‘The Voice’ Contracts Make Contestants Sign Their Dignities Away

The VoiceNBC’s The Voice has strict contracts that make contestants sign away their dignities if they want the chance to participate. They are so one-sided that contestants are not allowed to sue the network, but the network can sue them.

The news comes after a copy of the contracts was leaked to New York Daily News. It takes 32 pages to cover everything that any hopeful contestant will need to go through, and some of the necessities are “dehumanizing” according to the publication that has shared the leak. The publication even asked a legal expert to weigh-in on the subject, who deemed that the whole thing was a way for NBC to say “f–k you” to anybody hoping that they will be picked by one of the coaches.

To make it even worse, the public will now find out just how much their votes are taken into account. According to the contract, the network does not even need to take the votes into account. It can choose the singer it feels deserves to win—or more likely will make it the most money. That could explain why there was the controversy last season when Judith Hill was “voted out” of the competition. By knowing the contract terms, it really does beg the question over whether the network and producers took any votes into consideration at all.

The wording in the document states that NBC has the right to “remove or replace” a contestant at its own discretion and at any time.

However, there are clauses in The Voice contracts that almost make contestants sign their dignities away. One of those clauses is that contestants can be forced to undergo psychological and medical testing throughout the show. Why contestants would need to go through any of this should really be answered, but the network is refusing to comment in detail.

Carson Daly did admit to the public that some votes had not been counted last year. The online and text votes had been left out from the rankings, but it did not affect the outcome. It makes it hard to believe when the contract says that the producers and network can simply ignore the votes anyway.

It is not the first time that controversy has happened on talent shows. American Idol was hit with controversial voting in four different seasons. The United Kingdom has also seen controversial results on its talent shows, including the result that saw Will Young be crowned the first Pop Idol winner instead of the stuttering favorite, Gareth Gates.

Another legal expert was brought in and defended the network’s actions. The contract is there to protect the network and The Voice’s producers from being sued some time in the future. This has happened in the past on other reality shows, so harsh wording is standard. The expert notes that the wording is actually a smart thing for NBC to do.

One part of the contract that is worrying is the fact that the network can make the contestants look embarrassing and expose them “to humiliation.” Is it really worth the chance of winning The Voice when the contracts make contestants sign their dignities away?

Opinion by Alexandria Ingham


New York Daily News

15 Responses to "‘The Voice’ Contracts Make Contestants Sign Their Dignities Away"

  1. Booger T   May 24, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Singing is crazy

  2. J L   January 7, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Well, to me it kind of makes sense from a legal standpoint. “Humiliation” is relative, isn’t it? A montage that has a teasing tone toward a contestant could be interpreted by that contestant as “humiliating” and the show could be liable when it was completely innocent.

    To be fair, I’ve watched the show every season and I’ve never seen a contestant brutally put down the way they often are on American Idol. The tone/spirit of The Voice has always been much kinder and more encouraging. For one thing, the truly BAD singers DON’T get sent before the coaches to be humiliated and laughed at the way they do on American Idol. If they make it onto the show, they can at least carry a tune.

    I think this is basically making a big deal out of nothing but standard legalities.

  3. postal boy   November 12, 2015 at 6:22 am

    All singing contests sucks. Ther is no one perfect singer. But a musical would probably be interesting to watch.

  4. Bonnie Rahme   May 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    No matter what you say I really enjoy watching the Voice and will continue to do so. I enjoy all the Music Bonnie Rahme May 20th 2015

  5. highlohr@yahoo.com   December 17, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Finding out about NBC and their contracts with the contestants now, is very disturbing and makes me not even interested in watching these thief’s anymore. WOW THIS SUCKS!!!!!!. You guys suck!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Fay Ramsey   December 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    The Voice does suck. Don’t like Pharrell or Gwen. And it’s too much about the judges and who’s going to win . That’s why no break out star. Keep who the like, not the talented.

  7. Gerry Simoni   November 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    What a wimpy article. A liberal obviously wrote this.Everyone is a victim according to these progressive goofballs.

  8. Claudia   October 7, 2014 at 3:26 am

    You truly never know how a judge can react to such a contract anyway. If a judge finds it unconscionable, and there is sufficient case law, it may not be enforced and the contestant might end up winning so don’t lose faith if you participate and end up being abused.

  9. Claudia   October 7, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Well, I remember when Michelle Chamuel participated. She was the winner by votes, but they decided to give it to Danielle something. I think Danielle Blackberry.

  10. Madge   May 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I won’t be watching ever again, you would hope a real contest with honest voting counts would naturally attract a huge audience

  11. Dylah   May 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    What a Hugh disappointment. There is no realty show you can believe in. What a shame….

  12. lyn   May 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    If the contestants are willing to sell their souls for a chance at fame and fortune, well its sad, but free will. I am kinda disillusioned, and the fun is gone for me.

  13. Chip Tucker   April 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Like signing your life to the Devil, in hopes to receive a Golden Egg…how sad

  14. Bob   April 16, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    After reading this, I don’t feel so bad that my favorite didn’t make the top twelve. What a crock.

  15. Andrew Bynum   March 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    complete bs, the voice sucks and the coaches do as well


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