The Voice Australia: How the show works in Covid times

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Covid has certainly thrown us all some curveballs since it changed our world last year and our favourite television shows haven't come away unscathed either. 

Luckily for us, particularly since here in Sydney we are still locked down with not a lot to do, The Voice is back on August 8th giving fans the opportunity to relax for some good ol' family entertainment and distraction. 

Chairs at the ready for The Voice Australia blind auditions. Photo: 7 Network/ Instagram@thevoiceau
Chairs at the ready for The Voice Australia blind auditions. Photo: 7 Network/ Instagram@thevoiceau

While shows such as Australia's Got Talent have been postponed, The Voice got lucky with its production, ensuring we have something to enjoy over the colder winter months.

Here we look at what will be the same and what will be different on this year's show. 

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What bits (if any) are live?

The Voice Australia seats
The coaches – Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian – all turn in The Voice Australia blind auditions. Photo: 7 Network/ Instagram@thevoiceau

The blind audition, battle and knockout rounds of The Voice were filmed in February and March this year and we were lucky in Australia at that time that these were able to be done in person with live studio audiences. 

However, going forward with the live final, it's a little bit more complicated given filming was originally in Sydney and we are now in lockdown. The Voice is ensuring that they have a number of contingency plans in place so that we can still enjoy the 'live' show but that they also remain Covid safe.

The Voice judges Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian
The coaches – Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian – applaud a singer on The Voice Australia blind auditions. Photo: 7 Network/ Instagram@thevoiceau

In an Aussie first, they are also introducing cutting-edge augmented reality technology to the show. This will hopefully add an exciting new visual dimension and scale to the design and performances across the series. 

While it may not be an ideal solution, it opens up possibilities to what the future of TV may look like. Maybe some of those sci-fi films had it right after all!

Are the judges in Australia?

Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian clapping
The coaches – Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian – during The Voice Australia blind auditions. Photo: 7 Network/ Instagram@thevoiceau

Who can forget last year's show when Boy George and Kelly Rowlands got caught out by Covid and had to mentor their contestants from afar. Although Marcia Hines and The Veronicas stepped in as live mentors, the delays and changes still had an impact on the show.

This year, both Rita Ora, who came over from the UK and Keith Urban who flew over from the US with wife Nicole Kidman and their two daughters at the beginning of Covid, did their mandatory 14-day quarantine and are respecting our Covid rules and regulations.

How do the votes work if it's pre-recorded?

Luckily most of the show is already in the bag. In the blind auditions and the knockout rounds, it is the coaches who decide who will go through. By the time we get to the battle rounds, the studio audience also has an equal vote – which they were able to do at the time.

With the finale, viewers will still be able to cast their vote for their favourite so get watching and see if your favourite makes it through to the final this year!

The Voice premieres 7pm Sunday, 8 August on Channel 7 and 7plus.

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