The Voice UK officially announces format changes

The Voice coaches

Producers for The Voice UK have officially announced format changes to series two of singing competition.

Last year, the controller of BBC One, Danny Cohen, said changes needed to be made to the live shows of The Voice after viewing figures fell.

This year's series will feature just three live shows, while earlier stages will borrow elements from the successful US version of the programme.

One dramatic change will see judges "steal" a contestant from their rivals.

The first series pulled in strong audiences during its early stages, when the coaches chose contenders in blind auditions. They only set eyes on the singers once they'd decided to champion them, at which point their chairs spun round to face the stage.

Singers will.i.am, Jessie J, Tom Jones and Danny O'Donoghue will all return as the show's coaches.

During this year's "battle" stages, in which each individual coach selects their final line-up of singers for the live shows, a losing contestant may be poached for a rival team.

The "steals" can only happen once per coach.

The Voice

Another change BBC bosses are hoping will retain viewers is that each artist must pick a "killer song" during the new "knockouts" stage of the competition.

Then the public will be in control to decide the winners during the live shows.

Executive producer Moira Ross said: "We can't wait for The Voice UK to return to Saturday nights.

"With our four global superstars back on board, an unrivalled standard of vocal talent and the added excitement of the 'Steals' and 'Knockouts', it is set to be an extraordinary series."

The Voice is expected to be back on BBC One at the end of March.

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