Shakira is leaving The Voice to make way for veteran judge, Christina Aguilera's return to the singing show for Season 5 after being replaced by Shakira who has been coaching her team to the top. Fans have shared mix reactions about Shakira's departure and Aguilera's comeback, with some sad that the Latino's fiery comebacks and candid compliments will be substituted by the Grammy-award winner's flashy fashion and fights with Adam Levine.
Aguilera has already signed the contract ensuring her return to The Voice, although she will not be making as much money as previous seasons. According to reports, Aguilera will only be paid $12.5 million for Season 5 of the NBC show, a slight cut from her $17 million earnings for Season 3. A Voice insider said that Aguilera may ultimately walk away with a bigger paycheck, however, because judges for the show are paid by the hour.
Aguilera took a hiatus from her Voice obligations to promote her new Lotus album and tour. The pop star's break from judging coincided with Cee Lo Green, who announced his departure alongside Aguilera. Executive producer of the show, Mark Burnett, initially downplayed the judges exits, citing responsibilities outside of the singing competition. "These are current touring artists, so it's a matter of balancing schedules. They're all in demand and we're just balancing it all," Burnett said last year.
Cee Lo Green is also expected to make a return to the red chair, with sources reporting an agreement is in the works. "We are not there yet, but working toward it," an NBC executive said of Green. The judge known for his animal sidekicks assured fans that he would be back to the show in October, promising that his break would be temporary.
Voice judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, both of whom have seen team members win the show, have remained as judges during the duration of all four seasons. Both Shelton and Levine will reportedly be returning although salary negotiations are still in process. It was the first time judging for Shakira and Usher, and many fans enjoyed the fresh dynamic that the two singer's brought to the show. Shakira held her own against her male counterparts, delivering quick and witty remarks with a hint of sass, and Usher wooed the women with his smooth dance moves and infamous leg stance.
It is rumored that Shakira will likely return in future seasons of The Voice, despite the fact that Aguilera will reprise her role in the judging chair. The singing show has enjoyed much success, replacing American Idol in the running for the Outstanding Reality Competition Emmy award, and garnering the highest ratings in the most coveted demographics.