Tones And I and Ricki-Lee tipped to join The Voice Australia lineup
As far as music industry gossip goes, here’s one tidbit causing quite the stir in some circles.
Homegrown hitmakers Tones And I and Ricki-Lee Coulter are the latest Aussie performers rumoured to have inked a deal with the Seven Network to become coaches on The Voice Australia.
While the music biz debates the credibility of such shows (after nine attempts, The Voice has failed to produce a bonafide star), the platform has proven fruitful for its musician judges.
Sources also told industry site TV Blackbox the network intends to spend almost half its budget on a household name like Mariah Carey, and the rest on the remaining coaches and production costs.
When contacted by TMN, a Seven spokesperson declined to comment on the speculation, however, a source close to the former Young Divas member told to TMN “both sides are in talks”.
Coulter, who rose to fame on Australian Idol, is already firmly in Seven’s camp as host of Australia’s Got Talent, but when the pandemic took hold her gigs and filming were put on ice.
“When COVID happened and everything shut down, my whole year was cleared immediately, like everybody in the industry,” she told TMN in June.
TMN reached out to reps for both Tones and Coulter, and are eagerly awaiting a response.
Seven is set to revamp the show next year, and has already locked in Sonia Kruger as host, while the rumour mill is already swirling with tips for who will make the coaches lineup.
It’s currently unclear whether Guy Sebastian, Delta Goodrem, Kelly Rowland or Boy George will return, with Kylie Minogue and Keith Urban also emerging as hot tips to join the cast.
Minogue has previously appeared on both the Australian and UK versions of the franchise, and Urban was part of the original lineup in Australia, before being replaced by Ricky Martin.
When Seven nabbed the rights from Nine, CEO James Warburton called the acquisition “a coup”.
“Adding The Voice to our 2021 program slate is another brick in the wall of our content-led growth strategy of using proven, power formats,” he said.
However, Nine didn’t exactly give the format a shining endorsement in sending it off after nine seasons, saying: “We wish 7 well in their quest to revive yet another Nine show.”
The season nine grand final of Nine’s The Voice Australia drew 911,000 metro viewers, while 871,000 million watched Chris Sebastian’s crowning.
“They were the lowest figures for The Voice grand final,” Mediaweek’s James Manning told TMN. “It would be very disappointing for Nine, as it’s rumoured to be their most expensive TV show.”