This is somewhat shocking. After only three seasons, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo are leaving The Voice, and will be replaced by Usher and Shakira for its Spring season. Their exit is only temporary, though. According to media reports, NBC aims to have numerous artists available to judge the show, thus leaving time for each participating judge to pursue other projects, while still having a seat at the judges table. This seems like a smart move, and will ensure that the show remains fresh.
Executive producer Mark Burnett had the following to say:
“Having award-winning artists as coaches means they need to be able to tour. Whether in the red chair or on tour, our coaches have their chairs for life. This is exactly why, after three seasons, we needed to allow them to rotate out so they can get on the road amongst their fans. Meanwhile, we’re incredibly excited to have singular artists like Usher and Shakira joining the fold.”
“Being a coach on The Voice is a wonderful experience and the relationship amongst us all is like an extended family. I am so proud of being part of the show from the beginning, all the work we’ve done, and proud of what the show stands for as a whole. As I have expressed since day one of the show, that I am a singer and performer first and I am so excited to get back to that love. Since this year NBC and ‘The Voice’ have decided to tape back-to-back seasons, requiring a full-year commitment, it is important for me to take season four off, allowing me to support my music that my fans have been waiting for — with the release of my new album Lotus on November 13. By pursuing my first passion of music during the break, I am also able to come back and offer even more to my team on ‘The Voice’ in the future.”
As for Cee Lo:
“First, thank you NBC for supporting my decision to take this season four hiatus! It says that I’m seen and respected as a complete artist and not just a cast member. I’m highly enthusiastic about focusing my undivided attention on my additional endeavors and interests like my upcoming solo album, new Goodie Mob album, Las Vegas residency Loberace, new memoir, and new NBC comedy. It’s great to also give a host of other talent the chance to experience what a joy it is to be part of what is truly the best show of them all, ‘The Voice!’” he gushed. “I will return for season five and will be watching season four. NBC is home and as far as Usher and Shakira are concerned — ‘mi casa su casa’.
So there you have it. There’s no bad blood here at all, which is nice to see. As for the new additions. Shakira can use a little career boost, and Usher should be a great judge. He’s a seasoned pro, and will have some great advice to share with the contestants. The new line-up looks just as good, if not better, than the current one. I’ll miss Cee Lo’s cat, though. Sad days…