The Voice’s Guy Sebastian reveals behind-the-scenes coach secrets

Not only is Guy Sebastian currently thriving in his music career - having just released his song Believer as the seventh single from his massive 2020 album T.R.U.T.H. - but the current season of The Voice is also soaring in the ratings.

The competition series, which started airing on Channel 7 for the first time this year, is currently the most-watched entertainment show in the country with over a million viewers tuning in each night.

The Voice's Guy Sebastian.
Guy shared production secrets about The Voice. Photo: Channel 7

Guy spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle all about his third time appearing on the hit reality series and also revealed some major behind-the-scenes secrets as a coach.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans that each coach has a red notebook sitting next to them in their chair, but the big question is: What is inside of them?

The Aussie superstar confessed that each notebook holds a variety of information for the coaches, including facts about the contestants and the songs they perform during the blind auditions.

The coaches’ notebooks sometimes hold information about the audition songs. Photo: Channel 7
The coaches’ notebooks sometimes hold information about the audition songs. Photo: Channel 7

“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.”


A similar situation occurred earlier this week when contestant Chantel Cofie blew everyone away with her original song 2020.

“With that one, they told us it was an original,” Guy explained.

“We might still have to turn around and go, ‘Oh that was an original?’ because we don’t want everyone to know that we knew, but it saves time.”

The Voice's Rita Ora.
Guy says that the notebooks will also tell the coaches whose turn it is to talk. Photo: Channel 7

While Guy admits that he doesn’t want to “give away TV secrets”, he disclosed that the journals will often include notes from producers.

“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'.”

Guy went on to detail that the coaches will sometimes add their own little notes in the books, but they’re mainly for production directions.

“It’ll tell you who the leading coach is, as in, ‘Keith you kick this one off with, “Hey, where are you from? What’s your name?”’.

“That’s why we look at them because we’re going, ‘Is this me?’. Otherwise, sometimes they sing and then everyone just sits there if you don’t read your notebook.”

The Voice coaches.
Guy says the coaches are often encouraged to turn their chairs to make the show more interesting. Photo: Channel 7

In terms of what viewers see on TV and the order of performances, the Only Thing Missing hitmaker acknowledged that it’s pretty much the same as what actually happened on set.

“I think the producers go into it with a fair bit of thought,” he said. “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.”

Guy also divulged that the ratio of people that did and didn’t get a chair turn from the coaches this season was “maybe 80:20”.

“I don’t think there were many no-chair turns,” he remarked.

“But what we all decided is hey, if someone didn’t get a chair turn, how do we get them to leave feeling not like a failure but feeling like we’ve given them some coaching, some tips, some technical advice, or got up and sang with them and made it a moment.

“Those little things make it so there’s no disappointment or heartbreak and it just adds to the overall feeling that we’re part of something really nice.”

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