Bill Keveney, USA TODAY 9:12 p.m. EDT March 18, 2014
The Coldplay frontman will advise all remaining 'Voice' singers as Battles: Round Two starts.
The Voice is bringing in more star power to help its singing hopefuls.
Chris Martin, the frontman for Coldplay, will be an adviser to all four of the coaches' teams as NBC's hit singing competition (Monday and Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET/PT) enters a second phase of the Battles Round starting March 31. Martin will appear on that show and again on April 1 and 7.
"He's such an authentic voice in the industry. We could not be happier," executive producer Mark Burnett says. "There's a massive level of respect from the singers and the surprise from them (when they met him) : 'Whoa! Chris Martin. Wow!' "
The Voice relied on social media, not the TV show itself, to announce Martin's involvement, revealing footage of the singer via the popular Snapchat app after the East Coast broadcast of Tuesday's show ended. Fans were alerted in advance to an upcoming announcement via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
"Snapchat is very important and very new. ... This is the perfect way for The Voice to be making an announcement in a very unique way via the place where young Americans are," Burnett says. Based on a combined two-night rating, the current, sixth cycle of The Voice ranks in the top five among young adults and is attracting more young adults and viewers than Fox's American Idol.
Battles: Round Two, in which singers perform the same song, will replace the Knockouts Round, where singers had different songs."We like the pressure when they're sharing one song," he says.
In the first Battles Round, which began this week, each coach has a top talent helping advise contestants on his or her team. The coach-adviser pairings this season are: Adam Levine and Aloe Blacc; Blake Shelton and The Band Perry; Shakira and Miranda Lambert, who happens to be Shelton's wife; and Usher and Jill Scott.
With Martin, who has already recorded his musical sessions with the singers, the stronger performers who survived the first Battles Round received expertise from the same artist.
"It was very objective across the board, so nobody felt they were getting an advantage," Burnett says.
Each coach will get one contestant steal in Battles: Round Two.
Social media has become a growing tool for reality competition shows as they seek to engage their viewers, especially younger ones. The Voice posts Twitter messages on screen; instituted a Twitter "instant save" last year, which it will continue this season; and is incorporating additional features using Snapchat, which lets users share photos, video and text. Idol recently added Google voting and Facebook voting trends to its social-media arsenal.
The Voice playoffs, which will be taped rather than broadcast live this year, will further narrow the field, with 12 finalists — three on each coach's team — competing in the live shows starting April 21. The finale will take place May 20.