Carson Daly hosts 'The Voice' in empty studio: 'Unlike anything we've ever done'

The talent competition kicked off the live performance rounds — from a distance.
The Voice - Season 18
NBC
/ Source: TODAY

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions — and Monday night’s episode of the “The Voice” proved to be the perfect example of that sentiment.

As the prime-time talent competition approached the live part of the season, the cast, crew and contestants decided the show must go on, even in the age of isolation.

And here’s how they did it!

Host Carson Daly kicked off the show from the usual sound stage, with dozens of spotlights glowing and a familiar quartet of red chairs behind him. All that was missing was … anyone else.

Monday night's episode of "The Voice" featured a massive sound stage for one.NBC

“As you know, the entire world changed dramatically since we taped the Knockouts,” he told viewers at the top of the show. “But just because we’re all separated, it certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t come together from across the nation and celebrate and hear some great music. That’s what we’re going to do tonight. So, for the first time ever, I’m here in Los Angeles, with no audience.”

And no judges and no performers either — but he wasn’t alone for long.

Eventually, the whole gang joined in for remote fun.NBC

Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Nick Jonas all joined in via video from their respective homes, as did the top 17 contestants in the competition.

Even season 18 “mega mentor” James Taylor worked with the talent ahead of time to record an unforgettable version of his hit “Shower the People.”

"Mega mentor" James Taylor worked with the contestants from afar this week.NBC

“It’s a little different, and honestly, a little challenging," Carson said. "But at the end of the day, the bottom line is that we’re so grateful that we can still be here with all of you.”

Even though it was, as he put it in a behind-the-scenes video, “unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” it worked, thanks in no small part to singers who brought their all to their at-home concerts — and to coaches who brought a couple of pleasing props.

Nick Jonas came prepared with his very own red chair.NBC

Shelton had his go-to plastic foam cup in hand, while Jonas, had his very own red chair. While Shelton said the experience was “super weird,” Jonas noted that as the resident new guy, he didn’t find it strange.

“To be honest, I don’t know anything else at this moment,” he explained. “This is my first year doing the show, first year coach.”

All of the coaches agree that, weird or not, the show delivered on its goal.

What a show!NBC

“This is about the voice, and that didn’t escape us,” Clarkson said after it was over. “Yes, everything else is weird, but you still hear how people sound, and that’s the quality of talent on this show.”

And there was no lack of quality on display with standout performances all around, like this one from Team Legend star CammWess.

Tune in Tuesday night to find out who viewers saved, who the coaches will keep and whose dreams will be dashed.