Nellie Andreeva

In its biggest challenge to Fox’s American Idol (and X Factor), NBC has ordered The Voice of America (working title), a singing competition show from leading reality producers John de Mol (Big Brother) and Mark Burnett (Survivor) and Warner Horizon Television. The show, in which contestants vie for a recording contract, is modeled after the Dutch version of the show (The Voice of Holland), which is the country’s #1 talent competition show in Holland. More from NBC’s release:

Four celebrity artists each will form teams of singers that they will coach and mentor throughout the competition.  Individuals will be eliminated until each celebrity only has one team member left who will compete in the finals to be named “The Voice of America” in a live finale.  And to guarantee that the celebrities pick the best of the best, the series introduces a unique twist — the initial audition process is blind; coaches can only hear the singer but cannot see them.

“This show truly focuses on amazing voices,” said Paul Telegdy, EVP, Alternative Programming, NBC and UMS.  “The celebrity coaches are passionate about discovering, developing and nurturing new talent.  As soon as we saw the Dutch format, we knew this was completely different and really exciting.”

“I have greatly admired John de Mol ever since I met him when ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Survivor’ were both premiering.  He is a hit maker of the highest pedigree,” said executive producer Mark Burnett.  “‘Voice of Holland’ is a monster hit and proves that viewers will always tune in to hear incredible singing voices.”

De Mol, creator of the format and producer of “The Voice of Holland,” added: “The pickup by NBC is a huge reward for all the hard work me and my company have put in this show.  It would be fantastic to see ‘The Voice’ as successful in the U.S. as it is in Holland, because that would mean we trace solid new American singing talent.”

The show’s innovative format features three stages of competition.  The first begins with the blind audition, then the competition enters into a battle phase, and finally, the live performance shows.

During the blind auditions, if a coach is impressed, he/she pushes a button to select the contestant for his/her team of competitors.  At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the contestant he/she has selected.  If more than one coach selects the talent, the power shifts to the contestant who may choose which coach he/she wants to work with throughout the competition.  A contestant is eliminated when he/she is not selected by any coach.

Once the teams are set, the battle is on.  Coaches will mentor the contestants and make them over, and ultimately will transform their superlative voices to allow the singers to become star artists.  To help them decide who they want to advance, the coaches will pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song in front of a studio audience.  Based on this, the coaches will pick who they want to continue developing and who should go home.

In the final performance phase of the competition, the top contestants from each team will compete against each other during a live broadcast.  The television audience will vote to select who will move on from each team and who will be eliminated.

At last, each coach will have their best contestant left standing to compete in the finale. From these four, one will be named “The Voice of America” and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.

“The Voice of America” is a presentation of Talpa Productions, Mark Burnett and Warner Horizon Television.  De Mol is creator and also is an executive producer with Burnett.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

Get Deadline news and alerts sent to your inbox.