The Rising Star auditions are over, and “the duals” begin! The Hollywood Reporter reveals what we can expect tonight from the next phase of the competition.
First, it’s important to note, that the competition cuts back to ONE HOUR! It will stay that way until the semi-finals in August. YAY. Rising Star airs tonight on ABC at 9 ET/PT. We’ll be live blogging, of course.
Here’s what we can expect, according to THR:
For the next three weeks, each one-hour episode will showcase three duels. Two similarly-sounding singers will perform a solo of their choice — the first on the open stage, the second from behind the Wall — and whoever of the two gets the most votes wins the match. Singers learn of their opponent a week before their duel, and find out whether they’re performing first or second via a coin flip.
This “one in front of the wall and one behind the wall” deal seems pointless to me, even after producer Ken Warwick attempts to explain the logic.
“There’s an interesting dynamic in that the first person has an open stage, so if they want to jump about and run about the place, they can, whereas the person behind the Wall is a little bit more restricted,” executive producer Ken Warwick tells The Hollywood Reporter. “However, that person knows what they’ve got to beat, and so does the audience, so we like to think that it evens out.”
Also, it appears that West Coast voters might have a bit more of an impact on the results of this phase than they did the auditions.
While the winners of each duel will be determined by voting results from the live broadcast, the West Coast’s delayed airing will be crucial, as the highest total of the singers who did not win their duel will still move on to the next round. In total, four of each night’s six will advance.
It sounds like we won’t find out the who the 4th singer to move on is until the West Coast results are in.
The contestants choose their own songs, allowing them to stay in their lane if they like.
“If there’s a country person and a rock person, they’d both have to sing a country song or a rock song, and it’s not fair,” explains Warwick, formerly of “Idol.” “This is more fair, as far as we’re concerned, because the kid can sing a song that’s in their own wheelhouse. … You don’t take a kid out of what they’re good at; you let them be as good as they can possibly be.”
The “expert” panel-Brad Paisley, Ludacris and Kesha–will be mentoring the contestants.
Interesting what Ken Warwick has to say about Kesha. She’s using Rising Star as part of an “image” rehab. Good luck with that.
And of Kesha, producers say viewers will discover more than just her deep knowledge of music. “I must be honest: when she first came in, her persona — or her rap sheet, if you’d like — is that she was a party girl,” says Warwick. “We talked to her and this is what impressed me: she really was intelligent, what she said makes sense, and she was sweet and kind. And she wanted to kind of fix this reputation that she had had.” He continues, “I’m starting to quite warm to her, and she’s doing it in the right way — gradually educating the public in the way that she is. If it had happened immediately, people would’ve said it wasn’t genuine. And she’s getting there.” Yaron adds, “I mean, she’s still her. She still loves beards. I got an email from her this morning about playing with a ball of yarns and her cat cult.”
If I were Kesha, I’m not sure I’d be happy with the producers offering up their opinions on my PR strategy. I think they are trying to drum up sympathy for her, but revealing that she HAS a strategy will still make her seem fake in some viewers eyes.
The article ends with thoughts from Ken Warwick:
“All we’ve ever said to them is, you can only be yourself. Don’t play a role that doesn’t fit correctly fit you. Say exactly what you feel, and that’s the only way it’s gonna be varied. …. Trust me, I’ve been there; I’ve seen more judges than I care to. If you act as you are, and genuinely and honestly assess the performance as you see it, you’ll find things to say, because you’re not confined by what you think you want to say. That’s what they’re now doing, and they’re doing great.”
“You probably don’t remember the first Idol back in 2002, but trust me, there was a definitely backlash to [Simon] Cowell being the way Cowell is, with his acerbic critiques. It was something we ironed out over the first series; it took us longer to iron that out than it’s taking us to iron this out. … [Rising Star] will never be as good as Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, I must say! But we’re doing the best we can.”
Read more at The Hollywood Reporter