contestants who make it through the selection process
will be invited in pairs to perform in the radio station's studio, in a
program that is broadcasted on “prime time”.

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The contestants will fight it out against one another on Monday through
Thursday (2 on each day), and the listeners decide which of the two
gets a wild card. After 4 days, 4 wild cards will have been won.
These contestants will come to the radio studio for the last time (on
Friday) for a performance witnessed by the coaches. The contestants
will perform with a live band, and they get the same preparation as the
contestants taking part in The Blind Auditions for television. The
auditions in the radio studio are also Blind Auditions. The coaches
cannot see the singers and can only decide on the basis of what they
are hearing which candidate they want to add to their team of talents.
This wild card selection is not a compulsory part of the format.

If this option is used, The Blind Auditions must provide 13 contestants
per coach. This is because, for the structure of The Battle, you need to
start with an even number: 14 (depending on the length of the
program).

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19. PHASE 3: THE BATTLE

After The Blind Auditions, each coach (including a coaching duo) will
have 14 top talents in his or her team. During this phase of The Voice
Of... (The Battle), more than half must drop out because after The
Battle, only 6 talents per coach will remain. This means that each coach
has 7 Battles and 1 Sing-Off between 2 contestants.

If you decide to make the coaches' teams bigger or smaller, you must
always have an even number of contestants. If one or several coaches
nonetheless end(s) up with an odd number of contestants during The
Blind Auditions for any reason, this situation must always be discussed
with the Consultant from Talpa's International Productions team in the
Netherlands (the same applies if the coaches' teams have more or less
than 14 contestants).

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19.1 WHAT DO WE SEE IN A BATTLE
EPISODE?

The Battle
Each episode (70 minutes net) has room for approximately 9 complete
Battles.

The coaches and their dream teams
The coaches and their dream teams are introduced by means of brief,
fast-paced shots of different footage. Stock material (photo/video) of
the coaches and dream teams is also used to show the coaches and
dream teams in action.

Announcement of The Battle
On the first ‘reality’ filming day, each coach will gather together all his
or her talents. The coach then announces who they will each face in The
Battle, and which song they will have to sing. Anyone whose name is
called must step forward. The coach will also briefly explain why these
two particular contestants have been chosen to fight it out against one
another. At the end, a reporter will take quotes, with the candidate
giving his or her first reaction.

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Rehearsing the song
After The Battles have been announced, the contestants will go to the
so-called rehearsal rooms. These rooms contain a piano and the music
for the songs they will sing in The Battle. The contestants rehearse
separately in a room and they also rehearse with the coach and dream
team. Both rehearsal sessions will be filmed.

Interviews
All the contestants will be interviewed against a background. This is
identical to the interview set used during The Blind Auditions. The
contestants will be asked various questions which the editorial team has
prepared. Here, we also capture the image that is used in The Battle
design (X vs. Y). This is often a pose in which they seem to be about to
fight, but with a wink and a smile!

The 1 to 1 conversation with the coach
After the rehearsal session on stage, all the contestants have a 1 to 1
chat with their coach and dream team. This conversation gets straight
to the point. Sometimes it might be motivational, sometimes it could
get personal and sometimes a candidate might get lectured because he
or she needs to work harder.

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Rehearsing on the stage (BOXING RING) with the band
During The Battle recording day, rehearsals take place in the morning
and afternoon on the studio stage (boxing ring). This is partly a run-
through for the multicam crew and the lighting team and is partly filmed
by the reality camera crews. Together with the coach, the contestants
go through everything on the stage; staging, expressions, singing to the
audience, vocal qualities, what to do if they get it wrong, etc.

Reality in the communal waiting room
The contestants spend their time in a communal waiting room. The
make-up artists and stylists are here too. A camera crew will also film
here (short reports). In the afternoon, the host will also walk around
this room for interviews after the rehearsal.

Duos walking to the entrance
Each duo must be filmed on the steadycam walking to the entrance. In
this footage we see the two contestants, fully dressed, walking into the
Battle location on a red carpet.

Backstage
Before the contestants perform, they go to the Backstage room
(identical to the Backstage room for The Blind Auditions). Here, a
camera crew records the last-minute suspense and gets brief quotes
about expectations, nerves etc.

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Inner circle
During the Battles, the friends, family and/or classmates of the
contestants can closely follow The Battle on plasma screens backstage.
After The Battle, the talents make their way back there and are greeted
by supporters to welcome them with happy cheers… or disappointed
hugs.

Reality before and after The Battle
The basic show elements are combined with reality images of the
contestants on the actual Battle day, potentially along with an interview
done by the presenter before they are about to take the stage for their
first appearance. This story is also backed up by a pre-filmed interview.

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19.2 THE BATTLE STRUCTURE

The Battle starts with 56 contestants, divided into 4 teams. 14
contestants per coach.

Each coach's 14 contestants fight it out against one another. There are
always 2 in the ring. That means 7 battles per coach. After each duel in
the ring, the coach must decide which of the two contestants will go
through to the live shows.

For each coach, six contestants will go through to the live shows.
After the battles, seven contestants remain. One candidate must still be
eliminated. The coach decides who will be eliminated by means of a
sing-off.

THE SING-OFF
At the end of the seven battles in the boxing ring, seven contestants
still remain. These seven winners enter the boxing ring one more time.
There, five of them will hear that they are through to the next round
(the live shows).

For two of them, an exciting final battle follows: the Sing-Off. In the
ring, these two must immediately sing (one after the other) the song
which they sang during the Blind Auditions. Finally, the coach must
make another ‘dramatic’ decision and choose just one of the
contestants. The six contestants who are through to the Live Shows will
then be known.

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19.3 ELEMENTS OF THE BATTLE

The Battle episodes consist of the following elements:

• The host opens the episode.

• Introduction of coaches and dream teams.

• The host announces the contestants in the ring.

• The contestants are followed behind the scenes.

• The contestants who must fight it out against one another are filmed
during the rehearsals in the ring.

• The contestants are filmed walking. To the studio, on the red carpet.

• The duel in the ring (The Battle).

• The decision of the coach. Which of the two will go through?

• The decision of the coach after 7 Battles and for the Sing-Off. Five of
the seven contestants will immediately go through to the Live Shows.

• For two contestants, there will be a Sing-Off.

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• Final decision by the coach. The six contestants for The Voice Of…
Live are known.

When the reality footage is being filmed during the rehearsals, the
coaches absolutely must be present in the boxing ring. Outside the ring,
they also consult their dream team with the cameras running. It is clear
that the coaches are really coaching their students and demanding the
very best from their contestants.

Everyone can feel it: this will be the all-or-nothing show for the
contestants and the coach will be fighting for both of them and for equal
opportunities. It must be made clear once again that the coaches can
feel their fellow coaches breathing down their necks too. After all, the
competition and rivalry are not limited to the singers who are fighting it
out with one another on stage. After all, at the end every coach wants
to be standing next to the winner!

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19.4 RECORDING THE BATTLE

The Battle consists of three recording days:

RECORDING DAY 1
Reality (location) Coach A, B, C and D
= Portraits / beauty shots of coaches and dream teams
= Announcement of Battle
= Rehearsal session
= Interviews

RECORDING DAY 2
Reality (location) and Battles (studio) Coach A and B
= The 1 to 1 chat with coach
= Rehearsal on the stage (boxing ring)
= Interview with host after the rehearsal.
= Reality in the communal waiting room
= Battles

RECORDING DAY 3
Reality (location) and Battles (studio) Coach C and D
= The 1 to 1 chat with coach
= Rehearsal on the stage (boxing ring)
= Interview with host after the rehearsal.
= Reality in the communal waiting room
= Battles

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All the coaches, dream teams and talents must attend the first day. The
Battle announcements, rehearsal sessions and interview sessions are
filmed on this day (ENG). Here too, we film the shots that are used to
present the coaches and their dream teams in the episode.

Days 2 and 3 each focus on two coaches with their 14 talents. That
means that on a single day, you must record 14 duels/battles in the
ring. Don't forget to leave time to film all the exterior shots!

For these two teams, the coaches and their dream teams must be
present for the entire day at the rehearsals, etc. Only when it comes to
the studio recordings of The Battle will the other coaches also be
present with their dream teams.

The filmed material is not cut in chronological order in the episode. The
choice of material is always determined by the suspense that must be
built up. The introductory clips and clips which tell the contestants' own
stories are also not cut in chronological order. The items are chosen and
arranged in order to create suspense, reveal the mutual relationships
and rivalries between the contestants and show the viewer the hectic
atmosphere and stage fright before the match.

A great deal is happening behind the scenes. The coaches and dream
teams advise and reassure their contestants. Stage fright and nerves
create a lot of emotions. Contestants who have to sing together even
though they're each other's biggest rival show what they're made of in
the rehearsal room. In addition, an interviewer / reporter who asks
questions behind the scenes always accompanies the camera crews.

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Not only do the interviewers respond to what is happening, they also
know so much about the contestants that they can draw out their
honest opinions. About the competition too... And certainly about the
rival they will soon be facing in the ring. The coaches and their dream
teams will also be interviewed about their expectations.

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THE CAMERA CREWS AND WORKFLOW

DAY 1 (4 cameras + 1 steadicam)
First of all, the Battles are announced. This is recorded using 3 cameras
and 1 steadycam. Another camera crew (with a reporter) gets the first
reactions from the contestants.

The contestants then head off with their coach and dream team to
rehearse in separate rehearsal rooms. 1 camera crew with a reporter is
present for this.

Quotes are then obtained from all the contestants and coaches in front
of a projection screen (in an interview setting which is identical to The
Blind Auditions). For editing purposes, a personal Battle pose for each
candidate is also filmed.

This will all be filmed in two interview sets (with lighting, dolly, rails)
using the 2 cameras that were also used during the announcement.

The steadycam will then capture the beauty shots of the coaches and
dream teams and the various exteriors.

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DAY 2 and DAY 3 (5 cameras + 1 steadycam)
On filming days 2 and 3, the contestants first have a 1 to 1 chat with
their coach and dream team. These are recorded in 2 rooms at the
same time, with 2 ENG camera crews in each room.

Another camera team gets brief quotes from contestants coming out of
these sessions.

In the afternoons, after the multicamera rehearsal in the morning with
the band and all the contestants, the contestants rehearse with the
band on the stage (boxing ring). This is filmed using 2 cameras. The
ISO camera of the multicam crew records the audio of the singing
rehearsals.

During this rehearsal, the host will interview the other contestants in
the communal room with 2 camera crews present. A separate camera
crew with a reporter will shoot general reality footage (make-up,
clothing, etc.).

Shortly before the Battle, all the contestants will walk with their Battle
partner over the red carpet to the Battle studio. This walk will be filmed
using the steadycam. This will be shot in one go, with one pair of
contestants after another.

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During the Battles in the studio, the camera crews will be positioned in
a number of fixed locations:

Camera team 1:
In the backstage room to film the last-minute suspense of the
contestants. A lot of general shots (nerves, excitement) will be filmed
here together with some more brief quotes.

Camera team 2:
In reception area 1, where the Inner Circle (family, friends, etc.) of
candidate A are watching on the monitor and where candidate A will go
after the Battle.

Camera team 3:
In reception area 2, where the Inner Circle (family, friends, etc.) of
candidate B are watching on the monitor and where candidate B will go
after the Battle.

In this way, the 2 Battle contestants can greet their families outside
immediately after their performance and the various emotions
(happiness and disappointment) can be shown.

Camera team 4:
In the communal waiting room which the contestants return to after
their performance. Here, the last quotes are obtained and we see the
contestants sharing their happy feelings.

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Camera team 5 is only used in the day and therefore not in the evening.
The steadycam is used in the evening in the multicam section.

Don't forget that the crane (Techno 50) which is used in the studio must
also record the exterior shots of the location during the day!!

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19.5 LOCATION AND SET

For The Battle, the recordings move from the pop stage used in The
Blind Auditions to a setting which embodies the atmosphere of
somewhere you might expect to find a boxing match (also in terms of
its environment). For the Dutch version, we chose a former gasworks.
An industrial building with the monumental status and feel of
nineteenth-century industrial architecture. The starting point is that you
must choose an industrial setting!!

The location, set and decor merge to form a unique combination: the
searing excitement of a boxing ring and the ultimate experience of a
live concert.

The set consists of the boxing ring which is a compulsory element of the
format, with rows of LEDs and lighting grids/spotlights in the floor. To
the left and right of the ring, there is a red carpet on which the
opponents enter the scene of battle. A further requirement is a high
location where the walls/curtains behind the stages can be illuminated
in order to create the ultimate boxing ring ambiance.

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THE BOXING RING
In the ring, the contestants are greeted by the host, armed with the
same well-known microphone used by boxing referees in the ring to
announce the singers.

The contestants will perform with the same live band which
accompanied The Blind Auditions. However, the band is now bigger in
terms of the number of band members (6 people instead of 4 during the
Blind Auditions).

In the room, the members of the audience sit round the boxing ring.
The inner circle of the singers who are battling it out with each other get
a place on the stage on the same side as their candidate. Some of the
Inner Circle are also following the action on plasma screens in the room
where the contestants go at the end of their Battle. Two separate places
must be created (one for the Inner Circle of candidate A and one for the
Inner Circle of candidate B).

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19.6 WHO BATTLES WHO?

The compulsory stipulation in the format that states that more than half
the contestants must be eliminated during the Battle places the coaches
and their dream teams under great pressure. It means spending a lot of
time thinking about which contestants the coaches should put in the
ring against one another.

Putting two outstanding contestants against one another in the ring
means the definitive loss of one of the top talents. However, if you
make a stronger candidate face a weaker candidate, this does not seem
honest to the viewer. And can you really compare a female singer with a
male singer? Another dilemma for each coach is whether you can put
contestants with different musical preferences against one another.

Try to establish a good mix together with the coaches. Sometimes it is
OK to put a strong candidate in the ring with a slightly weaker
candidate, but you should also not be afraid to put two strong singers
together. In this case, choose a strong singer with a great personality
and a strong singer who the show can afford to do without as regards
personality.

It will be agreed that if the coaches cannot reach a decision with their
dream teams, the coach will request a time-out so that (behind the
scenes) there is space to discuss the choice of winner with the key
members of the team.

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Guidelines for determining who should sing against who are as follows:

• Can you really compare the contestants with one another?

• Can they both sing the song in question to the same standard? Do
they have the same chances?

• Are they similar in terms of image? If so, the voice is the deciding
factor.

• Are they in the same musical genre? Who is best at interpreting this
genre?

• If they have similar voices, who is the best performer?

• If they perform together, will this create a genuine sense of rivalry?
The outcome, i.e. the decision by the coach, must not be predictable.

• The percentage of the song allocated to each singer must be similar,
and for this reason the singers must sing 3 - 5 lines in turn, as well
as singing some sections together.

In each case, the coach must be able to provide good reasons for saying
that one of the two contestants is better than the other after their
performance.

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THE BATTLE IS A GENUINE BATTLE
There is a risk that, for various reasons, the contestants might forget
that The Battle involves a genuine battle, in which they must eliminate
their rival in the ring. You must make them realize that they are NOT
singing a duet together, but that they are playing AGAINST one
another.

They must be well aware that their performance in the ring decides
whether or not they make it through to the next round. Their sense of
competition must be stirred up. Not only beforehand with their coaches
during the rehearsals, but also when they are in the ring. For this
reason, the song must be divided up properly between them. Singing a
couplet and a refrain in turn does not go far enough to create the
feeling that the contestants are battling it out against one another.

The lyrics must be split between the contestants in such a way that they
can really seize the opportunity to ‘outsing’ the other candidate. This is
only possible if they sing 3 - 5 lines in turn, so that at the end it is
possible to properly assess both the talents without having already
forgotten the singer who only sang the beginning of the song. They
must also realize that they should not give their opponent too much
freedom in the ring. In the ring, the contestants must really seize ‘their’
moment.

In some cases, a duo might make it through to The Battle via The Blind
Auditions. Duos can be pitted against another duo. Or a duo against a
solo singer.

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19.7 THE SONGS / ARRANGEMENTS

In each case, two contestants will have to face one another in the
boxing ring. They fight it out by singing a song together. The song is
chosen by the talents themselves, in consultation with (and after the
approval of) the key members of the team, the coaches with their
dream teams, the music director and the singing coach(es).

The choice of song is very important. The song must suit the voices of
both the contestants. The song that is chosen must not give either of
the contestants an (unfair) advantage.

The Battle is all about a joint performance by the contestants. In turn,
they will sing the song together (each singing a few lines) and they will
sing some of the song solo. You must make sure that both the
contestants get to sing an equal number of parts solo.

A Battle in the boxing ring lasts 2 to 2.5 minutes.

When choosing the songs for the contestants, you must also remember
that The Battle is a live concert. There must therefore be enough
musical variety in the performances.

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Two weeks before taking part in The Battle, the contestants hear which
song they must sing (and sometimes also which parts of the song will
be their solo parts). However, the contestants are kept in the dark for
as long as possible about the identity of their opponent in the boxing
ring. On the first recording day of The Battle the coach will tell to the
contestants who they will face in the ring. The two talents facing each
other in the Battle get to decide who will sing what and who will sing
which part. Their coaches will also give the contestants all the necessary
details. This will be filmed for the reality parts of the line-up.

In a sound studio, the band will once again record all the Battle songs in
the right key. This session must be planned in good time and takes
place about 1.5 weeks before the start of The Battle.

All these songs will be recorded in the sound studio. After the recording
session, each candidate will be sent his or her specific version (in the
right key) in MP3 format. This will give the contestants plenty of time to
practice at home with the right arrangements.

The above method ensures the maximum quality of singing and
interplay between the band and the candidate during The Battle.

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KEY: THE SAME FOR BOTH CONTESTANTS
The key of a song in The Battle is always shared by the two contestants.
This means that if candidate A and candidate B are singing a song
together, the song will be played in 1 key. Some contestants sing in
similar keys; in this case, choosing the key will not be a problem.
Sometimes two contestants will sing in very different keys; in this case,
you can choose a song which is a duet in the original and which
provides room for two keys. When compiling the Battles and choosing
the songs, it is also important to examine whether it is actually possible
for the contestants to sing a song together as regards key (and the type
of voice)!

EAR PIECE
Once the 6 contestants for each coach are known after the Battle
episodes, an individual ear-piece will be made for each candidate which
they will use during live shows.

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19.8 THE INNER CIRCLE: FAMILY AND
FRIENDS

Friends and family who come to the studio with the candidate to give
that essential moral support can follow the Battles on large plasma
screens at the two exits of The Battle studio. A camera crew will record
their reactions to their candidate's performance. Here, we also see
happy contestants who are through to the next round, as well as
unhappy contestants who did not make it, in the arms of the inner circle
after their performance.

In the studio, chairs are reserved for (some of) the contestants' inner
circle on the stage, in a strategic place for the cameras. After the
performance by ‘their’ candidate, they will have to leave to make room
for the inner circle of the next singer.

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19.9 AUDIENCE

The people in the studio are sitting there during the recordings for a
good reason. The audience is more than a living decor which provides
the necessary atmosphere. During the Battle, there will be an audience
of around 700 - 1,000 people in the venue. Family, friends,
acquaintances etc. will sit in a strategic position in the studio. Taking
banners, stuffed toys, flowers etc. into the venue is forbidden!!

As The Battle episodes are recorded a few weeks before they are
broadcast, it is compulsory for the members of the audience to sign a
contract which prohibits them (under penalty of a fine) from revealing
to the outside world, in any manner whatsoever, the outcome of the
battles or which contestants are through to the final.

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19.10 THE BAND

During The Battle, the band consists 6 people:

• Piano

• Drums

• Guitar

• Bass guitar

• Keyboard (an extra addition compared to The Blind Auditions)

• Percussion (an extra addition compared to The Blind Auditions)

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19.11 HOST AND COACHES

The host takes on the role of boxing referee in the ring. His tone of
voice and lines will match this. Whenever you hear him say ‘Are you
ready to rumble?!’, the tension rises. It's time to sink or swim.

We have experienced some coaches not managing at all on their own
and even ending up very emotional because their contestants were so
talented that they could not choose between them and did not want to
have to. We also saw a ‘despairing’ coach not even coping with the help
of his dream team and seeking help from the other coaches, who were
his competitors!

In this stage of the program, the coaches and their dream teams are so
involved with their own contestants that play-acting doesn't come into
it.

For a coach, it is (visibly) a huge relief if it immediately becomes clear
during the Battle which candidate will come out of it as the better of the
two. In this case, the decision will still be painful for the candidate who
has to drop out, but it is easier to justify.

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However, the coaches don't always get off so easily. The quality of the
voice and performance of the two contestants may be so close that the
coach asks his or her support team for advice. In this case, the most
important thing is the dream team's opinion of the career prospects and
opportunities that are open to the candidate.

If the coach and the support team cannot even agree on a decision
together, they will take time out. In this case, the coach, dream team
and production team will go behind the scenes to discuss the matter
and will return to the studio with their decision.

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19.12 THE SUPPORT TEAMS / DREAM
TEAMS

The coaches will have plenty of musical knowledge and experience.
They will preferably play an instrument themselves and will speak the
language of musicians. They will be able to tell one key from another
and can help the contestants use their voice to its full potential, giving
reasons why they should do it that way. When it comes to interpreting
lyrics, they really know their stuff. They can also perfect the
performance of their contestants. In brief, the coaches have all the skills
they need to guide the contestants and, above all, to improve them.

On the journey to The Battle and during The Battle, the coach will be
assisted by two specialists of his or her own choosing(2). These will
preferably be a producer and a songwriter.

The coach will put his own dream team together and must come up with
very well-known specialists. These will preferably be people who the
coach works with or has worked with in the past.

The rehearsals will also be attended by a dance coach who will stage the
contestants in consultation with the coaches. This will be recorded for
the reality clips used as introductions before the talents enter the
boxing ring.

2
In the Dutch version of The Voice of…, the dream team mainly consisted of the coaches' own producers and
songwriters.

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The coaches' dream teams will also feature on screen. This means that
they must also be able to play their role as advisors with the camera
running. In addition, the dream team must grasp that their contribution
should also help to build up tension and excitement within the episode.
They play an active role. Behind the scenes, but also during the
rehearsals which are filmed for the reality clips.

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19.13 THE SING-OFF

For the contestants, The Battle is an ‘all-or-nothing’ moment. This is
why the coaches must provide good reasons for their decisions.
Although the entire performance in The Battle episode certainly plays a
role, the quality of the voice is always the deciding factor in cases of
doubt.

And then, from the seven contestants who remain after seven nerve-
racking duels in the boxing ring, the coach still has to make one more
awful decision. Because one more candidate has to be eliminated. For
the coach, this is a tough decision. Because after all, the strength of The
Voice Of… lies in the fact that all the contestants are fantastic singers.
What reasons will the coach give for sending home this last candidate?

The moment when the coach – after much doubt and discussion with his
or her dream team – takes the plunge and has to share the decision
with the seven contestants is a crucial moment. It's the highlight which
the entire episode builds up to. Experience has shown that not every
coach is a natural when it comes to building up the necessary tension.
This is a skill in itself. For this reason, it is good to go over clear scripts
and one-liners with the coaches before the recording, which they can
use to back up and justify their decision to both the contestants and the
viewers.

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In addition, each decision must not turn out the same. The feelings of
uncertainty among the contestants must run high every single time. The
most important thing is to keep the contestants in suspense for as long
as possible.

SING-OFF SONG
The contestants will sing the song which they sang during the Blind
Auditions! They must therefore practice this song and know it inside
out! The band must also have the sheet music of this song!

During the Sing-Off, the five contestants who have made it through to
this phase will stand at the side of the stage (boxing ring). The
contestants in the Sing-Off will perform their song on the stage (boxing
ring) and during the performance by their opponent, the other
candidate will sit with the host on the coaches' sofa watching their
opponent's performance.

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19.14 CUTTING AND EDITING

During the cutting and editing process, the order of the battles in which
the contestants face each other is determined.

The total of 28 Battles will be made into three episodes. The editing
schedule and the line-up (see appendix) show that the performances of
the contestants in the ring are not cut together in chronological order.
We have deviated from the traditional sequence of introducing the
contestants with their introductory clips. The structure of the line-up
mainly aims to allow the viewer to experience the intense feelings of
excitement and action in and around the boxing ring.

The introductory clips of the contestants and the reality footage which is
shot behind the scenes and during the rehearsals will be cut together.

The editing differs greatly from that of the average talent show and the
editing style is a compulsory component of the format.

As the Battles will not be edited chronologically (in the order in which
they were recorded), this must be taken into account during the
recordings. The host must therefore record three openings and three
endings, including opening lines and closing lines.

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In the final cut, the Battles will be shown 1 by 1 and will therefore not
be cut together. A Battle lasts an average of 6 to 12 minutes. Each
Battle starts with 1 to 3 minutes of reality (announcement and
rehearsals), followed by the host announcement cut together with the
backstage suspense, the performance (The Battle), comments by the
jury and the reactions afterwards.

MUSIC
In order to give The Battle a spectacular and compelling feel, a lot of
film music was used. The songs (music) used to introduce the
contestants on the stage were also spectacular and bombastic, and
sometimes pop songs were chosen to enhance the personality of the
candidate. Wherever possible, funny songs (YMCA for a gay candidate,
The A Team for a guy in the army) were used to lighten things up a
little.

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20. PHASE 4: LIVE

This chapter is still under construction, since the original Dutch version
is still in the process of recording.

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20.1 THE SHOWS

The live show is the last phase in The Voice Of…. After The Battle
episodes, the coaches each have 6 remaining talents who are through
to the live shows.

The following factors are essential for the live shows:

• For the first time, the viewers can help decide the fate of the
contestants (voting by text message/call).

• The shows take place in front of a large audience: at least 1,500
people in the studio.

• Introduction of the social media room: TV viewers can see the
contestants working hard to develop their fan base with the help of
social media.

• There are more hosts. Two hosts in the room. In the social media
room, there is a sidekick to receive the contestants, with all the
associated emotions.

• The coaches put on a performance of their own, accompanied by one
or more of their own contestants.

• The live band becomes a live orchestra (13 people).

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• Atmosphere and image: the feel of a live concert! (including dancers)
as regards to set, lighting, LED floors and LED curtains.

• Guest performances by national and international artists who also
must allow several contestants to sing along with them.

During the live shows, the coaches will each lose one of their students.
Once again, the coaches will have to make difficult and often painful
decisions. They will determine the fate of the contestants with whom
they have created a bond after working hard together for weeks. In
each episode, the coaches have the last word. Who will they take with
them to the next round, on the way to the big final? In the live shows,
the viewers take part in the action for the first time. By calling and
sending text messages, they decide for each coach which two
contestants are safe and can go through to the next round.

The starting point of The Voice Of… is a positive approach to the
contestants. This trend continues here. Viewers cast positive votes. The
contestants who get the most votes are safe. They are definitely
through to the next round. They are not told which of the contestants in
the safe zone received the most votes.

The coaches decide which of their own contestants (those who were not
voted to the safe zone by the public) are definitely through to the next
round and which contestants will have to take part in a sing-off. The
coaches also make positive decisions. They say who is allowed to go
through.

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After the sing-off, it's time for the final verdict. This is also judged in a
positive way. The coach decides who goes through, rather than who will
be dropped from the show.

It depends on the number of contestants who are still in the running for
each coach how many contestants can be placed in the safe zone by the
voting public and how many contestants are chosen to go through by
the actual coach.

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20.2 STRUCTURE

In total, there are nine live shows. When the live shows start, the
coaches each have six acts.

The first six live shows each feature (in turn) two coaches with their
contestants. These are the playing coaches.

The non-playing coaches are also present, however without their dream
teams. Their talents will sit in the gallery. The last three live shows will
feature the contestants of all four coaches.

The live shows are structured as follows:

Live show 1 – Episode 9 (coaches A & B)
6 acts per coach
2 acts are placed in the safe zone by the public (by voting via text
message or call)
4 acts in the danger zone
Each coach selects 2 talents for the sing-off
1 act must leave (per coach)
5 acts left per coach

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Live show 2 – Episode 10 (coaches C & D)
6 acts per coach
2 acts are placed in the safe zone by the public (by voting via text
message or call)
4 acts in the danger zone
Each coach selects 2 talents for the sing-off
1 act must leave (per coach)
5 acts left per coach

Live show 3 – Episode 11 (coaches A & B)
5 acts per coach
2 acts are placed in the safe zone by the public (by voting via text
message or call)
3 acts in the danger zone
Each coach selects 2 talents for the sing-off
1 act must leave (per coach)
4 acts left per coach

Live show 4 – Episode 12 (coaches C & D)
5 acts per coach
2 acts are placed in the safe zone by the public (by voting via text
message or call)
3 acts in the danger zone
Each coach selects 2 talents for the sing-off
1 act must leave (per coach)
4 acts left per coach

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Live show 5 – Episode 13 (coaches A & B)
4 acts per coach
2 acts are placed in the safe zone by the public (by voting via text
message or call) (reveal during separate results show)
2 acts automatically in sing-off
1 act must leave (per coach)
3 acts left per coach

Live show 6 – Episode 14 (coaches C & D)
4 acts per coach
2 acts are placed in the safe zone by the public (by voting via text
message or call) (reveal during separate results show)
2 acts automatically in sing-off
1 act must leave (per coach)
3 acts left per coach

Live show 7 – Episode 15 (all 4 coaches)
3 acts per coach
1 act is placed in the safe zone by the public (by voting via text
message or call)
2 acts automatically in sing-off
1 act must leave (per coach)
2 acts left per coach

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Live show 8 – Semi-Final – Episode 16 (all 4 coaches)
2 acts per coach
Voting by the public and votes from their own coach decides who will be
the finalist
1 act must leave (per coach)
1 act left per coach

Live show 9 – The Final – Episode 17 (all 4 coaches)
1 act per coach
3 acts must leave at the end of the show
1 WINNER

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20.3 THE COACHES

All the coaches will attend the live shows. This includes the coaches
whose own contestants are not performing (non-playing coaches).
Although the coaches evaluate each other's contestants after their
performance, they have no influence over the decision made by the
coach in respect of his or her own contestants. This means that a coach
cannot hide behind the opinions of his colleagues. Here too, it is the
coach and the coach alone who determines the fate of his own
contestants. This is a strong point of the format which must be retained
and is emphasized in the live shows. However, a playing coach is
allowed to consult his or her dream team which is also present at the
live shows.

COACHING THE COACHES
The coaches are told to express their opinion of their own contestants
and those of their colleagues in a well-considered way which gets
straight to the point. In other words: the coaches, who are of course
also present at the rehearsals, do not improvise; they know in advance
what they want to say and how they will say it. The important thing
here is to streamline the scripts, to make sure that awkward
improvisation and long-windedness do not slow down the pace of the
show. In addition, what the coaches say is important for building up
suspense. This cannot be left to chance. Unless something unexpected
happens during a performance, and a coach simply has to respond.

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20.4 PERFORMANCES BY THE COACHES

The coaches, who without exception are famous names in the musical
world, will surprise the viewers and audience in the room with a
performance of their own during the live shows. They can decide the
details of the performance themselves, as long as it involves one of
their own contestants.

They might choose to give one of their contestants in the danger zone
the week before an extra chance by singing a wonderful duet. Or it
could be a reward for a candidate's great courage and effort, or an
opportunity to show a completely different side of a candidate in terms
of repertoire and singing style. Or perhaps there might be some
personal reasons why the candidate should perform with the coach. If a
coach feels this would be unfair, he or she can also decide to perform
with all of his or her contestants.

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20.5 HOSTING DUO AND SIDEKICK

The live shows will have two hosts, preferably a man and a woman.
They will receive the contestants before and after their performances
and play an important role during the sing-off. They will take care of
contestants who are having trouble and, together with them, will watch
to see how the rival is doing. It is the task of the hosts to build up the
suspense during the shows.

There will be a third host in the social media room backstage. On the
request of the hosts, the coverage will switch from the main room to the
social media room where the sidekick receives the contestants before
and after their performance. The sidekick will chat with the contestants,
focusing on emotions and the build-up of suspense.

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20.6 LIVE BAND

To emphasize the concert feeling as much as possible, the live band has
grown to include 13 people (incl. 3 backing vocals and a 4-piece brass
section).

In order to further emphasize the live feeling of the show and to keep
up the pace the band will already start playing the intro of the song
which is about to be sung while the contestants are being introduced by
the host. After this the candidate will seamlessly launch into his/her
performance.

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20.7 GUEST PERFORMANCES

Each episode will have one or several guest performances by national
and international artists. To make the live shows really stand out, these
performers will also perform live with several talents (sometimes from
both coaches).

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