A sign that talent contests should not be skewed by popularity?

That may be what MediaCorp free-to-air Channel 5 intends to do with the brand new season of reality singing contest The Final 1.

The announcement of the new season came with a big twist: public votes will no longer be a big part of the contest. These votes had created controversy in iterations of other talent shows, when hot favourites were given the boot due to low voting numbers.

Now, the judges (names are unannounced yet) will decide who gets cut every week until the final two contestants are chosen. At the grand final, the power will be transferred to the public to pick a winner.

A release from Channel 5 says the move is in the hopes of guaranteeing “solid performances all the way to the finals” and that getting through to the next round will be “only purely on your vocals and talent”.

The winner of The Final 1’s second season will win $100,000 worth of cash and a management contract. Audition clips are to be submitted to toggle.sg/thefinal1 by 20 March 2015.

Featured photo of previous winner Farisha Ishak: MediaCorp Channel 5