'The Voice' Is Back! Are You Excited to Watch?

The gang's all here! The NBC show will premiere at 8 p.m. tonight and air every night through Wednesday, when it will go up against The X Factor season premiere

Cue the apocalyptic music! Season 3 of The Voice is premiering tonight on NBC at 8 p.m. (will air Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, then Monday and Tuesday going forward). Watch the promo here: 


 

Lots of TV viewers are already accustomed to kicking off their Monday and Tuesday evenings with host Carson Daly's cheerful greeting. Last season the show had a 14.8 million average audience. But even if you're one of them, there are some fresh twists happening during season 3. The show will introduce a few changes to its format and (sigh) reignite a network rivalry. Here's what to expect.

Last year, The Voice searched for its star while American Idol was carrying out the same task on Fox. This time, the show will go up against The X Factor, with The Voice airing on Mondays/Tuesdays and The X Factor airing on Wednesdays/Thursdays. As usual, that seems like an awful lot of talent searching in one season. But as long as Americans have an appetite for it, the networks will serve it up.

There's already a snag, though. The Voice kicks off Monday with its blind auditions (and those famous spinning chairs). And during this first, supercharged week, those auditions will continue for three consecutive nights. That means The Voice will be airing opposite The X Factor on the night of its premiere, on Wednesday. And guess who doesn't like that?

"This is a cynical, cold-hearted, unprofessional way of doing business," Simon Cowell told TMZ. "These guys have really got it in for us. It's nothing short of dirty tricks." For his part, X Factor producer Mark Burnett denies any wrongdoing. "There was never ever a meeting or a discussion of what my show was up against," he told the website. "This is someone trying to read into something that doesn't exist."

That's not to say that Burnett isn't amenable to inserting tricks into his own show. In a just-added component, the judges -- Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine -- will be able to steal contestants from each others' teams during the battle phase. Considering how heated their disputes have been in the past (click here for a reminder), this extra element is sure to further stir the pot.  

While the disputes among judges and contestants haven't yet come to fisticuffs, producers seem determined to amplify that possibility. In addition to the blind audition, battle phase and live performance shows, this season there will also be a knockout phase, complete with an actual boxing ring. While one singer is performing, his/her competitor will have to sit in the corner of the ring, watching. If anyone shoots daggers with his/her eyes, the boxing ring will naturally magnify the effect!

Can't wait for tonight? Here's a sneak peek of what's to come!

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