Robin Thicke says he thinks the contestants, or "amateurs," he is mentoring on "Duets," ABC's new singing contest series, are ready to take on the next challenge.
The show premiered on Thursday, May 24. Thicke, a 35-year-old R&B singer and son of "Growing Pains" actor Alan Thicke, "American Idol" season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson, Sugerland singer Jennifer Nettles and John Legend are the four celebrity mentors who perform with two contestants in front of a studio audience every week. At the end of the competition, the winning "amateur" will receive a recording contract.
The contestants were introduced on the premiere and performed with their mentors before a studio audience. Thicke and Alexis Foster, from Knoxville, Tennessee, sang his song "Magic" together, while he and Olivia Chisholm, from Charlotte, North Carolina, performed his track "Lost Without U." After a few more weeks of pre-taped episodes, like many singing competition shows, performances will air live."Well, I think the good thing is that the girls are already, will be well-trained for that experience, because to them, once you're out in front of a live audience and the cameras are rolling, that's pretty live anyway," Thicke told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "The only real difference is for the producers."
"I think the same," Chisholm added. "It'll be the same, just no messing up. No stopping, no pausing, any of that."
"No re-dos," Thicke said. "But we haven't had any re-dos yet, so you only get one shot to give your all."
His "amateurs" also shared their musical influences. Chisholms said she enjoys pop and R&B music and admires Beyonce's career.
"Who wouldn't?" Thicke added. "Listen, if I looked and danced like that, I'd try to be Beyonce."
Foster said Lauryn Hill and Jazmine Sullivan were among her favorite artists and that she is also a fan of R&B and soul.
"I hope that after this show I get to really develop a more professional presence, because I don't have a website, all I have is my YouTube, it's just me in front of my webcam, so I hope to have a website and photos and just really get my name out there," she added.
Thicke said that most of the contestants were chosen via YouTube and that he chose his "amateurs" because of their similar styles.
"I think we're all very happy with who we've picked," he said. "However, this is a crash course in learning how to entertain and how to perform and how to be a great singer but also a great performer."
"When you're standing next to people like John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles, you'd better get your game together real quick, 'cause you can see the difference between the confidence of an established performer and somebody who's just getting started," he added. "So, it's exciting for us to pick the right songs, give our amateurs their best shot and also, you know, hopefully the amateurs will excel and one of their dreams come true."