Official: Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green to join NBC's 'Idol' rival -- EXCLUSIVE

Cee-Lo-Adam-LevineImage Credit: Debby Wong/PR Photos; Andrew Evans /PR PhotosMark Burnett and NBC pulled it off: Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine have signed to join the singing competition series The Voice.

The pop star duo will give NBC a chance to steal some thunder from Fox’s American Idol when the new series debuts this April. “I am so happy that Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green have joined the coach panel for The Voice,” executive producer Mark Burnett tells EW. “Aside from being incredible voices, they bring years of experience in the music industry and a really cool vibe that has never been seen before on a music competition series.”

“We want The Voice to be a search by relevant artists for relevant artists,” added NBC’s Executive VP of Alternative Programming Paul Telegdy. “Every person who sits on our panel can do what it is that they’re judging.”

NBC has also set a premiere date for the show: Tuesday, April 26 at 9 p.m., in a two-hour debut. The show will shift to its regular time period on May 10 at 8 p.m.

EW first reported that the singers were in negotiations for the gig last week. There’s still two seats left to fill, and that judge/coach may be the most intriguing of all: Christina Aguilera remains in talks to join the show.

Telegdy says he was impressed with Levine after seeing the Maroon 5 singer visit Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

“His voice and versatility was incredible, and he had a great sense of humor and interplay with Jimmy,” Telegdy says.

“I was absolutely thrilled to be invited by Mark Burnett to join The Voice as a coach,” said Adam Levine in a statement. “I look forward to working with these singers and helping them push forward throughout the competition to make their musical dreams become a reality.”

Cee Lo has been an impressive media presence in recent months, with Telegdy citing the artist’s “willingness and braveness to do so many things, and his DNA at moment includes all sorts of people who are relevant to the music industry.”

“It’s an honor for me to be able to help mold a malleable and new talent in such a fashion as The Voice,” said Cee Lo Green in a statement. “Being a coach on The Voice is a substantial responsibility, and I take it with sincerity and distinction.”

NBC’s overall goal with The Voice is to sign big-name performers who are also popular music fans and a bit more youthful than, say, Steven Tyler. “Not to diminish other people on other shows, but it’s a different job to break through the clutter now than it was 10, 15, 20 years ago,” Telegdy says.

While taking a break from his work on Gnarls Barkley, Cee Lo has been on a star-making run with his hit single “F**k You” and his Grammy performance with Gwyneth Paltrow (during which he was dressed, appropriately enough for a man judging a show on NBC, as a peacock). Meanwhile, the L.A.-based band Maroon 5 released their most recent album last fall and played Fox’s Super Bowl pre-game earlier this month.

The Voice is based on a Dutch hit in which contestants audition while judges face the other direction, unable to see the contestants. The judges make their verdicts based on the singer’s vocal talent alone rather than being influenced by the contestant’s physical appearance. After the audition rounds, the judges will coach the contestants. The Voice will debut sometime this spring.

Read more:
Cee Lo, Adam Levine in talks to join ‘The Voice’
Carson Daly to host ‘Idol’ rival, ‘The Voice.’ Will he be a Seacrest or a Dunkleman?
NBC’s ‘The Voice’ opens the gates to pop-stardom to anyone with a webcam

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • PN

    At least it’s not in the way of Idol’s run–they’re airing it later in late April. And it’s on Tuesday so it’s not facing Idol’s Wed-Thurs run. I think that this is the anti-Idol, where the judges aren’t seeing them perform in front of them. Strange!

    • TV

      LOL, Pretty soon all channels 1-13 are going to be doing singing and dancing shows.

      • amsterdam

        i saw this show a few months ago in holland and it’s much better than idol or x factor or any of them. the judges cant even see the singers when they audition and thats why its called ‘the voice’ . i loved it

  • Floopa Bambers

    This article is wrong about one thing: there will be four judges. If they get Christina Aguilera, that means they’ll have rock, R&B and pop covered. The 4th judge will be a country singer I’m sure.

    • A

      Who exactly covers rock? Are you referring to Adam Levine? The members of Maroon 5 obviously play instruments, but their music is hardly rock. It’s pop music.

      • cultofpersonality

        i remember hearing HARDER TO BREATHE on rock radio stations

      • connor

        yes, but um…that was pushing 10 years ago.

      • Kim

        Maroon 5 is B-level pop/dance at best.

  • RK

    NBC, behind the times as usual. Even ABC tried with “The One”, and failed, years ago.

  • Cyndi

    I auditioned for the voice about 2 months ago and stood out in the freezing cold for 9 hours to be heard for 30 seconds….insane!

    • Zuma

      Sometimes it only takes 30 seconds to realize that an audition just isn’t going well…

    • Johnification

      That sounds like every non-Eq musical theatre audition in New York City. It’s just the biz, man.

  • Missy

    Good God, don’t they realize it’s about nine or ten years too late to be plagiarizing Idol?

    • Sigh

      You have no idea what this show (The Voice) is about, do you? You have no idea how huge this show is in other countries, do you? Do a bit of research and get educated on what’s happening before you blatantly and ignorantly state that this show is “plagiarizing American Idol”.

    • FFFy

      now is the time to strike idol,,, they are weak

  • pancakes

    Yes, Missy. Years too late to be ripping off Idol. It’s on NBC so nobody will be watching it anyway. What a pathetic programming move by a pathetic network.

  • Flamingo

    I am fine with this. There will be at least one more judge (to make three or four in total…) And PLEASE, GOD, NO CHRISTINA AGUILERA!

  • Nicola Carbonara

    i hope christina can jion the program…..she’ll be the best judge

    • Flamingo

      She can’t even sing the national anthem. And she’s a diva. What kind of mentor would she be? She doesn’t give a cr*p about anyone! Her speaking voice is so dull. WORST JUDGE choice.

  • Dave

    Please no Christina Aguilera. She’s talented of course, but listening to her speak is grating. She’s so annoying.

  • dryedmangoez

    Pooh-pooh to the NBC haters.

    The series is very interesting. Watching clips of the original Dutch version look like the show is a fresh take on the genre.

  • maya

    interesting to watch aguilera

  • Yolanda

    Idol officially jumped the shark with wins by the pathetic Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze. And this year’s crop don’t seem to me to be any better. It’s time for a show like The Voice to take Idol down a few (more) notches even if we have to tune in to NBC *sigh*.

    • connor

      sigh Yolanda. I am mad at a reality show and I’ll have to watch NBC. life’s too hard.

    • Kim

      That is not what ‘jumping the shark’ means.

  • Ben

    Well, at least by doing this Adam Levine is finally admitting that he is not taken seriously as a musician and no longer has any kind of real career.

    • Flamingo

      Exactly. CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HIM ON THE SHOW.

  • Kuties

    CEE LO GREEN <3

  • Alice

    If you want to know what the show is about you should youtube – Ben Saunders The Voice Auditie. It’s a Dutch concept which became really popular! It’s actually a really cool and fun show to watch!

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