The news that Kelly Clarkson will be joining as a coach on “The Voice” season 14, and not on the upcoming “American Idol” reboot on ABC, may have come as a surprise to many. However, NBC has explained that it was an agreement settled a long time ago.
This deal also applies to the NBC’s decision to hire Jennifer Hudson, also an “American Idol” alum, for “The Voice” season 13. For the upcoming season, Jennifer will be joined by fellow coaches Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton.
“We’ve been talking to those two for a long time about joining ‘The Voice,'” NBC’s president of alternative and reality Paul Telegdy explained to the press during a conference call on Monday. “They’ve both been great coaches for ‘The Voice.’ We didn’t make the connection” between any potential competition for roles in the upcoming reboot of ‘Idol.’”
NBC previously considered “American Idol” but passed on it in the end. “We did have conversations about ‘Idol,’ and recognized the franchise is a great name and title,” NBC entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt explained. However, they also considered the fact that they already have a full slate on reality TV shows, including “The Voice” and other music competition shows that are being developed and will be aired next summer.
“We’re going to keep with our hand,” Greenblatt told reporters. “We don’t need ‘Idol.'”
In addition, Telegdy admitted that their audiences did not necessarily give them a strong, convincing reason to bring back “American Idol," as reported by Variety.
The executives also addressed the issue about NBC intentionally hiring Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson as coaches on “The Voice” to hinder ABC from featuring them on the upcoming “American Idol” reboot.
The “American Idol” producers were reportedly interested in having Kelly Clarkson as one of the judges for the renewed series; both Kelly and Jennifer Hudson were believed to be two of the most likely choices as judges for the “American Idol” reboot given their significant rise to fame and high level of popularity after their stint on the music competition series.
The timing reportedly suggested that NBC was blocking ABC’s options by snatching the two people who would clearly be an ideal fit as judges for the “American Idol” reboot. However, NBC executives turned down these rumors.
Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson signed on to “The Voice” days before NBC will put forward its new slate to advertisers in New York as an inclusion to the annual Upfronts. With Kelly Clarkson getting added to “The Voice” roster, she joins a long list of well-known personalities from the music industry, including Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, and Usher, among others.
Kelly Clarkson announced the big news on a Facebook Live with current coach Blake Shelton. "We've gone back and forth about a role as a coach for years, but the timing hasn't been right until now," Clarkson explained in a statement. "I can't wait to turn my chair and see the faces of up-and-coming artists and provide them with the help and support they've needed to break into the industry."
Clarkson had already made a previous appearance on the “The Voice” as a performer and an adviser. She will also be joined by Blake Shelton and Adam Levine in the spring edition of “The Voice."
As for ABC, the network has not yet announced a host or the set of judges for the “American idol” revival.