After we snagged a special sneak peek of the Season 4 premiere of The Voice, it was clear that this season will be all about the amazingly talented contestants and their sometimes painful backstories. And no one is better at presenting these stories than show creator Mark Burnett.
Wetpaint Entertainment spoke with the creator and producer about the upcoming season at the screening in Los Angeles, Calif. on March 18, and he told us all about what goes into making The Voice a great show.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Do you enjoy making people cry?
Mark Burnett: Well if you try to be good at making television, you have to make people feel something, right? So if you think about it, this show is part sitcom, part competitive, and every great sitcom from the past had a moment of heart in the episodes. Like Everyone Loves Raymond, The Cosby Show, you know all of them, Seinfeld, all of these funny shows have moments where it isn’t all fun all the time. I think that really we’re just showing the truth. I think, it’s all about truth. Some people are hurting out there. You can look at this show and feel great about your own life. You think you had a tough day — how about some of these people?
Is it going to be like this all season, sort of that rising to overcome adversity like we saw in the first episode?
There’s always heart in the show, but it shifts because you go through the blinds and suddenly now you’re at the battles, and as you know with the new steal that has been repeated, there’s a huge consequence. There’s a big consequence and so people really enjoyed that last year. There’s no other changes, just grateful we found two new coaches that happen to be great, you know?
How are Shakira and Usher fitting into The Voice family?
There are six coaches now right and my dream for the big screen is to get all six of them on stage performing.
Do you miss anything about not having Christina and Cee Lo there this season?
They are my closest friends! But I knew going in, they all told me, this is not our day job. Our day job is performing and recording. We happen to be on The Voice. And so it was always understood. They will probably go in and out and tour and come back, we will mix and match. We said from the beginning once you sit in that chair it is yours for life and we’ll figure it out. Who knows maybe in a year or whatever it is we’ll have 8 coaches, I don’t know.
Do you feel like it can still be a level playing field for those contestants who have performed before compared to those who have, say, toured with Michael Jackson?
You’ve got to remember one thing though; you’ve only got to get the public to vote. It’s a democratized situation. Someone in history in the entertainment business said, ‘No one knows anything’. That’s true because if anybody knew what was going to be a hit or how to do it every show would be a hit.
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