Ensuring that no amateur singer will ever have cause to refer to themselves as “undiscovered” again—so ample were their opportunities to audition, so they should just shut up and see if Table 2 needs more coffee—the coming year will see several new additions to an already increasingly crowded line-up of televised singing competitions. Here’s one more: ABC is launching Duets, a show in which established artists like Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, and Lionel Richie travel the country looking for the handful of amateur singers who are not already involved in one of the other myriad TV talent shows. From this tiny crop, Clarkson, Richie et al. will pick those they deem worthy of being mentored through a series of duet performances, until eventually they also land a record deal, and then possibly they become famous enough to star in their own singing competition show someday, and so the ouroboros grows fat on its own tail.
And if this seems familiar, that’s because Clarkson, Thicke, and Richie were all recently guest mentors on NBC’s own American Idol competitor The Voice this week, and also because there are approximately half a dozen karaoke shows exactly like this that are either already on the air or in the works, all blending into one melismatic chorus. Anyway, Duets is expected to debut this summer—just in time to compete against The CW’s The Star Next Door, in which Queen Latifah, John Rich, and Gloria Estefan similarly crisscross the nation looking for talent. Perhaps one night all these singers will meet up out there on the trails, and they can huddle around the campfire and swap tales of how they hear there’s a whole mess of amateur singer gold way out West, so plentiful a fella can just dip his hand in and come out rich.