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At this point, when it comes to TV singing competitions, it seems a good twist is necessary to grab viewers attention. Whether it be the style of music or the format of the competition, being another American Idol really isn’t enough. The Voice stands out for its blind auditions and mentoring format. The Sing-Off stands out for being dedicated to a cappella singing. Perhaps ABC’s next attempt at a singing competition will stand out for its focus on duets.
According to Vulture, ABC is looking to do a singing competition series that has aspiring singers dueting with established stars Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke, Lionel Richie and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, with the goal of establishing pairings that will sell recods. The four celebrity singers will set out to look for “undiscovered talent worthy to be their proteges.”
The competition will come down to each star choosing two finalists to duet with and presumably, viewers would vote for their favorites to narrow down the selection further. The winning duo will win a contract with Disney’s Hollywood Records. From what Vulture says, ABC’s looking to get this show on the air this summer, which could give the CW’s The Star Next Door some serious competition.
As Vulture notes, other networks have attempted to do duet-themed singing competitions before. But perhaps ABC’s Duets will have the right format and star-power to grab viewers’ attention. Kelly Clarkson’s involvement certainly doesn’t hurt. Not only is she still putting out albums, but at least some of her fanbase likely goes back to her days of American Idol.
Update: Here's the trailer ABC released today:
"Duets" is a one of a kind singing competition that takes the Superstars out from the judge's panel and onto the stage. Clarkson, Nettles, Richie, and Thicke will individually set out on a journey across America looking for undiscovered talent worthy to be their protégés. Ultimately, each Superstar will choose two singers to be their duet partners. Together, the Superstar and their protégé will take the stage each week and perform in front of a live studio audience. In the end, only one duet will be at the top of the charts and the winning amateur will receive a recording contract with Hollywood Records.