"We were very keen to get Rita Ora back” on The Voice
Show insiders say it’s a shame the pop star has hopped from The Voice to X Factor, but don’t blame her for being tempted away by ITV, with sources at the commercial broadcaster saying the former guest judge "is coming home"
Rita Ora has left her job as a judge on BBC talent show The Voice for a spot on ITV’s X Factor, but it’s not for a lack of trying from those in charge of the spinning chairs, it seems.
“We gave her an offer and she declined it,” a show insider from The Voice told RadioTimes.com.
“We were very keen to get Rita back. She was fantastic last year,” the source added of her one series stint alongside spinning judges will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones and Ricky Wilson. “It’s a shame that we’ve lost her, but there it is, that’s what happened.”
“She’s gone for a bigger, higher fee at the X Factor,” the source said, adding, “I don’t blame her.”
Exactly how much Ora has moved for isn’t clear - sources at the X Factor told us reports of £1.5 million are an "exaggeration" - although one can imagine the sum is worth getting out of bed for. She’ll sit alongside fellow newbie Nick Grimshaw and returning judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini over on the ITV panel.
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"She was a guest judge in 2012 on The X Factor. At the time that was regarded as very brave as she was very new on the scene, so we really do regard it as her coming home," an X Factor source added.
Rita’s decision to join the X Factor has meant show bosses on The Voice have had to consider their judging line-up earlier this year, with discussions usually taking place at the end of this month. There’s no confirmation yet whether the other three will return, although, so far there seems to be no rumblings that they’ll leave.
Who will slide into Rita’s empty chair remains to be seen, with our source admitting no names are on the list yet. History dictates it will be a sassy pop star given we’ve had Jessie J, Kylie Minogue and of course Rita thus far.
“We’ll get somebody fantastic, I’m sure. We’re looking.”
The Voice returns to BBC1 in January 2016