Why The Voice UK’s new spinning chairs rules are hell for the contestants

Introducing the "stand of shame"

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A hopeful contestant has just finished singing her heart out on The Voice. She stands alone on the stage, but all she sees are the backs of four red chairs and a sea of expectant audience members. The painful seconds tick by… 88, 89, 90… and still no one turns. 

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Gavin Rossdale, who sits in one of those red chairs alongside coaches will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson and Tom Jones, has revealed the hellish rule change that has come with The Voice’s move from the BBC to ITV.

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“One of the biggest changes on the ITV version is when you don’t like somebody’s voice, it’s possible for none of the chairs to turn,” he told RadioTimes.com.

“They’re left there with the ‘stand of shame’ when nobody turns around for them.

“When they come out and sing they make them wait for the longest three minutes ever of their lives. And when they fail they’re left for what’s about a minute and a half and they’re just dying, dying. It really feels long.”

In the previous incarnation of The Voice on BBC1, the chairs would spin around at the end of blind auditions so coaches could give feedback and explain why they hadn’t hit their buttons – and whether it had been a close call. Now, the aspiring singers may never come face to face with the judges who reject them.

While Rossdale is taken aback by the “stand of shame”, one seasoned Voice judge claims it’s an improvement. 

In the first episode of the series, Tom Jones tells newcomer Rossdale: “I think it’s better like this. If I was standing up there and the chairs didn’t turn, I’d want to get out.” 

Rock star and former Bush frontman Rossdale is also concerned with how programme makers create anxiety and tension.

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Speaking ahead of the show launch, he said: “What they do is really milk the drama. When we’re sitting there and they say ‘your next contestant is coming out’, there’s a clock in front of us with a one minute thirty countdown for the blind [auditions].

“We’re just waiting for it start, but they’re standing on stage just waiting for the band to start, sweating and feeling terrible. They get the most out of all that drama.”

As they face out into the audience, the judges also have to face the wrath of the crowds. 

“There were eight sessions of blind auditions, three and a half hours each – about 29 hours of listening to singers,” Rossdale said.

“Each session had about 2,000 people in the audience and they think you’re being really shitty and mean and deaf.

“But firstly, they can see them. And they’re only seeing one session. We’ve got seven other sessions. If we’ve got 60 spots to fill then yeah, bring them all, bring us your aunty. But picking 10 people over 29 hours…”

“It’s really difficult as people think you’re being unfair and really mean, when you’re trying to be really fair to somebody that comes out and gets it perfect.”

Welcome to the world of television, Gavin.

The Voice will launch on Satuday 7th January at 8pm on ITV

A hopeful contestant has just finished singing her heart out on The Voice. She stands alone on the stage, but all she sees are the backs of four red chairs and a sea of expectant audience members. The painful seconds tick by… 88, 89, 90… and still no one turns. 

Gavin Rossdale, who sits in one of those red chairs alongside coaches will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson and Tom Jones, has revealed the hellish rule change that has come with The Voice’s move from the BBC to ITV.

127481

“One of the biggest changes on the ITV version is when you don’t like somebody’s voice, it’s possible for none of the chairs to turn,” he told RadioTimes.com.

“They’re left there with the ‘stand of shame’ when nobody turns around for them.

“When they come out and sing they make them wait for the longest three minutes ever of their lives. And when they fail they’re left for what’s about a minute and a half and they’re just dying, dying. It really feels long.”

In the previous incarnation of The Voice on BBC1, the chairs would spin around at the end of blind auditions so coaches could give feedback and explain why they hadn’t hit their buttons – and whether it had been a close call. Now, the aspiring singers may never come face to face with the judges who reject them.

While Rossdale is taken aback by the “stand of shame”, one seasoned Voice judge claims it’s an improvement. 

In the first episode of the series, Tom Jones tells newcomer Rossdale: “I think it’s better like this. If I was standing up there and the chairs didn’t turn, I’d want to get out.” 

Rock star and former Bush frontman Rossdale is also concerned with how programme makers create anxiety and tension.

127482

Speaking ahead of the show launch, he said: “What they do is really milk the drama. When we’re sitting there and they say ‘your next contestant is coming out’, there’s a clock in front of us with a one minute thirty countdown for the blind [auditions].

“We’re just waiting for it start, but they’re standing on stage just waiting for the band to start, sweating and feeling terrible. They get the most out of all that drama.”

As they face out into the audience, the judges also have to face the wrath of the crowds. 

“There were eight sessions of blind auditions, three and a half hours each – about 29 hours of listening to singers,” Rossdale said.

“Each session had about 2,000 people in the audience and they think you’re being really shitty and mean and deaf.

“But firstly, they can see them. And they’re only seeing one session. We’ve got seven other sessions. If we’ve got 60 spots to fill then yeah, bring them all, bring us your aunty. But picking 10 people over 29 hours…”

“It’s really difficult as people think you’re being unfair and really mean, when you’re trying to be really fair to somebody that comes out and gets it perfect.”

Welcome to the world of television, Gavin.

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The Voice will launch on Satuday 7th January at 8pm on ITV