"The Voice" has switched things up this season with larger teams, knockout rounds, and the introduction of the "steal" option.
Now, NBC has announced that the surprises aren't over. In what is perhaps the biggest change, coaches are no longer guaranteed a spot for one of their team members in the season three finale.
Next week's knockout rounds will cut each team in half. To get Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton down to five team members, contestants will compete against team members by performing a song of their choice. The coach will then pick the winner.
Once knockout rounds are complete, the "Playoffs" begin. The Top 20 will perform for audience votes. While the audience has been able to save contestants before, this is the first time that they are deciding directly who makes it to the next round. In the playoffs, coaches will be able to save one singer on their team who does get enough audience votes.
The playoffs will further narrow the field to a Top 12 which will follow a more traditional talent competition format. Each week, starting with the episode airing November 13, the two performers with the lowest number of votes from the audience will be sent home, no matter who their coaches are. As a result, the final four could possibly feature three members from the same team.
"The Voice" has been credited with aiding NBC's recent renaissance and ratings success. The network is currently ranked number one in prime-time by Nielsen for 18- to 49-year-old viewers.