You have to hand it to “The Voice. ” Last week, the show added a third Wednesday episode to ruin “The X Factor‘s” big premiere night. And now, with the new “American Idol” and “X Factor” judges having had hardly any time to bask in their publicity, already “The Voice” is stealing both shows’ thunder once again–with breaking news that two new singularly named superstar judges, Shakira and Usher, will replace Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green for Season 4. Both Christina and Cee Lo will be back for Season 5 in fall 2013, according to NBC.
Rumors have swirled for months that NBC’s overkill decision to air “The Voice” twice yearly would at least temporarily drive away some or all of the show’s regular judges, causing the lineup to be revamped for the spring 2013 season. Apparently such is the downside of hiring judges who, you know, are still relevant hitmakers and have other important things to do with their time, like touring and recording, besides sitting on an NBC soundstage six months out of the year. (And this is why talent shows should consider hiring non-celebrity judges, but I digress.) In fact, just last week when talking to Ryan Seacrest, Christina admitted that she’d first assumed her “Voice” gig would be “kind of like a side project…then it kind of took off, and there goes my free time!”
With Christina getting ready to release her comeback album, Lotus, in November (her new single, “Your Body,” debuted last week to positive reviews), and the ubiquitous Cee Lo working on a Christmas album and a new sitcom, it’s no surprise that they are the first “Voice” judges to take official leaves of absence.