Shakira has confirmed that she will be leaving The Voice next season.
She will be replaced by Christina Aguilera, who coached the singing competition for the first three seasons, but left to promote her most recent album, Lotus. Cee Lo Green, who also coached the first three seasons, left for the same reason, and their old seats were filled by Shakira and Usher. Aguilera’s return was announced earlier this week, and Green is currently in advanced negotiations to join as well, reuniting the original coaching panel (Aguilera, Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton).
Green and Shakira’s returns weren’t completely unexpected. Creator Mark Burnett told The Hollywood Reporter last summer that stars such as the coaches often have other commitments that may require them to leave the show for extended periods of time.
“These are current touring artists, so it’s a matter of balancing schedules,” Burnett said. “They’re all in demand, and we’re just balancing it all.”
Just a couple of days after news of Aguilera’s return broke, Shakira confirmed that she would not be returning for season 5.
“It was a hard decision for me to make, because I’m really fond of the coaches, the people in production and everybody around me,” the Colombian singer told E! News. “And I really enjoyed The Voice, but I also have a musical career and I’m also a mother now and my poor baby’s so tired flying such long distances. He already has more miles than any pilot. So I think I have to give him a little break, and we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Usher may be heading out the door as well. The “Confessions” singer was recently cast as Sugar Ray Leonard in the upcoming film Hands of Stone, a biopic about legendary boxer Roberto Duran. Usher will be starring opposite Robert De Niro, who will play Duran’s trainer, Ray Arcel.
The Voice will keep its two-hour timeslot on Monday, but Tuesday’s one-hour episode has been moved to 9 pm for the 2013-14 season.
Are you disappointed to see Shakira leave The Voice?