By 2013, I predict there will be no undiscovered singers left in America. That’s where we’re heading with today’s news that ABC has ordered a new singing competition series for the summer. Duets will take four celebrity judges and have them pick two contestants each. The celebrity singers will perform duets with their partners and America will vote for the best pair. The judges include Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles, Lionel Richie, Robin Thicke and American Idol’s Kelly Clarkson. The funniest part is that THREE of the judges on Duets are currently mentors on NBC’s The Voice. Kelly Clarkson is helping Blake Shelton’s team, Robin Thicke is working with Adam Levine’s team and Lionel Richie is working with Christina Aguilera’s team. So this show is essentially a spin-off of The Voice.
The premise of Duets seems problematic because people will most likely wind up voting for the celebrities and not the contestants. I have to assume that the current fame and popularity of Clarkson and Thicke will help them immensely. The pick-up of Duets comes on the heels of the CW ordering its own summer singing competition, The Star Next Door. NBC will also air America’s Got Talent over the summer (which, for all intents and purposes, is a singing show since five of the six winners have been singers). The Voice and American Idol are currently airing, and The X Factor returns this fall. That’s six major singing competitions on the major networks. Is there really that much talent in this country? Or is Hollywood just doing its part to create jobs, since Professional Reality TV Singer could now be considered a full-time gig? Duets will premiere this summer on ABC.