The Voice Rule Change: Coaches' Teams Not Guaranteed a Slot in the Season 3 Finale

avery wilson the voiceTheir spinning chairs might look pretty comfy, but it won’t matter much, as The Voice‘s quartet of coaches will be perched on the edge of ’em for the remainder of Season 3. In a change from the NBC hit’s first two cycles, it’s entirely possible that one or even two coaches’ teams will be shut out of the December finale, NBC announced today.

Indeed, here’s how the remainder of the season is shaping up:

* Next Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 29 and 30) will focus on the “Knockout Rounds,” in which Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton all will narrow down their teams from 10 to five using head-to-head matchups where the contestants choose their own songs. As one singer performs, his or her rival will sit on a stool inside the Voice “boxing ring,” then they’ll swap places, and finally wait for their coach’s verdict.

* The Season 3 Top 20 will perform and the audience will be allowed to vote for the first time on Monday, Nov. 5 (8/7c) and Wednesday, Nov. 7 (8/7c), a section of the competition that’s being dubbed as “The Playoffs.” (The show will warm the bench on Tuesday due to NBC’s presidential election coverage.) On a special Thursday results show (Nov. 8, 8/7c), the top two vote-getters from each coach’s team will advance; each coach also will be able to save one of his or her three at-risk contestants from being ousted, resulting in a Top 12.

* Here’s where the twist comes in: Beginning on Nov. 13, the bottom two vote-getters will be sent home every week, regardless of whose team they’re on. In other words, fewer weak links in the Final 4, and no injustices like Season 2’s Jamar Rogers getting the boot only because he was on Team Cee Lo alongside Juliet Simms.

What do you think of these changes to The Voice‘s format? Sound off in the comments!