‘The Voice’ Season 17 Rules: How Does the 2019 Show Work?

The Voice Season 17 Rules

NBC Battle Rounds Episode 1710 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Blake Shelton

The battle rounds end and knockouts begin for The Voice season 17 on Monday, October 28. As the season transitions into its next phase of the competition, now seems like as good a time as any to go over the reality talent show’s rules and review how it all works.

Season 17 of The Voice consists of 5 rounds: the Blind Auditions, the Battle Rounds, Knockouts, Playoffs, and the Live Performance Shows.

During the blind auditions, we watched the coaches turn their chairs for contestants based solely on what they heard in their voices, and then duke it out when the contestant was left with more than one option as to which team to join. This season, the teams are Team Blake Shelton, Team Kelly Clarkson, Team Gwen Stefani, and Team John Legend. In the Battle Rounds, the fully assembled teams’ members were pitted against one another in head-to-head sing-offs; at the end of each, the team members’ coach would pick one contestant to keep and another to eliminate. Saves and steals were in effect, adding to the intensity of the battle phase.

Since October 28 marks a shift from Battle Rounds into Knockouts, let’s take a look at how NBC explains this next phase of the competition:

At the end of the Battle Rounds, only the strongest members of each coach’s roster remain and proceed to the Knockouts. Here, the artists will be pitted against a teammate once more, but this time they will select their own songs to perform individually while their direct competitor watches and waits. They are vying for their coach’s confidence and decision to take them to the final and crucial round before the Live Shows, the Playoffs.

One superstar mega-mentor will be on hand to work with all the coaches and their teams as they prepare the artists for this challenge. But the coaches alone will choose the winner, and the artist not selected will be available to be stolen by another coach. This season each coach will only have one steal in the Knockouts, making the stakes higher than ever.

Season 17’s Top 20, 5 artists per team determined at the end of Knockouts, will advance to the Playoffs, which will ultimately cut the contestants down to 12 for the Live Shows. As fans of the series know, the Live Shows are when the at-home audience gets to vote each week for their favorites, playing a major role in determining who stays and who goes home until a season 17 victor is crowned from one of the four coaches’ teams. Voters at home will also have the opportunity to save their favorite performers with an “Instant Save,” should they wind up in the bottom, utilizing The Voice‘s app feature.

Last season, the Knockouts round of competition was replaced with the “Live Cross Battles,” which brought the season more quickly into its live shows. For season 17, the Knockouts have returned, and there will be no Live Cross Battles phase.

Tune in to new episodes of The Voice season 17, Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.