NBC’s The Voice will air live telecasts for three consecutive nights beginning Monday, April 16, a first for the contest show as it continues is own competition with ABC’s American Idol.

The Voice‘s “Live Playoffs” round, with performances, real-time voting and results, begins at 8 pm ET/PT on the Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday run, with the first night a two-hour episode, and one-hour shows the following two nights.

NBC also announced today that The Voice this season will include special “themed weeks” – beginning with the April 23 live telecast – long a staple of Fox’s original American Idol. But while Idol had genre-specific themes (Motown, the Beatles, for example) The Voice themes will include:

  • “Story of the Song” with artists revealing “what their song means to them – special memories, significant life moments, & covering artists who have inspired them”;
  • “Fan Pick” with the artists each performing songs selected by fans who have been submitting ideas via The Voice Official app);
  • “Challenge Week” with challenges that could be song or genre-based, or having to do with performance and stage presence – any challenge that has contestants tackling something that they see “as a challenge on their journey to become a well-rounded artist”);
  • “Special Duets” – in addition to a solo performance, the Top 8 will team up in twos to perform special duets that blend two songs in a unique way.

Says NBC, the Top 24 artists – six artists from each team – will perform on April 16 and during the Live Playoff round and compete for a spot in the Top 12. At the end of the telecast the artist with the most votes from each team will advance to the Top 12.

Then over the following two nights the 20 remaining artists will perform live, and at the end of Wednesday’s show, the top artist with the most votes from each team will be revealed and advance to the Top 12. For the final four spots, each coach will make an immediate decision to pick one artist from their remaining four artists to complete their roster.