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‘The Voice’ U.S. Contract Reveals Producers Can Eliminate Contestants Even If They Have ‘Winning’ Votes

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By Anne Lu | March 21, 2014 11:54 AM EST

Viewers actually don’t have a voice in “The Voice,” according to a new report. Apparently, the contract contestants sign states that producers of the hit U.S. talent show can eliminate a contestant if they want to, even if that contestant has the support of the voting public.

Reuters
Colombian singer Shakira poses during a photocall presenting her new album \"Shakira\" in Barcelona March 20, 2014. REUTERS/Albert Gea

The NBC show has been winning the ratings chart since it commenced in 2011, following a slightly different format than its main rival, “American Idol.” Viewers also have the power to help a contestant advance in the competition just by voting for them.

However, according to the “dehumanising” 32-page contract signed by the contestants, which is obtained by The News, voters don’t really have a power in the show.

The producers of the reality show can completely ignore the votes if they so wish to manipulate who is going to advance or get eliminated.

The contract states that producers can:
• Change the rules at any time.
• Eliminate contestants at any time, even if they are “winning” with the public.
• Ignore the show’s voting system, which includes sales figures for contestants’ songs on iTunes, in the event of problems.
• Force contestants to undergo medical or psychological testing and, under certain circumstances, release the results on TV.

The contract also states that singers agree to be portrayed in a false light or be depicted in the show in a way that “may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing (and) may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation.”

Another clause in the legal document reads: Producer and the network... shall have the right at any and all times... to remove or replace me as a participant in the series, for any reason whatsoever, in their sole discretion.”

“The second clause of this document says to contestants, ‘F**k you,’” a legal expert who has read the contract told The News. “And if you missed it, the clauses that follow say, ‘F**k you.’”

Contestants who reveal the details of the contract can be sued for USD100,000 to 1 million. That didn’t stop Twitter user @OfficialTVC to leak parts of it, though. He claimed he did it to expose the “unfair and dehumanising” contract that contestants are forced to sign.

A source from the show, however, defended the contract, saying, “We have never manipulated the outcome on this show – NBC and ‘The Voice’ producers take the fairness and integrity of this competition far too seriously.”

“The Voice” is currently on its sixth season, with Carson Daly hosting and Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira, and Usher sitting on the judges’ panel.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Colombian singer Shakira poses during a photocall presenting her new album \"Shakira\" in Barcelona March 20, 2014. REUTERS/Albert Gea
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