Pop star Kylie Minogue has signed on to replace Jessie J as a coach for the third series of The Voice, joining Will.i.am and Tom Jones.
The pop star, who has sold 68 million hits worldwide, replaces the outgoing Jessie J, who pulled out of the hit BBC show to concentrate on the promotion of her second album.
"I'm very excited," the Australian singer told the corporation, "I love the concept of the show and have been an avid viewer of both series.Will I be competitive? Probably more than even I imagine! Watch this space!"
Though Minogue represents a significant coup for The Voice - though don't doubt she didn't come at a price - the decision may leave younger fans underwhelmed. With its edgy format, young presenters and hip judges (and Tom Jones to satisfy the casual Saturday night viewers), The Voice packaged itself as the cooler, more relevant alternative to the aging talent show formats of The X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent.
Sure, Jessie J was annoying, Will.i.am was annoying, and Danny O'Donoghue was relentlessly annoying, but at least young British music fans were getting to watch the acts whose songs they were downloading. Crossover to the X-Factor and ITV continues to try and convince its audience that Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh are the voices of reason when it comes to contemporary pop music.
With O'Donoghue also jumping ship, and reports linking Will.i.am with American Idol, suddenly The Voice's judging line-up is turning into everything that BBC set out to avoid. Clearly things have changed.
"In terms of pop royalty, it really doesn't get much better than Kylie," said Moira Ross of The Voice UK's production company, Wall To Wall. "With more than two decades of global success under her belt, I know she'll bring something truly special to the coaching line-up."
Perhaps the change in tact has something to do with The Voice's ailing ratings. Audiences dropped from an average of 9.21 million in 2012 to 7.65 million in 2013. At its lowest point, the quarter final attracted just 5.14 million viewers - this despite a format change which enabled judges to 'steal' unwanted contestants.
Things picked up a little for the second series finale, when Andrea Begley was crowned the victor with 7.95 million tuning in.
The hunt for O'Donoghue's replacement continues, with Will Young and Andy Brown from the pop-rockers Lawson the favourites for the gig.
The latter has publically stated his desire to join the show, telling the Daily Star in July, "Not only do I watch The Voice but I obviously have an interest in that sort of thing, because I've been singing, writing songs and playing guitar since I was a kid.Anything I can do to help up-and-coming musicians is great. If I was approached I'd love it."
The Voice returns in January 2014.
Kylie Minogue At The Cannes Film Festival
Kylie Minogue Will Replace Jessie J On 'The Voice'
Will.i.am Has Agreed To Remain On The Voice
Tom Jones Will Also Remain On The Voice. Forever.