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Kelly Clarkson returns to singing competition game with 'Duets'

March 8, 2012 | 10:44 am

Kelly Clarkson

Despite an apparent glut of reality singing competitions, ABC is getting into the game with its own series, "Duets." And it's bringing along the very first "American Idol," Kelly Clarkson.

The network announced the program on Thursday with an expected summer 2012 debut date.

The set-up of the show looks to combine the mentoring aspects of "The Voice" with the amateur-plus-pro pairing novelty of ABC's other reality competition hit, "Dancing With the Stars."

In the series, celebrity singers Clarkson, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke will tour the country in search of raw, undiscovered singing talent (is there such a thing anymore?) and bring the singers back to L.A. The twist here is that the celebrities don't sit behind a judges table, but instead pair off with the contestants, singing weekly duets before a studio audience in hopes of being the most popular.

The winner will get a recording contract with Hollywood Records.

Clarkson said in a statement, "The simple fact that I get to go out and find two people that I believe in, sing with them every week, and help them accomplish their dream is an amazing thing that I can't wait to be a part of!"

Will this prove to be one singing competition show too many? While it won't have "The Voice" and "American Idol" to compete against (both shows will end their seasons in May), it will have to struggle for attention opposite NBC's "America's Got Talent," with new judge Howard Stern. Of course, "Duets" could be just the ticket for those who find Stern offensive.


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-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Kelly Clarkson. Credit: Mike Coppola / Getty Images