Although The Voice has seen a slight dip in ratings this year -- a special May 8 episode notched a 2.7 among adults, a low for the series excluding recaps, but it was still enough to beat American Idol head-on in its first hour -- the buzz on new coaches Shakira and Usher has been overwhelmingly positive, which certainly can’t be said for Idol.
Aguilera’s return is not unexpected. Burnett told THR last summer that artists of such stature (Adam Levine and Blake Shelton fill out the panel this season; Cee Lo Green was among the original foursome) have other musical commitments that could see them take extended breaks from the show’s big red chairs. “These are current touring artists, so it’s a matter of balancing schedules,” he said. “They’re all in demand and we’re just balancing it all.”
In revealing its 2013-14 schedule Sunday, the network announced that The Voice will keep the same two-hour block on Mondays, though Tuesday's one-hour episode has shifted to 9 p.m.