‘Duets’ stars Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke on what sets show apart

Duets - ABC

By Breeanna Hare, CNN

(CNN) — ABC’s new singing competition, “Duets,” may come across as just another singing show churning out vocalists. But one of the show’s judges thinks there’s nothing wrong with musical talent coming from television.

“Everybody says like, ‘Oh musicians are coming out of TV programs.’ And people are bashing it,” Kelly Clarkson told CNN.

“But the reason why I love it, most of the time, is because there is no A&R anymore in the entertainment world. If you don’t make it right off the bat, like if you’re a band that just goes through a label and you don’t make it right off the bat, you get dropped.”

That’s why she believes that a show like “Duets,” which premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. Central) on ABC, will allow artists to develop while learning from industry greats.

Clarkson, if you’ll recall, came to fame after winning the first season of “American Idol.” She said she’s looking forward to sharing the wisdom she learned from that experience with contenders on “Duets.”

“Particularly for me, the chance to be able to do ‘Duets’ [is exciting] because whenever I did ‘Idol,’ like 10 years ago, I could have really used somebody helping me,” Clarkson said. “And I could have really used the advice, and just the savvy, the business savvy of it all, and I didn’t have anything like that. So I think that it’s very cool to be able to do that for these two contestants that I have, [and] I love them both.”

That kind of camaraderie with contestants is something Clarkson thinks “Duets” does well.

“That’s one thing that [fellow ‘Duets’ judges] John [Legend], and Jennifer [Nettles], and Robin [Thicke] and I are all very good at,” she said. “We keep telling them, ‘Man, this is your chance. What song do you think you’re going to shine on? How can we make this your moment?’ So we’re really there because we’re artists. We were those kids when we were younger. So I think that’s the difference. We’re really looking out for them, [it’s] not just the aspect of the show.”

Thicke chimed in to say that viewers will get to see performances from the judges themselves every week.

“It’s a little bit more involved [for us] than, I think, the other judges on these other shows,” he said. “Like, we’re working our butts off! I didn’t realize how much work this was going to be! But we’re having a great time doing it.”

CNN’s Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.

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