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The Voice could soon be returning to its original panel.
Days after news surfaced that Christina Aguilera was in talks to return to the hit NBC series, with Cee Lo Green reportedly hot on her heels, season four coach Shakira confirms that she will not be back for the show’s fifth season.
“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,” she 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, too, could be on his way out the door.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that a season five return is unlikely for the R&B singer, since he’s committed to shooting Hands of Stone (in which he’ll play Sugar Ray Leonard) opposite Robert De Niro.
The return of Aguilera and Green is not unexpected. Burnett told THR last summer that artists of such stature (Adam Levine and Blake Shelton fill out the panel this season) have other musical commitments that could see them take extended breaks from the show’s big red chairs. “These are current touring artists, so it’s a matter of balancing schedules,” he said. “They’re all in demand, and we’re just balancing it all.”
Meanwhile, Green is slated to return to the current season of The Voice as a guest mentor next week.
In revealing its 2013-14 schedule Sunday, the network announced that The Voice will keep the same two-hour block on Mondays, though Tuesday’s one-hour episode has shifted to 9 p.m. It is likely that Shelton and Levine will also return to their posts for season five.
NBC had no comment.
Shirley Halperin contributed to this report.
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