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‘The Voice’ Is Back: What’s New For Season 3?

It’s hard to believe that The Voice is already back, but we’re not complaining.

The second season of the hit singing competition, which stars Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5‘s Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee-Lo Green as judges, only just wrapped in May. With the third season kicking off tonight, here are some exciting new twists you can look forward to.

  • Bigger teams: The teams have been increased from 12 up to 16 contestants, which is twice as many as were on the Season 1 teams. The result? Battle rounds AND “knockout rounds.” This is going to be intense.
  • Stealing: We’ve all seen this happen: Two amazing contestants go up against each other, their coach rambles on about how much s(he) loves both of them, and said coach eventually has to make the heartbreaking elimination. Now, the other three coaches will have the ability to steal the eliminated contestant and add them to their team. This is sure to cause some drama (and heightened competition between the coaches).
  • New mentors: The Voice is all about musical diversity. Last season, we had the opportunity to see contestants of all backgrounds get mentored by the likes of Alanis Morissette, Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie and Ne-Yo. This time around, they’ll be working with mentors from completely different genres than their coaches, which is sure to make for some great TV. Offering up their pearls of wisdom will be Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (Team Christina), Mary J. Blige (Team Adam), Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 (Team Cee-Lo), and Michael Bublé (Team Blake).
  • More familiar faces: Viewers of the first two seasons may have noticed some singers they already knew, including Dia Frampton of Meg & Dia, Juliet Simms of Automatic Loveletter, and singer-songwriter Charlotte Sometimes. This season, we’ll be seeing former Hey Monday vocalist Cassadee Pope…and maybe even an OurStage artist or two?
  • More singing from all contestants: In the past, we’ve gone too long without seeing certain contestants sing, depending on the competition schedule. This season, all current contestants will sing during live shows, so you won’t miss your favorites.
  • More Purrfect: We all know that the real breakout star of Season 2 was Purrfect, Cee-Lo’s snow-colored, sour-faced cat. She randomly showed up in his arms about halfway through the competition, and was soon immortalized on his clothing (and on Twitter). Judging from her most recent tweets, the famous feline will be back on Mr. Green’s lap for more vocal warefare this fall.

Season 3 begins with a three-night premiere starting tonight at 8PM EST. Check out a special preview of the blind auditions below!

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