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Backstory

It’s time for cruel cuts

By: - Columnist
/ 01:01 AM November 27, 2014

From the title of this Backstory, surely you can tell what’s been going on … The Battle and Knockout rounds of “The Voice of the Philippines” are now in the can. We have one last weekend of Blind Auditions left to air, after which comes these more intense rounds of competition.

The Battle Rounds go in the way we’ve grown accustomed to: Two artists go head-to-head on a stage fashioned to look like a boxing ring. After the round is over and the coach has chosen which artist goes through to the Knockout round (an added layer of competition being introduced this season), the artist left on stage is open to the other three coaches for the Steal. All the coaches get two Steals each. So, seven original team artists plus two steals gives us a grand total of nine artists per team.

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For the Knockout rounds, the teams are divided into three groups of three artists each (how the groups are formed are known only to each coach—until just before the start of each round).

Each artist then sings a song of his or her own choosing, effectively singing for the chance to head to the Live Shows, which begin on Jan. 24, 2015.

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After the last artist of each grouping sings, the coach then decides which two artists of the three move on.

This happens three times for each team. The nine then gets cut down to six. The next eliminations that will take place past the Knockouts will be during the Live Shows, where the audience at home gets to actually have a say.

The cuts made during the Battles and Knockouts truly place each coach in a bind.

Everything that takes place from the Battles pairing and song announcements to the final Knockout performance is taken into consideration. How the artists do in coaching sessions and rehearsals, for example, weigh in on what the coach decides to do next.

This is something that makes me less perturbed when selections that might be seen as controversial are made. Bottom line, out of only the highest regard for my fellow coaches, I have to trust that they all know what they’re doing, as well as respect that their decision is final and that there’s wisdom and common sense behind it.

After many of the Battles that take place, the coaches continue the discussion, whether in a huddle or from our chairs. We ask why this coach chose this or that artist if the reason isn’t very clear. Once the coach explains what happened, then there’s a collective “Oh, now I get it,” and we move on.

Grouping the artists for Knockouts isn’t the easiest thing to do. Up until the very last few minutes, I was making last-minute changes, switching people around, until I had three groups that made absolute sense. Following it all, I got feedback from a couple of the artists that made it past this stage, and they said, “Thanks for grouping us together, Coach, I was really pushed into doing my best after I saw what this person had done before me.”

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After our Team Lea rehearsals, and before the cameras rolled, I went up to the dressing room where my artists were waiting, to give them more words of encouragement. One of my team members likened it to a basketball coach riling up his guys before the big game.

All stars to me

Everyone had members of their family or friends accompanying them. At the end of the pep talk, we all said a prayer together, lifting every member of the team, that they hold their nerves, leave everything on the stage, and sing from their hearts first and their vocal cords second. And proudly may I say, that everyone did exactly that. I am so proud of them all.

Thank you, Team Lea, for always rising to the occasion. You are all stars to me and I hope, once Battles and Knockouts are aired and Live Shows begin in earnest, that the viewing public sees it, too. In truth, the artists on every team are all a force to be reckoned with, and it is with pride that we can call ourselves their coaches.

Keep watching please … it’s going to get very, very interesting.

“The Voice of the Philippines” airs every Saturday after “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” and every Sunday after “Rated K.”

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TAGS: “The Voice of the Philippines”, Entertainment, Music, Television
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