Keith Urban Says ‘American Idol’ Didn’t Steal Him From ‘The Voice Australia’

Keith Urban Winter 2013 TCA Audi Arrivals At The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals Audi Arrivals At The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals Audi Arrivals At The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

A longtime fan of TV talent shows, Keith Urban jumped at the chance to be a judge on The Voice Australia when offered the job early last year. So, it came as a surprise to producers when the country music star announced he would not be returning for a second season.

“I couldn’t do that show again, because I was making the record, I’m literally making it right now, will be for the next couple of months,” he told reporters earlier this week about recording in the U.S., which kept him from returning to Australia. “Then Idol came along and it was perfect timing.”

A longtime Idol follower, he recalled watching the 2008 season finale with wife, Nicole Kidman when David Cook and David Archuletawere competing for top honors. Late for a dinner appointment, the celebrity couple decided to record the show and watch it afterward.

“I kid you not, the show must have run like 30 seconds over or something, and the TiVo cut out,” Urban recalled with dismay. “Ryan [Seacrest] is saying, ‘And the winner is, David…’ and it stopped. And we just sat there, gobsmacked going ‘Who won?’”

As for joining Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson on the Idol panel, Urban has few reservations about leveling harsh criticism at undeserving contestants.

“I’ve probably benefitted more from naysayers in my life,” he confessed. “It’s more so been the people who’ve said, ‘Terrible, you’ll never do any good at this. This is not your thing.’ Those people have actually been more beneficial to me than the people who’ve believed in me in the long run because I think they just gave fuel to my fire.”

But don’t expect to see him running roughshod over contestants on the show. Urban knows that most people realize when they’ve delivered a lackluster performance and while it’s important to be honest with them, there’s no need for piling on.

Although he claims to have learned the most from negative criticism, he confessed it still hurts when it’s leveled at him. “I don’t mind that it hurts me when people are negative or critical,” he revealed. “I’d like to think that my spirit is still pretty close to the surface. I wouldn’t like to think it’s so buried I can’t find it under my thick skin. Being immune to it, that starts to get into a dangerous place for any of us.”

Despite the well-publicized feud between judges Minaj and Carey, Urban enjoys the spirit of shows like The Voice and Idol.

“I’ve watched Idol for years, so it’s a bit surreal to move from the couch to the desk,” he marveled, joking, “Next up, X Factor! TV talent show whore, yes!”

American Idol premieres Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8 PM on FOX.

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Blake Shelton + Adam Levine Dish on New ‘Voice’ Coaches for Season 4

Anyone who was worried that the influx of new coaching talent on Season 4 of ‘The Voice‘ might disrupt Adam Levine and Blake Shelton‘s incessant joshing can officially set their minds at ease.

As Entertainment Weekly made clear in a recent sit-down with the bromantic duo and their producer-slash-host, Carson Daly, we can expect plenty of Adam and Blake’s signature back-and-forth in the weeks to come.

Asked what we can expect from the upcoming run, Daly offered a couple of tidbits. “We loved the steal — we thought the steal really worked,” he responded, before going on to talk about the shake-up that has Usher and Shakira joining the coaching stable in place of the departed Cee Lo and Christina Aguilera. But the change isn’t permanent; as Daly put it, “Those guys are world-renowned musicians first, and America’s favorite TV coaches second,” and they’ll be back on the show before long.

In the meantime, the new coaching lineup means that, as Levine put it, Shelton “gets to spend a season making Usher feel uncomfortable” — something Shelton cheerfully copped to, admitting that “I think I’m doing a really good job at that, by the way — I’ve said and done about everything I can that crosses the line.” But that doesn’t mean his affection for Levine has waned: “As much as I think he’s cute and I have the bromance with Usher,” promised Shelton, “I’ll always come home” [to Levine].

And as for Shakira? In Shelton’s words, “I honestly think Shakira is maybe the most competitive person on the show … you can tell she feels like she has something to prove.”

From there, talk turned to Levine’s upcoming appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and which cast members might be best equipped to play Daly and Shelton. Levine suggested Bill Hader for the former and Fred Armisen for the latter, then quickly realized that Shelton didn’t know what he was talking about. He started to explain what ‘SNL’ was, at which point Shelton nodded and said, “Adam Sandler‘s on that show.”

“He was 20 years ago,” scoffed Levine. “Give me a break,” sighed Shelton. Yep, nothing’s coming between these two.

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NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Unveils First Shots of New Coaches Shakira and Usher (PHOTOS)

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Shakira and Usher look pretty comfy in their new coaching roles in NBC’s new promo shots for the fourth season of The Voice.

Getting fans excited for the next season, the stars take their place in the big, red swivel chairs – replacing Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green — alongside veteran judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

The chemistry already seems to be brewing on-set with the foursome, and Levine may even have a new co-star to banter with — even though he will miss Aguilera’s ball-busting.

“I’m going to miss him,” the “Your Body” songstress told Celebuzz. “He’ll miss me too. Nobody can bust his balls like me.”

“It’s bittersweet,” Aguilera added at the show’s live finale, which crowned Cassadee Pope as the Season 3 winner. “I’m not going to lie, watching the footage – the happy birthday wishes – the guys, we have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs and we bicker, we love each other like family, like brothers and sisters.”

In September, The Voice announced that they renewed two more seasons of reality singing competition series and that singers Usher, 33, and Shakira would replace Green, 38, and Aguilera, 32, as coaches for the show’s fourth season until the original two return to their seats (after pursuing their own musical projects).

The new panel of coaches will make their Voice debut when Season 4 premieres on March 25 on NBC.

Are you excited for the new era of The Voice?

Click through the gallery to see all the promo pictures.

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See Shakira + Usher’s First Official Promo Pictures for ‘The Voice’

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NBC

Check out the first photos of Usher and Shakira in the famous red swivel chairs! The new ‘Voice‘ judges make themselves comfortable and look right at home in the NBC promo pics.

Usher reclines in his seat with one leg up on the chair, revealing his bright red kicks that match the color of his reality TV throne. Shakira looks more intent as she stares straight ahead, ready to press her button.

Meanwhile, returning judge Blake Shelton gives a friendly smile, while fellow ‘Voice’ veteran Adam Levine strikes a more artsy pose staring off into the distance.

The next season of ‘The Voice’ returns on March 25, but since the blind auditions have already been taped, the judges have some stories to share. Speaking about Shakira, Adam told Access Hollywood, “I underestimated her.” The Latin pop star replied, “And I stole a couple of contestants from him.” Meanwhile, Usher reported, “I have a confession. There was a contestant who actually sang background for me… Totally did not recognize her voice!”

Levine says he and Shelton thought about hazing the Season 4 newbies, but thought better of it. “Blake and I had all these designs to make them feel very uncomfortable, but we saw how genuinely excited and slightly nervous they were,” Levine said. “We didn’t have it in our hearts to haze them too much. We welcomed them. We made them feel really comfortable because that’s what they deserved.”

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NBC

Cee Lo Green Plans to Return to ‘The Voice’ for Season 5

Cee Lo Green
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Don’t get any ideas, Usher. Your job is to keep the chair warm on ‘The Voice‘ judging panel in Season 4 so that Cee Lo Green can return to claim it for Season 5. Green said on the ‘Today’ show Thursday (Dec. 20) that his absence from the popular singing competition show will be temporary.

“Let’s be straight about this, ladies and gentlemen. I’m not leaving ‘The Voice,’” he insisted. “I’ll be back for Season 5. I’m going on hiatus.” What’s prompting the eccentric singer to take some time off from the hit show? “I’m doing a Las Vegas residency next year,” he explained. Cee Lo and Vegas sound made for each other, but we’ll take his word that he’s going to end the residency to come back to ‘The Voice.’

Cee Lo isn’t the only one leaving ‘The Voice’ on a temporary basis. Christina Aguilera is also skipping Season 4. Her replacement, Shakira, will join Usher and original judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine to mentor the aspiring singers in the spring.

Green has not been able to guide any of his proteges to victory in the first three editions of ‘The Voice,’ but he felt that Nicholas David deserved to win this past season, when Cassadee Pope claimed the crown instead. “I really did think that my Nicholas did have a very strong chance, and I do believe that he should have won,” Cee Lo said. “Cassadee is really talented, so we also congratulate her as well.”

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Adam Levine Wages War on Blake Shelton


Adam Levine is waging war on his buddy Blake Shelton. Now that the country star judge has won two consecutive seasons of ‘The Voice,’ Levine is done playing nice.

During a post-finale interview with E! News, Shelton managed to get one sentence out before Levine interrupted the coach and took over the mic, saying: “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I won twice, blah, blah!”

Shelton then jokingly admitted “he’s already dreading season four,” which caused Levine to dish out some fightin’ words. “Your ass is f–king grass … It’s f–king on,” the Maroon 5 frontman fronted. “It’s a bloodbath next season. I’m taking your tall country ass down!”

The two couldn’t sustain the fake fight for long, though. They ended up cracking up on camera, with Blake adding that he didn’t hear anything Levine said because he was too distracted by his bow tie. It’s always a barrel of laughs when it comes to these frenemies!

While Levine may be preparing for a smackdown next season, he’ll have some fresh competition to deal with. Usher and Shakira will be replacing Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera next year, and could prove to be powerhouses on the show. Season 4 of ‘The Voice’ premieres on Monday, March 25.

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Adam Levine Wages War on Blake Shelton


Adam Levine is waging war on his buddy Blake Shelton. Now that the country star judge has won two consecutive seasons of ‘The Voice,’ Levine is done playing nice.

During a post-finale interview with E! News, Shelton managed to get one sentence out before Levine interrupted the coach and took over the mic, saying: “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I won twice, blah, blah!”

Shelton then jokingly admitted “he’s already dreading season four,” which caused Levine to dish out some fightin’ words. “Your ass is f–king grass … It’s f–king on,” the Maroon 5 frontman fronted. “It’s a bloodbath next season. I’m taking your tall country ass down!”

The two couldn’t sustain the fake fight for long, though. They ended up cracking up on camera, with Blake adding that he didn’t hear anything Levine said because he was too distracted by his bow tie. It’s always a barrel of laughs when it comes to these frenemies!

While Levine may be preparing for a smackdown next season, he’ll have some fresh competition to deal with. Usher and Shakira will be replacing Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera next year, and could prove to be powerhouses on the show. Season 4 of ‘The Voice’ premieres on Monday, March 25.

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Do You Think Usher + Shakira Are Good Fits for ‘The Voice’ Coaching Panel? – Readers Poll

Shakira Christina Aguilera Cee Lo Green Usher
Scott Heavey / Alberto E. Rodriguez / Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green are out, and Shakira and Usher are in! Season 4 of ‘The Voice‘ is sure to be interesting on its own, but the fact that there are two new judges on the panel alongside Adam Levine and Blake Shelton makes things all the more intriguing. While Shakira and Usher are both global superstars, do you think they have what it takes to make a great reality TV judge? 

[Sigh] Aguilera and Green’s departure from ‘The Voice’ is bittersweet. While we’re excited for them to move on to bigger and better things in their own lives, we’ll definitely miss Green’s smooth talking and his amazing one liners and Xtina’s banter with her trio of male cohorts. We’re also going to cry when Xtina and Cee Lo aren’t in their big red chairs every week, since we won’t get to see anymore crazy, sparkly getups.

Despite all of this, it’s definitely exciting to see some fresh faces on the coaches panel. Shakira is a very kind person with a strong diva attitude, so we’re curious to see what kind of constructive criticism she’ll deliver. We’re also really hoping that, in addition to helping contestants fine-tune their vocals, the ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ singer will also teach some of them how to shake it up on stage.

And the fact that Usher has signed on to this show just speaks to how big ‘The Voice’ has become. The veteran R&B chart-topper knows the music biz like the back of his hand now, assisting in Justin Bieber’s career launch amongst others, so he’ll be a great asset to the panel. He also has an incredible voice with tons of range, and the fact that he can bust a move is just another added plus.

So, do you think Shakira and Usher will be good replacements for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green on ‘The Voice’? Or would you have selected two different musicians if you were an NBC exec? Vote and leave a comment below!

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‘The Voice’s’ Adam Levine Says He’ll Miss Christina Aguilera ‘Busting His Balls’ (VIDEO)

When NBC’s The Voice returns for Season 4 in March, there will be a new dynamic amongst the coaches as Shakira and Usher will taking over for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green alongside Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

“It’s bittersweet,” Aguilera told Celebuzz after Tuesday night’s live finale, which crowned Cassadee Pope as the Season 3 winner. “I’m not going to lie, watching the footage – the happy birthday wishes – the guys, we have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs and we bicker, we love each other like family, like brothers and sisters.”

“I’m going to miss him,” she said jokingly punching fellow coach Levine who walked the carpet with her. “He’ll miss me too. Nobody can bust his balls like me. “

Levine confirmed, “I’m going to miss it, I can’t lie, I’m going to miss it.”

Both coaches were extraordinarily happy to see Team Blake contestant Cassadee take the top spot on the reality show, beating out fellow Team Blake contestant Terry McDermott and Team Cee Lo contestant Nicholas David.

“Cassadee was amazing and we all saw her grow throughout the process of the show and it’s well deserved,” said Aguilera.

Aguilera will be taking a hiatus from The Voice to go on tour in support of her most recent album Lotus. Meanwhile, Levine and Maroon 5 will also be touring in the winter of 2013. So what can we expect from their respective tours?

“Awesomeness,” said Levine. “Double quote that,” Aguilera laughed.

Season 4 of The Voice premieres on Mar. 25, 2013 on NBC.

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‘The Voice’ Nabs Highest Finale Ratings Ever; ‘Heroes’ Alum Headed to ‘Beauty and the Beast’

NBC’s The Voice has been on top of the ratings all season. And with its two-hour Season 3 finale, the reality show has achieved its most watched and highest rated finale ever with 14 million total viewers and a 4.9 rating in the ad-coveted demo. Cassadee Pope’s big win had the show up 11 percent compared to the rest of the season. CBS’ Tuesday night lineup also saw gains in the ratings of 7 to 18 percent. [EW]

Heroes alum Sendil Ramamurthy has been cast on The CW’s Beauty and the Beast as Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Lowen. As the new guy in town, Lowen may cause some drama between Cat (Kristin Kreuk) and Vincent (Jay Ryan) as he is said to be a new love interest for the police officer. Ramamurthy’s role is recurring and will begin with his first appearance on Episode 15. [Zap2it]

Sean Hayes could be coming back to TV full time next season. The actor, known for his work on Will & Grace has signed on to executive producer and star in a new project from writer Victor Fresco (Better Off Ted) on NBC. On the show, Hayes would be dealing with becoming a father to a 14-year-old girl who just moved in with him. [TV Guide]

MTV2 is beginning production on a six-part special with music superstar and entrepeneur Mac Miller. The special will follow miller along with his four best friends as they leave Pittsburgh, Pa. for Los Angeles, Calif. The show will premiere in the first quarter of 2013. The network has also set the Season 3 premiere date for Guy Code on Jan. 15 at 11 PM. [MTV2]

Rosie O’Donnell has revealed she is in talks to join NBC’s America’s Got Talent. The talk-show host revealed that she may be taking over for Sharon Osbourne on the new season at Cyndi Lauper’s second annual Home for the Holidays benefit at The Beacon Theatre. When asked what kind of judge she’d me, she said, “I think I’d probably be nicer than most but I think I’d be honest. I think he [Stern] is a genius, so to work with him would be a thrill for me.” [NY Observer]

NBC’s Parks and Recreation is bringing in Jason Schwartzman for a guest spot. The Bored to Death actor will play Dennis Lerpiss, the owner of the Pawnee VideoDome. Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) will help Lerpiss declare the store a historical landmark on an episode set to air in 2013. [HuffPost TV]

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‘The Voice’ Winner Cassadee Pope Says Her Album Will be Pop Rock With a ‘Hint of Country’

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Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Cassadee Pope is the newly crowned winner of ‘The Voice,’ and while the shock still hasn’t worn off, the singer is already talking about the direction of her forthcoming album.

Following the finale show on Tuesday (Dec. 18), the 22-year-old opened up about her sound. “I’ve always been writing, so I have a lot of material ready to go,” she told USA Today. “It’s going to be very uplifting, pop rock, maybe just a little hint of country in there. It’s going to be everything you’ve seen on the show, that ’90s, early 2000s feel, with a modern twist to it.”

We know at least one person who will be buying her album — ‘Voice’ coach Blake Shelton, who has promised to perform on the release. “She’s a great singer, she’s a beautiful girl and she’s a good person,” he gushed. “You know, there’s a lot of those out there in this world that are trying to make it, but Cassadee Pope has this little extra magic that God sprinkled on her that makes us all want to be around her and meet her and see her and talk to her.”

He added, “If you’re a guy, you have a crush on her. If you’re a girl, you want to be her best friend. She’s just a very special human being and she deserves this win.”

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Watch Cassadee Pope Perform With Kelly Clarkson on ‘The Voice’