Jennifer Hudson could be leaving The Voice UK – here's who will.i.am thinks should replace her
The US soul singer may have to turn away from her coaching chair due to film commitments
She may have become the nation’s favourite singing coach, but Jennifer Hudson could soon be stepping down from The Voice UK.
Although not confirmed, the singer suggested to RadioTimes.com that her leading roles in the movie version of Cats and the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic could result in her missing the 2020 series.
“You know, I am an actress as well. It's kind of going into film season for me,” Hudson said when asked if she’d return for her fourth series of the ITV competition.
“I was thinking that I truly, truly love this and that's why I'm three seasons deep in. I want to continue it, but I don't know that my schedule will allow me to. But we'll see.”
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Hudson’s commitments include a promotional tour for Tom Hooper’s Cats, where Hudson’s 'glamour' character Grizabella will be brought to life this December. Taylor Swift, James Corden and Ian McKellen are also set to star.
Hudson is also set to start filming on the currently untitled film centred on Aretha Franklin this summer. It's a role Franklin herself asked Hudson to play before she died in August 2018.
Both movies could possibly conflict with filming for The Voice 2020, which is expected to start in late summer.
Will.i.am, Olly Murs and Sir Tom Jones all told RadioTimes.com that they would sign up to the show if invited back. But who could replace Hudson? will.i.am has some ideas.
The Black Eyed Peas frontman suggested either Nicole Scherzinger or Cheryl could fill the spinning red chair. Speaking about The Greatest Dancer judge, he said: “I haven't seen her in, like, six years face-to-face – ever since she was with Liam [Payne]. I just saw her last week and it was a good reunion. She'd be good.”
Will, who has appeared in every series of the UK show since it started in 2012, added that he is really excited to see where Hudson's movie career goes next: “I told her, ‘You're about to win an Oscar! What Lady Gaga was up there doing for one film [A Star is Born], you're gonna be up there for two films!
“Either you're going to do it for 2020 for Cats or 2021 for Aretha – or both on the same year! The fact is, honey child, you're about to get two Oscars!’”
However, Hudson has already got a huge task ahead of her before she can start thinking about Academy Awards: The Voice UK finals. Will one of her acts – Moya or Nicole Dennis – become the show’s eighth champion? And can she keep her fellow coaches in check in the meantime? We don’t have long to find out…
The Voice semi-final is on 8pm Saturday, ITV