Last season, it battled — and beat! — The X Factor. Now The Voice is going up against American Idol.
Although The Voice kicks off its new season Monday, March 25, the reality show will really get competitive later in the season. That's because NBC will air a special Wednesday episode on May 8 at 8/7c when the singing competition will reveal the Top 12 singers live. The Wednesday broadcast is one night only, but marks the first time that the NBC singing competition, which normally airs Mondays and Tuesdays, will go up directly against American Idol, which airs Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Returning spring shows: Where we left off
Last year, The Voice aired special Wednesday episodes opposite The X Factor twice — a move that X Factor executive producer and judge Simon Cowell called "a cynical, cold-hearted, unprofessional way of doing business" at the time. The Voice beat The X Factor in both total viewers and the adults ages 18-49 demo rating on both outings.
Prior to the special live Wednesday episode, The Voice will air special two-hour editions on Tuesday, April 30 and Tuesday, May 7, both at 8/7c. The expanded episodes will highlight the knockout rounds and the live playoffs, respectively. The new dating show Ready for Love will air at 10/9c following both episodes. The singing show will wrap its fourth season on Tuesday, June 18 at 9/8c.
Get to know the American Idol 12 finalists
In anticipation of the new season, NBC released a special sneak peek at Monday's Season 4 premiere. The blind audition video not only pays tribute to coaches past — the song is Christina Aguilera's "What a Girl Wants" — but also showcases new judges Usher and Shakira in action as they battle Adam Levine and Blake Shelton to build their team and come out on top.
Check out the video and see how Usher and Shakira's sell tactics measure up:
The Voice premieres Monday, March 25 at 8/7c on NBC.