Boy George has responded to rumours he's been dumped from The Voice as the show moves from Channel Nine to Seven.
With much speculation about whether or not judges George, Delta Goodrem, Kelly Rowland and Guy Sebastian will be joining Seven, the lead singer of Culture Club has hinted at what is happening behind closed doors.
An insider told New Idea that Seven has no plans to keep the show's overseas judges, "Seven are going for local coaches only, which means no more Kelly Rowland or Boy George, or overseas celebrities Zooming in."
George and Kelly were forced to judge remotely via Zoom due to the travel restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
They also added, "I hear they’re going after Jessica Mauboy, The Veronicas and Troye Sivan. It will be more family friendly."
In response to the news, Boy George shared an article to Twitter by The Daily Mail saying, "Seven 'dumps international Voice coaches in favour of local singers'."
The singer said, "I've never been 'dumped' by a network. My nipples are hard!"
The Daily Telegraph has also reported that Seven is "set to axe coaches Boy George and Kelly Rowland" in an effort to cut costs.
They also said that the network believes Nine was "paying too much for a bunch of B-listers" and will want to spend their money on bigger stars.
In response to this, British newsreader India Willoughby replied to George's tweet saying, "You’re definitely an A too. B! The cheek!"
He quickly responded, "They can't afford me darling!"
With reports from the Daily Telegraph that Boy George and Kelly's combined salary is $5 million with two-thirds rumoured to be going to the Culture Club star, he could be onto something.
One fan said, "DAMN... I'm a big fan of ur brutal honesty judging style man.. And plus yeah always been a fan of Culture Club...Hand in there idol... At the end of [the] day, great things will do (sic) eventually come to [you]."
George replied to the fan, joking, "Yeah I’m down to my last jar of metaphorical caviar. Can I move into your spare bedroom?"
One curious fan questioned if the singer was finding out he'd been fired via the Daily Mail, to which he responded, "As if that is true. They are just obsessed with me at the Daily Frail!"
Fan favourite Sonia Kruger will be returning to host the show, replacing Darren McMullen and Renee Bargh.
Seven's Director of Programming, Angus Ross said: “The Voice remains the biggest entertainment show in Australia averaging over 1.5 million viewers each week – delivering on broadcast, demographics and streaming.”
He added the network jumped at the opportunity to bring “this juggernaut” to Seven, but also hinted at plans to “supercharge the format”.
The 2021 series will be reimagined with a new tighter format adapted for latest viewing trends.
“We’re accustomed to working with some of the best production studios in the country to deliver refreshed formats that have new life breathed into them,” said Angus Ross.
“We’ve done it with Big Brother and Farmer Wants a Wife this year – and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to responsibly reimagine the format for The Voice 2021.”
Channel Nine soon responded, clearly not worried about losing the hit show.
“Unfortunately due to the age of the show and declining demographic profile, The Voice had become by far the poorest financial performer on our slate. We wish 7 well in their quest to revive yet another Nine show,” a representative told the Daily Mail.
The Managing Director of ITV Studios Australia said this was a “significant day”.
“It is the beginning of a new era of The Voice in Australia which is still the biggest entertainment brand globally. Seven did not hesitate in securing the rights when this opportunity came up and we cannot wait to get cracking on the series for 2021… and to welcome Sonia back to the biggest entertainment stage on Australian television,” David Mott said.
With additional reporting by Kristine Tarbert.