By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer Cee Lo Green said on Friday he did not want to be a judge on upcoming new TV talent show "The X Factor" because he saw little fresh in the concept.
But the 36-year-old American soul and R&B singer of recent hit, "Forget You," said yes to a job as one of four celebrity coaches on rival new singing show "The Voice" because it felt fresh and positive, he told reporters.
"I knew the name and I knew the parties involved," Green said of "X Factor" the new U.S. venture by former "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, which comes to Fox television in the fall of 2011.
"But as an enterprise, I didn't see what made it distinctive enough. It kind of seemed like shows like 'Idol' had run their course.
"And I liked this one better," Green said of "The Voice".
Green joins Christina Aguilera, country star Blake Shelton, and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine as the mentor-judges on "The Voice, which comes to NBC on April 26.
It is the latest in a string of TV singing contests in a crowded market dominated by the Fox network's 10 year-old "American Idol" -- the most-watched show in the United States.
Cowell has yet to complete his much-discussed lineup of judges for "X Factor" but has said he and record producer Antonio "L.A." Reid will be part of the panel.
"The Voice" brings a twist to the genre by having the judges turn their backs on contestant in order to judge only their voices. The four then vie with each other to persuade talented contestants to adopt one of them as a coach for later rounds.
Green described the show as "a great, fresh idea and something very productive and proactive."
In an apparent reference to "American Idol", executive producer of "The Voice" Mark Burnett said his show would feature none of the hopeless wannabes seen on other talent shows.
"Other shows have made great television of the comedy of allowing people to sing, who clearly can't sing. We made a conscious choice to not do that at all. Not one person who stepped on that ("Voice") stage was not good. You will not be seeing people step up for a joke," Burnett said.
"The Voice" will also occasionally see the celebrity coaches performing on the show. Producers played a clip for TV reporters showing Aguilera, Green, Levine and Shelton performing a rousing cover version of the 2006 Gnarls Barkley hit song "Crazy".
(Editing by Christine Kearney)