Cee Lo Green will not be returning to NBC's The Voice. And his fellow coach and buddy Blake Shelton is singing the blues over the news.
Saying "I'm not coming back at all," Green made the announcement Tuesday (Feb. 18) on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and also revealed plans to release a new album.
Shelton heard the news for the very first time Wednesday while celebrating two No. 1 singles in Nashville, and let's just say he's as bummed as the rest of America.
Green and pop powerhouse Christina Aguilera, two of the four original coaches along with Shelton and Maroon 5's Adam Levine, had been taking breaks from the show to pursue other creative ventures. Those are understandable decisions, but Shelton apparently had concerns about Green.
"I campaigned a lot with Cee Lo to stay," Shelton told reporters. "I knew what the network was doing with changing coaches in and out, but I figured ... I don't know, in the back of my mind, I guess I hoped Cee Lo would be back."
Green was not supposed to appear on this upcoming sixth cycle of the show anyway. Both he and Aguilera were to once again be swapped out with singers Shakira and Usher for the season. But the news that Green's departure would be permanent comes as a shock, despite Shelton's admission that he and Green had been discussing his future on the show.
"I remember towards the end of that last season, he and I were both out of the competition, so we sat there and drank every night on the show," Shelton said. "So I'd go over there and talk to him. ... 'Are you coming back? What are you going to do?'"
Apparently, lots. In addition to this new album he's nearly finished, Green also revealed news of a television development deal with NBC and even hinted at potential talk show plans, too.
Green admits he will miss being a part of the show. And while Shelton will definitely miss him, he says he understands Green's decision.
"He's got so much going on in his mind and so much creativity that a lifetime is probably not enough to explore everything he wants to try to do," he said. "And he probably feels like he's done his time on a reality show, and he's ready to go do a puppet show or whatever he's got in mind next, you know? You know maybe stripper puppets or something. There's no telling with that guy. So I'm not surprised that he moved on. It makes me sad, though."
It makes me sad, too. What I wouldn't give to see stripper puppets make an appearance on Team Blake and Team Cee Lo during battle rounds.
Come on, admit it. You know that would be hilarious.
The new season of The Voice with Shelton, Levine, Shakira, and Usher premieres Monday (Feb. 24) on NBC.