8:15am PT by Jethro Nededog
ABC's 'Karaoke Battle USA' Premiere: Judge Carnie Wilson Gets 'A Little Verklempt' (Exclusive Video)
ABC premieres its new take on the reality singing competition, Karaoke Battle USA, Friday at 9 p.m. And The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive sneak peek from the premiere episode.
Hosted by ‘N Sync’s Joey Fatone with judges Wilson Phillips’ singer Carnie Wilson, music journalist Joe Levy, and 2009 karaoke champion Brian Scott, the series sheds light on the intense and talented world of the Karaoke World Championships USA.
“We were really surprised by the intensity of these karaoke contestants,” executive producer John R. Green tells us. “These are diehard karaoke lovers who go to their local bars once or twice a week, sometimes three times a week, and this is their chance to shine.”
The series shoots in Houston, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles in its quest to name one male and one female performer the “King and Queen of Karaoke.” The winners receive a prize package that includes a record deal with Hollywood Records and a trip to compete in the Karaoke World Championships in Ireland later this year.
“One of the most compelling things that I think makes this different from other singing competitions is there’s such a strong sense of community,” Green, who tells us this show was a fun change from his other job as an EP at ABC News and 20/20, says. “From small town karaoke bars to these competitions that take place across the country and around the world, they all share this passion for karaoke and you see that in this series.”
Watch THR’s exclusive sneak peek at the two-hour premiere episode below as the talented Shawntae Jackson gets an emotional reaction from Wilson.