NBC hit The Voice is planning some changes for this coming winter’s Season 4, a byproduct of the fact that its judge/mentors didn’t originally intend for the show to become their fulltime job. Various sources are reporting that Shakira and Usher are deep into discussions to fill spinning chairs come this February, with primary speculation being that they would replace Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.
The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the deals are practically completed, with Us Weekly adding the detail that it will be Xtina and Cee Lo departing the panel, at least temporarily. Aguilera’s long-awaited new album is nearing a debut, and Cee Lo likewise has his usual passel of projects that have been held up by his Voice duties. No word has leaked regarding the Voice futures of best bros Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.
No one associated with the singers or with NBC had a comment on the reports, though NBC head of alternative programming Paul Telgedy recently told THR that “a chair on the panel is not a job for life, nor should it be,” adding that the network believes it is important that its Voice mentors be seen as relevant, working artists – which means that they occasionally must get out there and sell new stuff.
When NBC announced that The Voice would air a fall edition, making it the first of the music competition franchises to air twice in a year, speculation grew that some and perhaps all of the four mentors would have to spend at least some time away in order to tend to their own careers. New faces, and perhaps two completely separate fall-spring mentor lineups, could help keep The Voice from the danger of overexposure. Aguilera has stated that if she stepped away from the show, it wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent break, so this could be a solution that satisfies everyone – as long as the ratings hold up.
What do you think about the possibility of Shakira and Usher? And who else should The Voice be considering?