Just when you thought reality TV couldn’t get any more scripted, Guy Sebastian has revealed Channel 7 producers have their fingers all over what happens on The Voice too.
The ratings hit is currently drawing more than one million viewers a night and while it’s largely down to the spellbinding performances and personalities of the judges, the show is also given a helping hand by backstage puppet-masters.
“I think the producers go into it with a fair bit of thought,” Sebastian told Yahoo! “For example, they’ll have some people that are pretty good, and then towards the end of the session when we’re a bit tired and we are desperate for a lift, they’ll put in this ‘wow’ singer.
“And I think sometimes it might look like we’re being over the top, but we’ve probably sat through some mediocrity for a little while and then there’s someone that’s like, oh my gosh.”
Sebastian revealed the red books that he and fellow judges Keith Urban, Rita Ora and Jessica Mauboy hold contain instructions on how to approach each contestant.
“It’ll sort of just say like, what state they’re from. There’s no names, no gender or anything like that,” he said. “We never get told anything about who they are, we don’t get told the song.
“But if it’s a really random song, like one that’s some B-side Whitesnake or Radiohead or something that not everyone knows, we get told that so that we don’t think it’s an original.”
In perhaps his biggest bombshell, Sebastian said the books do include notes on who the judges should turn their chairs around for.
“This season we’ve got unlimited chair turns so sometimes if there’s one coach that goes in for a chair turn, to make it more interesting, you may as well go in there and have a crack at pitching,” he said.
“They don’t want the show to be all one-chair turns for some of the artists. You want the artist to feel like there are two coaches fighting over them, otherwise, how do you make a good segment out of that? It’s just literally, ‘oh Keith is the only one that turned, so you’re stuck with Keith’.
“So there are little things the producer will write in, stuff like, ‘If this is just a one-chair turn, maybe jump in’.”
Sebastian revealed about 80 per cent of contestants prompt at least one judge to turn their chair around.