LOS ANGELES - Viewers of The Voice are getting a new chance to be heard via Twitter.
After the 12 finalists perform Monday (NBC, 8 p.m. ET/PT) and viewers cast their votes, fans will be able to save one of the three lowest vote-getters from elimination with a first-of-its-kind Twitter vote during Tuesday's live results show, with the results announced later in the program.
In previous seasons, the Emmy-winning singing competition announced the week's three lowest-ranking finalists, with the two with the fewest votes leaving the show.
Now, "People have a last chance to realize, 'I love that person. I don't want them to go home,' " says NBC reality chief Paul Telegdy. "That kind of last chance to save a favorite is something the audience has been telling us they want, so we're giving it to them."
The new "Instant Save," which gives viewers a five-minute voting window toward the end of the results show, could prevent the early elimination of audience favorites, such as Season 3's Amanda Brown. It also could stir the show's coaches - Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton - to push viewers to vote for singers on their teams.
"We imagine there will be a frenzy of campaigning that will take place," Telegdy says.
The Instant Save will be used for the next four weeks, as viewers tweet #VoiceSave along with their favorite's name. A winner will be named on the Dec. 17 season finale of the series, which is averaging 15.6 million viewers on Mondays, up 8% from last fall.
Although the program runs on tape-delay in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, fans in those regions will be able to vote during the live broadcast by following The Voice (@nbcthevoice) on Twitter, where they can learn the eligible singers and the time to vote.
Other programs have been expanding viewer interactivity, including Fox's rival The X Factor, which is using social media to poll voters about favorite singers, perhaps influencing judges' choices. The Voice's Instant Save will be the first time Twitter will be used for an actual voting decision during a show, Twitter head of TV Fred Graver says.
After initial votes are cast, "Nobody has ever handed the reins over to the audience before and said, 'You get the choice, you have the power,'" he says, adding that Twitter will collect and tabulate the tweets during the show. "It's a huge innovation."
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