ABC’s new singing competition has lined up a high-powered host and panel of experts.
Rising Star has signed singer-songwriter Josh Groban as host of the summer series. In addition, pop sensation Kesha and hip-hop artist and actor Ludacris have come on board as experts, along with country star Brad Paisley, who was previously reported as likely joining the series.
ABC hopes to break into the singing competition game with Rising Star‘s unique live format, which has proven popular in other countries. Here’s how it works: 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. ABC previously tried to crack into the genre two years ago with the short-lived Duets. ABC’s teaser promo below illustrates the concept.
Since viewers determine if a singer advances in real time, Paisley, Kesha and Ludacris will not make elimination decisions like on other talent shows. Instead, they’ll simply offer guidance and feedback. The Rising Star team is set to appear for the first time together during ABC’s presentation of the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 18 (which Ludacris is hosting). Rising Star will premiere Sunday, June 22 at 9 p.m. Here’s that promo: