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Another questionable twist is coming, courtesy of The Voice

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Aliyah Moulden figures to be the biggest beneficiary of the latest format twist on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Aliyah Moulden figures to be the biggest beneficiary of the latest format twist on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Did Aliyah Moulden just get a big boost in her effort to make The Voice Top 4?

Hmm, I think that’s precisely what happened.

Get ready, folks.

The Voice is about to unveil another totally unnecessary and potentially unfair twist when the semifinalists take the stage Monday night.

In addition to solo performances from the Top 8, we’ll be treated to duets Monday night.

The duets themselves are nothing new. We saw them in the Season 11 semifinals.

But this time, those duets will be available for download, and the downloads will count for vote.

What’s more, The Voice will conduct Twitter save style voting for those duets. Tweet or retweet a specific hashtag during the official voting window (from 8 p.m. Monday eastern time to noon Tuesday eastern time), and it will count as a vote for both members of the duet.

According to the updated official voting rules: Aliyah of Team Blake will sing with Hunter Plake of Team Gwen. Country singers Lauren Duski of Team Blake and Brennley Brown of Team Gwen will perform together again. Team Alicia members Chris Blue and Vanessa Ferguson will be duet partners. And Team Blake’s TSoul and Team Adam’s Jesse Larson will pair up for a performance.

The hashtags we’ll be using are as follows:

#AliyahHunterDuet

#BrennleyLaurenDuet

#ChrisVanessaDuet

#JesseTSoulDuet

And, be careful, The Voice warns. Get the names out of order and the vote won’t count.

Here’s how the official voting rules read: “Limit one vote per duet performance per Twitter ID during the overnight voting window. Note that each valid Twitter vote for a duet performance will result in one vote for each of the artists performing in the duet performance. Any Twitter messages you submit after your first vote for a duet will NOT be counted as valid. Re-tweets made during the applicable overnight voting window will be accepted as votes for the Twitter ID that re-tweets.”

Wow, talk about muddying the good ol’ voting waters.

I think that means you can vote for a duet performance by tweeting that hashtag or retweeting someone else’s vote, but that either way, you only get one vote per Twitter ID. That one vote will go to both artists.

Hold it. Did I just state that more clearly in about a third as many words?

That, though, isn’t the problem.

Chris Blue and Vanessa Ferguson will perform a duet on Monday night's The Voice, according to the show's official voting rules.

Chris Blue and Vanessa Ferguson will perform a duet on Monday night’s The Voice, according to the show’s official voting rules. (NBC Photo)

The problem is the potentially unlevel playing field for the contestants.

My guess is that Aliyah, for instance, will pick up more Twitter votes singing with a show favorite like Hunter than, for instance, Chris Blue will get singing with Vanessa Ferguson, who landed in the bottom three last week.

And if their duet just happens to land in the Top 10 on iTunes, earning bonus votes — hello, jackpot. For Aliyah, that is.

And while the Brennley-Lauren pairing looks mighty formidable, given their popularity, remember that fans can vote for more than one singer on The Voice. My guess is that far more Voice fans are voting for both Brennley and Lauren than are voting for — again, for instance — both Hunter and Aliyah.

On the other hand, pairing them up would almost seem to guarantee a Top 10 hit on iTunes.

So, is it unfair to count the duets for voting purposes?

Of course, it is.

But when has that stopped The Voice.

It certainly didn’t stop the live voting during the live playoffs — voting that was blatantly unfair to contestants with West Coast fan bases.

And it hasn’t stopped the show from using the Twitter save. By the way, Lilli Passero’s elimination last week now means that West Coast contestants are 0 for 6 lifetime when competing for one of those saves.

Unfairness means nothing to The Voice when there’s an opportunity for a new twist.

Or a bit more drama.

See also:
Ranking the Top 8 on The Voice
Check out the social media leaders among the Top 8
iTunes rankings for the Top 8 on The Voice

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