‘The Voice’: 3 Strict Rules the Coaches Must Follow (but Sometimes Break)

Every competition has rules; without them, things would get pretty chaotic. NBC’s The Voice maintains its structure with a lengthy set of rules for the contestants and the coaches. However, on the coaches’ side, these instructions can sometimes go ignored. Here are a few rules for The Voice coaches that have been broken in the past.

Coaches John Legend, Gwen Stefani, Camila Cabello, and Blake Shelton sitting in chairs on 'The Voice' Season 22
Coaches John Legend, Gwen Stefani, Camila Cabello, and Blake Shelton on ‘The Voice’ Season 22 | Tyler Golden/NBC

‘The Voice’ coaches aren’t supposed to have contact with their team outside the show

A coach’s role on The Voice is to train their team for the show’s Battles, Knockouts, and Live Playoffs. It’s supposed to be a strictly professional relationship, but most teams turn into big, loving families anyway. Season 21 coach Ariana Grande really pushed the limits of this rule by staying in close contact with her team outside of the show. She revealed on The Kelly Clarkson Show that she often DM’d her teammates and sent them gifts to their hotel room, which was a breach of her contract.

“I’ve broken every rule in my contract,” she said. “I talk to them all, all the time. I’m like, DMing them. They’re like, ‘You’re not supposed to do that.’ And I’m like, ‘Sorry.'”

Grande wasn’t the only coach to bend this rule. A few former The Voice contestants told Cosmopolitan last year that longtime coach Blake Shelton often left his house open to artists in the early seasons. For example, season 1 artist Vicci Martinez recalled being invited to Shelton’s place for parties, while Jessie Poland of season 2 “drank and barbecued” at Shelton’s house when The Voice wasn’t filming.

Coaches shouldn’t turn around during the Blinds if their team is full

Coaches on The Voice have limited spots on their teams. Once they fill those spots in the Blind Auditions, they can’t turn their big red chairs for any more artists, no matter how much they love them. This rule was at the center of a scandal on Australia’s version of The Voice in 2020.

Toward the end of the Blinds, coach Guy Sebastian turned his chair for Wolf Winters after the artist sang Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” However, Team Guy was already full. Sebastian’s fellow coaches Kelly Rowland, Boy George, and Delta Goodrem expressed outrage at Sebastian for “cheating.” The show was put on pause as the coaches and producers discussed what to do. In the end, Winters still joined Team Guy.

The scandal made waves in The Voice community for weeks. As Talent Recap notes, it even made it to the U.S., with coach John Legend revealing on KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O Show that coaches’ buttons are deactivated when their teams are full. Eventually, Sebastian came forward with the truth: The scandal had been orchestrated by producers to stir up drama and improve ratings.

Official rules of ‘The Voice’ call for coaches to have 1 block each

Over the years, The Voice has added various rules for coaches to make things more competitive and interesting. One controversial addition was the block, which came in season 14. During the Blinds, each coach gets one block to use on another coach. The blocked coach can still turn their chair, but they can’t fight for the artist auditioning at that time. Legend became a frequent victim of the block in his first season, having been blocked twice in one episode.

While a coach has yet to break the block rule on The Voice, it’s one rule that many The Voice fans would like to see changed. As Washington Post points out, the block can potentially harm an artist by keeping them from the team where they would fit best.

The Voice Season 22 premieres on Monday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Will there be any rule breakers this season? Fans should tune in to find out.

RELATED: ‘The Voice’ Season 22 Rumors: Big Format Changes Could Be on the Way