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NBC to Air Idol Rival This Spring

NBC's trying to capitalize on the judging change over at Idol by launching its own singing reality competition, The Voice of America, based on the Dutch program The Voice of Holland. Reality TV Über-mensch Mark Burnett will produce the show, which will begin airing in the spring, ahead of Fox's Simon Cowell–led X Factor, starting in the fall, and alongside the new season of Idol. The format is similar, though not identical to Idol's: There are four judges who listen to contestants with — get this — their backs turned, so they can only "judge" their voices. If a judge likes a performer, he or she hits a button, sending the contestant to the next round and taking on the chore of being that performer's coach. Each coach's team of performers then competes against the others, with audience members voting on the face-offs, until each team has only one contestant left, who will then appear in the finals. The show is a ballsy move for NBC. For the network's sake, we hope it works out for them better than previous ballsy moves.