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How THE VOICE Season 19 is the Same Show We Love During a Pandemic

Posted on October 16 2020 by Editor

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“The Voice” came at a time in my life when something had to change for me.” – Todd Tilghman.

Just days before NBC’s “The Voice” season 19 will premiere on Monday, October 19th, the show’s executive producer Audrey Morrissey and last season winner Todd Tilghman discussed their experiences with the show during the pandemic in a press conference. Morrissey also gave some insight into what to expect for new season 19.

The Voice season 19 coaches

Pictured: (l-r) John Legend, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson — Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

The first question was a concern on what if a ‘Voice artist were to contract COVID-19.  Morrissey answered that the whole season has been shot, and the only the Live Shows are left.  They got through the season by being “absolutely vigilant.”  She said the production team talked about a few scenarios.  But, never had to put any of them into place.  If during the Live Shows if someone is physically unable to be there.  Someone else needs to be there instead, she stated.

Perhaps similar to this past season of “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) where a contestant tested positive for Covid-19. The group, Broken Roots, who had been previously sent home during the Judge Cuts were called back as a Wild Card to take his place. The contestant later returned to compete in AGT.


When asked what changes can viewers expect if any, Morrissey answered that It’s pretty much the same as last season.  There are Teams of ten to make for a shorter season.  The Four-Way-Knockout is still in play.  “It pretty much follows last season,” said Morrissey.   The four artists Saved by their coaches do not automatically advance. Instead, they compete in a Four-Way-Knockout where America votes for the winner.

Also remaining in play this season is the BLOCK button for the coaches. If they Block a coach who presses their button, the word “Blocked” will show up in their lane. If the Blocked coach doesn’t press their button, then that Block will get saved for the coach who used it to use on a different artist.

In the Battle Rounds, celebrity advisers will join the Teams to help mentor the artists. Leon Bridges will be part of Team Kelly; Miguel for Team Legend; Team Blake will have Kane Brown; Julia Michaels will be advising on Team Gwen.

The Voice 19, Gwen Stefani, Julia Michaels, NBC

 Pictured: (l-r) Gwen Stefani, Julia Michaels — Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC


Todd Tilghman said he will never ever be able to be grateful enough for “The Voice.”  He admitted to not having much interest in trying-out at first. “I kind of slipped backwards into it.”  Tilghman said his wife pressured him into auditioning for “The Voice.” He added that the show is for people like him, who aren’t young and sexy.  “That was the draw for me.  What a great experience,” said Tilghman.

Morrissey said she never tires of being around talented people and said she’s in the middle of starting “The Voice” season 20 soon.  

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Todd said of his music career after the show, “I don’t know if I’m doing anything differently.  I’m working so very hard to make this work.”  Tilghman went on to say, “the only thing I knew how to do is to rely on the people who know what to do.  They’re smart and seasoned in this field.”  He said he’s been working on making connections.

Morrissey said there’s so many ways to measure success.  The music industry takes many forms.  For most career artists, that’s not how that happens for them.  What “The Voice” is great at doing is finding the artists and having them make connections.  You never know when it’s your time.  We have an outreach of ‘Voice alumni keeping tabs on people.  Todd mentioned two people he wanted them to reach out to, to say ‘hi’ for him. 

The Voice 18 winner Todd Tilghman

Pictured: “The Voice” season 18 winner Todd Tilghman / Photo by: NBC

Tilghman was asked what the week after the week he won was like? He answered, “I’m not still fully realized that I won season 18.”  Tilghman said “so much has happened.  I took a lot of naps that week.”  He said if he has any say in scheduling he tries to schedule later so he can sleep in the morning.  “My life took this good, but insane turn,” said Tilghman of “The Voice.”


Season 18 of “The Voice” finished its season at the start of the Corona Virus pandemic. People everyone were ordered to shelter at home. Thus, “The Voice” artists had to compete in the Live Shows while performing from their homes. It was a stark contrast from past shows, and even season 18 up to that point where artists normally perform on stage in front of a live audience, who are fans of the show. “The Voice” season 19 will have a virtual audience who are streamed from their homes and appear on monitors behind the coaches. Tilghman was asked about his time competing on the show without a live audience. He said, “when you sing in church you learn how to connect on a different level other than people.  I just put something in my mind.  It’s harder, but it can be done.”

The Voice 19 virtual audience

Pictured: (l-r) Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani — Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

Morrissey commented on having a virtual audience. She said, “we thought about how the artists would feel.  People lifting them up.” She explained, usually when the artists have a ‘Voice callback, they perform in a small room for 15 people.  When we thought about this season and how we make it comfortable, we fought to make sure the band was there.  They at least have their group behind them.

One advantage, Morrissey said, was the coaches commented that they can hear the artists better because there’s no audience.

Any plans to have a few people in the audience for the Live Shows?  Morrissey stated that, “we’re very anxious to get the audience back in.  Obviously, safety first.  At this point, we don’t have plans to bring a live audience in.  But, we’re constantly checking that advice for artists because they’re not getting the full experience,” during Covid. 

The Voice 19, coaches in masks

Pictured: (l-r) Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson — Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

Tilghman was asked about not getting the full experience during his season due to Covid-19 pandemic. He responded that he’s “just grateful.”  Todd also stated, “what’s supposed to happen at the time it happens, happens.  I’ve not felt cheated at all.  I had my season.”  He said if they had not gone virtual in his home during his final performance, then viewers wouldn’t have seen his baby girl sleeping.  He thinks that scored big with audiences at home on why he won.  He advised the contestants this season to stay grateful and to have a great attitude.


Morrissey was asked if there was ever a question that season 19 may not happen?  She responded, “No.  Not in my mind.  You have to manifest things.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  We were living it in real time with the remote Lives.  People take their cues from you.  There was never a time where I talked about pushing or skipping a season. Audrey finished with, “we’re trying to keep the show that everyone loves.  For me, there was never a conversation about pushing it.  We just did it.”

“THE VOICE” season 19 premieres on Monday and Tuesday Oct. 19 and 20th on NBC.

THE VOICE Blinds Sneak-Peek Below:


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