As if the world of singing competitions hasn't been saturated enough, ABC is taking another crack at finding their own future singing stars with Rising Star,
which premieres June 22.
In the 2012 summer television season, ABC introduced Duets, which lasted one season. It pitted famous singers -- Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles -- with amateur singers, and each week they performed a duet. The winner apparently won a recording contract but has since disappeared into obscurity.
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Rising Star will aim to change that. ABC announced Josh Groban will host the show, and the judges, or "panel experts" as they'll be referred as, will be Kesha, Ludacris and Brad Paisley. (Can't wait for that group performance.)
One thing that Rising Star
might have going for them is the fact that the format of the show has worked elsewhere, specifically in Israel. According to EW
, this is how it will work:
The singer takes the stage with a big video wall separating her from the audience. She starts to sing, and viewers vote on her performance using a smartphone app in real time.
As the song progresses, photos of the fans voting for her are shown on the giant video screen. If she reaches a certain level of votes, the screen goes up and reveals her to the audience -- thus, a "rising" star.
So what ABC is essentially doing is taking two popular portions of NBC's The Voice and putting their spin on it. On Rising Star, it won't be just the judges who won't see the singer but viewers who are voting as well. The show has also taken the audience participation segment of The Voice (the often criticized Twitter vote) and tweaked it into live, at-home voting. Unfortunately, as it is with The Voice, West Coast voters are screwed since everything happens East Coast time.
Check out the promo tease from ABC:
The format is interesting for sure, but ultimately, the success of the show will come from the singers themselves -- and also the judges. Rising Star's three judges certainly cover a range of music in the industry, but it's also nice that the host is a musician himself -- and not just a talking head.
The stars involved with the show don't have the television judging experience, but at least they've been involved with being front and center in mediums other than singing. Groban was a frequent fill-in for Regis Philbin on Live! With Regis and Kelly and was even considered a frontrunner to permanently take over, so it's no surprise ABC has brought him back in a different hosting capacity.
Ludacris will have his own hosting gig coming up for the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday. Paisley has hosted the Country Music Awards many times with much success.
Kesha, meanwhile, is no stranger to the reality television world with her MTV series Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life. It's her first big public appearance since rehab, and it's likely part of a PR move to reshape her image.
The four celebs will be introduced together, coincidentally, on Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards.
Rising Star will air 9pm Sundays starting June 22 on ABC.
(Image courtesy of Wenn)