Keith Urban quits The Voice

Keith Urban has quit Nine talent series The Voice ahead of an expected announcement that he will become an American Idol judge.

Nine Director of Television Michael Healy said in a statement, “We were really happy to have Keith as part of the inaugural Voice crew and of course he will always remain part of The Voice family in Australia. We are currently in negotiations with super star musicians to fill the coaching roles (next year).”

Urban said in a statement: “I’ve been so fortunate to have been a part of The Voice.

“And as much as I’d love to do it again, it’s clear that the recording and promoting of a new album, a tour and other commitments, will keep me from being a part of the second season.

“To everyone who sang on the show, I thank you, you’ve inspired not just me, but countless others. To everyone behind the scenes and to my on camera family Darren, Delta, Joel and Seal, thank you for making it so much fun. Keep watching Australia!”

Urban is expected to be formally announced as an American Idol Judge alongside Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson.

The exit of Urban is a huge blow to the series, both as an individual coach and as part of a group chemistry with Delta Goodrem, Seal and Joel Madden.

It’s not the first time an Aussie talent show has served as a springboard for talent judges to be elevated overseas. Dannii Minogue’s first season appearance on Australia’s Got Talent led to her role on The X Factor UK.

A Nine spokeswoman said an announcement on the 2013 line up would be made soon.

Source: News Limited


  1. Noooo Keith!! He was the most ‘genuine’ judge on the show. I understand that American Idol is better for his “star status”, but American Idol is one of the most truly awful talent/reality shows out there – and that’s really saying something 😐
    And a talent like Keith alongside the likes of Carey & Minaj? Uggh!!

  2. Should be another Australian taking over logically, only one of the judges this year was born in Australia (Delta). Seal and Joel Madden were great o/s judges and hopefully they are there for season two, but it should be an Australian to even the spread of home-grown talent, because the host is Scottish and Seal and Joel are already there.

  3. I doubt it will be a farnsey and barnsey> While nobody would contend their musical credentials, i bet they would be seeking a younger, more current artist.. Tom Jones failed to connect with audiences in the UK.

    I agree with David that a Minogue or even Darren Hayes would overrepresent the pop side of things..

    I think they should stick with country or a crossover alt rock type.. A real coup would be Kasey Chambers or Bernard Fanning. Some lesser known contenders (but good media performers in this genre) could be the likes of Josh Pyke, Tim Rogers, Kevin Mitchell and Kav temperly.(but perhaps they are better suited as mentors)

  4. @ SusanP Hear what your saying but i feel it would be riskier to have another foreign accent. David seems to know something. I am now going for Kasey Chambers. Makes sense, she is country like Keith and has a huge loveable personality.

  5. Sounds like David knows something we don’t ;P

    What they will be looking for is someone with a country music background to keep the broader audience appeal, Lee Kernigan, Kasey Chambers maybe but they might not have enough star power.

    Ella Hooper would be on my wishlist.

  6. Keith was the only coach I liked on the show, but I will still enjoy him on American Idol. Does it have to be a country singer he will be replaced with? A lot of people are saying Shannon Noll but I don’t think he has that great a voice and seriously Jimmy Barnes??

  7. @jonno…I bet they won’t do that either. In fact, they will look for overseas people ahead of folks here. It’s a mindset and perception thing. Unfortunately. Aussie networks aren’t risk takers and they would perceive such a ‘new’ element inclusion as risky I think.

  8. @bettestreep2008, you are being entirely unfair to Keith.

    You have to remember that outside of country music circles Keith was not popular in Australia until he appeared in the Voice.

    The US market has supported him strongly for years and is many times larger than the Australian market.

    Given the opportunity to increase your profile within the largest market for his work along with a massive, massive pay rise who in their right mind would not take the job?

  9. I think people being born overseas has little to do with anything. I don’t know much about Keith’s background, but presumably he grew up here(?). Nicole certainly did, she was born of Australian parents and it was just an accident of where her father was working at the time that she was born in Hawaii. Her family ties are here and so, presumably, are Keith’s.

    I don’t watch these talent shows, they’ve all morphed into the same thing, barely distinguishable from each other, but I definitely think we should have Australian hosts and majority of judges.

  10. @squareeyes…no blame whatsoever (albeit they are already filthy rich :)). I would simply like someone to actually just say it as it is for once. How refreshing a moment of honesty can be!

    @David…why would Farnham not happen? Perhaps you can’t say.

    @Beckala..lovely story. :)

  11. bettestreep2008

    I guess Keith wants to support American talent rather than Aussie talent.

    Oh well – he was born in NZ and Nicole was born in the USA – so I guess their ties to Australia are very slim nowadays.

    But why move from The Voice which is super strong around the world to the now fading American Idol franchise?

    I guess it’s all about the money, money, money.

    Let’s hope he isn’t replaced by another international superstar or an Australian superstar that spends 99% of their time overseas.

    John Farnham sounds good – but definitely not the screecher Jimmy Barnes.

  12. @paul, I’m completely in support for
    The Farnsey suggestion. Evidence for this choice – Sound Festival in 2009 (? I’m pretty sure it was then). John Farnham was invited on stage by Coldplay to sing “You’re The Voice”. Honestly one of my top moments ever. Regardless of age, everyone sang along – random strangers were hugging – a few of us hugged a cop who was getting into it. This was a mainly young crowd (I felt a little old at 29) – but they all knew not only who Farnsey was but also that song, word for word. So I’m def
    agreeing because of that!!

  13. @SusanP. There may have been a time when many hoped that ‘love of Aussie’ would keep talent here, but I don’t think there has ever actually been a time when it occurred. Generally speaking.
    You can’t blame people for wanting to increase their success or bank balance. Australia is still a small pond.

  14. Hmmm… How Aussie is Aussie ? There was already 3/4 of them originating from overseas. Keith was born in New Zealand.
    And the host has an accent. Wow! Well he’s not an Aussie then. Even though he came here when he was 12.

  15. People are being too harsh. keith said months ago he was unsure if he could do a second season as that is when he does a lot of North American touring. He is a singer first. Idol would suit him more as thats where he resides. Dannii, keith first, next to go will be Guy Sebastian. His song is roaring up the U.S charts and will probably go to no.1. It is sensational. He will be a world star before Xfactor ends the season. so will add to the show.

  16. That’s disappointing. Really enjoyed him on The Voice, wonder who will replace him, will it be another country artist?

    Nicki Minaj as judge on Idol? Jebus, that’s scrapping the bottom of the barrel. I’d stay clear if she is announced as judge.

  17. judging a reality show seems to be a good career move, who would have thought that J-Lo was capable of a comeback to dance music at her age? and bigger names are jumping on board. it will be difficult to fill keiths position with an australian, all the rumours are international acts. i don’t have a problem with overseas judges, but to have 3/4 on them originating from overseas, and the host doesn’t have an aussie accent either is pushing it. there won’t be much that is Australian about it.

  18. I think I would amend his statement to: “And as much as I’d love to do it again, it’s clear that the recording and promoting of a new album, a tour and other commitments, means that being in the U.S. is needed to maximise my exposure and my income”.

    Nothing wrong with that per se but it’s closer to the truth I think. There was a time where I believe many hoped ‘love of Aussie’ would keep people here etc, but, that’s no longer an expectation in this oh-so-commercial world.

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