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SYDNEY — The Voice Australia is changing things up for its third season as the show’s original coaches, Seal and Delta Goodrem, won’t be returning in 2014, announced the Nine Network Nine Network on Tuesday. Instead The Voice UK coaches, Will.i.am and Kylie Minogue, are coming down under to take their seats alongside returning judges Joel Madden and Ricky Martin. The announcement leaves Madden as the only original coach on the show, with Martin this year successfully replacing Keith Urban.
“It is an honor to join The Voice Australia as a coach working alongside Kylie Minogue, Ricky Martin and Joel Madden. Australia is a highly creative country and a place with many good memories that have shaped my music career,” said Will.i.am. “Australia is one of the first countries where The Black Eyed Peas enjoyed international success, selling out many performances, and the place where I discovered electronic dance music. Having worked with both Kylie Minogue and Ricky Martin on past music projects, it will be fun to collaborate with them on the show.”
Seal, who coached the winners, Karise Eden and Harrison Craig, in the show’s first two seasons, and said in a statement that he was leaving The Voice Australia to concentrate on a new album and other TV gigs. “I wish all the coaches and contestants well. To my Australian fans, sorry to not be back for this upcoming season, but I wanted this window of time to focus on a number of exciting career priorities — a new album, a TV and internet project and, most importantly, precious time with my children,” Seal said in a statement.
Aussie songbird Goodrem won’t be leaving The Voice Australia family entirely — she and Madden have been announced as the first two coaches for The Voice Kids, which will also air on Nine in 2014.
Adrian Swift, Nine Network’s director of development, said: “Our coaches are artists with busy careers, and the time commitment to do back-to-back seasons is extensive, so we are thrilled we are able to work with Delta in having her be a part of The Voice Kids, while simultaneously supporting her with her music goals.”
The new coaching lineup for The Voice Australia also means that sisters Kylie and Dannii Minogue will likely front competing talent shows in 2014 if Dannii rejoins X Factor Australia. Dannii, a former X Factor UK judge, jumped ship from Australia’s Got Talent when it moved to the Nine Network this year to X Factor Australia, where she coached this year’s winner, Dami Im. Sister Kylie was a mentor for Dannii on the show.
The Voice Australia was just pipped by X Factor Australia as the number one talent show in the country this year, with the X Factor Australia finale airing to 2.431 million viewers across Australia’s five capital cities while The Voice Australia was a close second with 2.305 million viewers.
Being a judge on an Australian talent show has proven lucrative for international artists, not to mention creating a dizzying revolving door as they move between shows and countries.
Urban, a first-time judge on The Voice Australia, left after one season to take a spot on American Idol. Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown (Mel B) was a longtime judge on X Factor Australia, but the Nine Network poached her to join Australia’s Got Talent this year. However, Seven was successful with an injunction to stop her from moving to its competitor, leaving her free to join America’s Got Talent. Her place on the AGT judging panel was taken by fellow Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.
Minogue, Ronan Keating and local star Natalie Bassingthwaite at X Factor were joined this year by LMFAO’s Redfoo. Meanwhile, The Voice’s Madden won a top Australian TV award — a Lioge — for best new TV talent this year.
In addition, Paula Abdul will also grace Australian TV screens, this time as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance Australia, airing on network Ten in 2014.
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