What Does the Winner of ‘The Voice’ Get for Winning the Show?
What does the winner of NBC's The Voice get after battling for almost a year, from auditions to the live shows?
The 2020 winner of Season 18, Todd Tilghman, will receive a signature peace sign in the shape of a "V" trophy certifying that he is the winner of the season, along with a $100,000 cash prize and a recording contract with Universal Music Group. That's the same reward Season 17 The Voice champion Jake Hoot received. In previous seasons, Big Machine Label Group (who was the first to sign Taylor Swift) has also given out record deals to winners.
The $100,000 cash prize has been standard across all seasons, and of course, if a winner goes on to major success, they might also earn significant royalties from future sales. In recent years, previous The Voice winners have been open about the fact that that signing a label deal is not necessarily a springboard to riches and fame; in fact, more Voice winners have experienced lukewarm marketplace results at best than have shot to the top of the charts.
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Along with the cash prize, trophy and record deal, for the most part, contestants still have the mentorship and support of their celebrity coaches when the show is over. Season 14 champion Brynn Cartelli opened mentor/coach Kelly Clarkson's Meaning of Life Tour along with Kelsea Ballerini.
Contestants are often seen appearing on The Voice with new music or collaborations after their season is done, so the association can pay off in future exposure for new products. Cartelli also says the show's wardrobe department let her take "anything she wanted" home with her.
The cash prize has strings attached to it. The New York Daily News reports that if a contestant violates the contract they signed with the network, they will not walk away with the prize. Any contestant who reveals the details of the show's contract can be sued for between $100,000 to $1 million.
According to that report, contestants are paid a small stipend to cover expenses during the filming of the show, but they give up some basic legal protections in agreeing to take their shot at fame and fortune. The contract stipulates that the show can change the rules at any time, eliminate contestants even if they are winning via public votes and completely ignore the show's voting system altogether, including the sales for the contestants' iTunes songs.
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