It’s a unique premise for the ever-growing reality show/singing competition field. Send a musical icon to a budding young performer’s home for 72 hours to give them their undivided coaching and mentoring attention. That’s the idea behind the upcoming show The Next, debuting on The CW next month. Celebrity mentor Nelly found his first assignment in Orlando to work with a local undiscovered talent for the show’s premiere episode and stopped by 102 JAMZ to speak with Melony Torres about The Next.
While Nelly comes from the world of hip-hop, the show is set to explore a variety of musical genres utilizing the talents of Gloria Estefan, Joe Jonas, and John Rich to round out the quartet of musical mentors.
“It’s a platform obviously for artists to really get a chance to show their true talents,” Nelly said. “But it’s not like we’re looking to build these artists. These are artists that may be local heroes. [They] may be artists that have gotten right there but maybe not to that next level yet because of one or two things. We kind of come in as mentors and try to see what they’re kind of lacking a little bit and give them that boost of confidence, and hopefully they get a chance to cross that boundary.”
It’s the dedicated personal attention that will be given to the contestants directly on their own turf that aims to set the show apart from the likes of American Idol and The Voice. “You go to their place of work, you kind of move in to their place of living,” Nelly explained. “So, you know, I’ve kind of been staying with this young lady for the past 72 hours.”
But is a music superstar really comfortable cohabitating with the average Joe or Josephine? “She’s got a nice little apartment,” said Nelly. “It’s a cool deal.”
Since the artists all come from a wide range of genres there’s always the possibility that there could be a musical odd couple pairing, but Nelly seemed pretty certain that the show would match the right mentor with the appropriate up and coming talent. “I don’t think they’re pretty much gonna put [country superstar] John Rich with a rapper,” Nelly offered. “I’m not saying that John couldn’t tell ’em, you know, a thing or two, because when you’re in this business and you have success, success is success. And John’s a great guy and he’s a smart guy. So I’m pretty sure he could definitely give ’em some guidance. But I think they kind of limit it a little bit, so to speak.”
The Next premieres on The CW on Thursday, August 16th at 9/8c.
Listen to Melony Torres’ complete interview with Nelly below.