The judging merry-go-round on TV’s top singing competition seems to finally be slowing down.
EW.com unveiled this week the first official portrait, posted above, of the Season 12 judging panel of “American Idol.” Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey are coming in to replace Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who left at the end of Season 11. Randy Jackson will return to the show.
“The Voice,” which began its third season next week, will have two new celebrity coaches sitting in its big red chairs in Season 4, according to People.com.
Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green will take next season off and be replaced by Usher and Shakira. Adam Levine and Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton are staying with the show, at least through next season.
Both Aguilera and Green will take a hiatus from “The Voice” to work on other projects: She will be touring to promote her new album, “Lotus,” while he’ll be working on new music and a scripted comedy about his life.
Last month, executive producer Mark Burnett indicated such as swap might happen on the panel, telling the Associated Press that because the coaches have busy music careers, substitutes may be needed in future. But the original four coaches will have “chairs for life,” he said.
“We are thrilled to welcome Usher and Shakira to The Voice,” Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, said in statement today. “Doing two back-to-back cycles of this show requires a tremendous amount of time and we are happy to accommodate the commitments made by Christina and Cee Lo.”
Both Green and Aguilera said they plan to return to “The Voice” eventually.
“By pursuing my first passion of music during the break, I am also able to come back and offer even more to my team on The Voice in the future,” Aguilera said in a statement.
“I will return for season five and will be watching season four,” said Green.
Last week, rival show “The X Factor” began its second season with two new judges – Britney Spears and Demi Lovato – joining original judges Simon Cowell, who is also the show’s creator, and music executive L.A. Reid.