Billboard's latest cover story (online now, on newsstands Monday) features an eclectic and unpredictable group of stars: Ludacris, Kesha, Brad Paisley and Josh Groban — the premiere slate of judges and host of ABC's new reality-based "Rising Star," premiering June 22.
Kesha, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges and Brad Paisley will be "expert" judges, giving contestants feedback and advice, and Josh Groban will serve as the show’s host.
Despite the star-power involved, "Rising Star" puts the audience fully in control, through a custom app and real-time voting — integrating the second screen more fully than any reality contest show before.
"You're getting a really intimate connection with the TV audience right from the very first note," says Groban, 33, of "Rising Star"'s interactive approach.
"As soon as I saw [the show] reel, I felt like the future has come early," says Ludacris, 36. "People at home being able to be on the app saying yes or no in real time — it made me interested. This will be revolutionary for television, for finding talent, period."
Paisley zones right in on the show's intended appeal to the younger DSM generation: "It's "Hunger Games" meets the Coliseum in Rome."
"I don’t really know about the pleasing-the-television-executives aspect of it," says Kesha, who notes she doesn't keep track of the ratings for her own MTV show, "My Crazy Beautiful Life." "The way I'm going to gauge whether the show is a success or not is if I find a new rising star, a new talented young person that I can help."
Check out the full article over on Billboard.