Get a first look at the new 'Voice' chairs — and the new 'Block button' twist

The Voice has just upped the stakes in its game of musical chairs — and not just because it has recruited original American Idol champion Kelly Clarkson to be a much-hyped new coach for Season 14. Yahoo Entertainment’s Reality Rocks has the exclusive look at the show’s spiffy new chairs, and they are literally a game-changer.

Sure, it’s impressive that The Voice’s updated hydraulic thrones feature hand-sculpted aluminum shells, metallic automobile-paint finishes, 1,400 individual LED modules with 16 million color options (because apparently basic red was not enough!), and chrome cup holders “per Blake’s specification.” None of that seems very unnecessary — unless such deluxe add-ons helped sweeten Kelly’s NBC deal, but Kelly doesn’t seem like enough of a diva to demand “premium adjustable seat-heaters.”

The <em>Voice</em> chairs, before and after. (Photos: NBC)
The Voice chairs, before and after. (Photos: NBC)

No, it’s the chairs’ new “Block” buttons that should excite Kelly — and the hypercompetitive Adam Levine — especially if they are trying to poach a promising country contestant away from Blake Shelton.

This is how this new twist works: In addition to the usual big red button, each coach’s chair will now feature three new buttons with the names of the other three coaches (and a Ghostbusters-reminiscent red-slash graphic). These Block buttons, which can be used only once during the Blind Auditions, allow each coach to block another coach from getting an artist.

The new “Block” buttons on the Season 14 <em>Voice</em> chairs. (Photo: NBC)
The new “Block” buttons on the Season 14 Voice chairs. (Photo: NBC)

So, if Kelly hears an audition that really excites her, but she doesn’t want, say, returning winning coach Alicia Keys to score that singer, she can hit the “Block Alicia” button — and that will prevent Alicia from recruiting that contestant. Heightening the TV drama is the fact that Alicia won’t even know she’s been blocked until she turns her own chair.

Yep, something to make the Blind Auditions even more competitive. I have a feeling that the coaches won’t be able to get too comfortable in their new chairs, even with those fancy heated seats. But if you’re feeling nostalgic for those chilly, cup-holder-less, plain red chairs of simpler times, fear not: The vintage chairs, autographed by the coaches, are being shipped out to Las Vegas for the upcoming “Neon Dreams” residency at the Hard Rock Hotel.

The Voice Season 14 kicks off Monday, Feb. 26.

Blake Shelton autographs a classic <em>Voice</em> chair. (Photo: NBC)
Blake Shelton autographs a classic Voice chair. (Photo: NBC)

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