First Look: Adam Lambert as Mentor on 'Majors & Minors' (Exclusive)
Episode 2 of the junior talent show airs tonight with a debut appearance by perma-mentor Brandy. Coming soon: the "American Idol" alum and glam heartthrob will offer advice to the next generation of pop stars.
It’s not quite American Idol, or even American Juniors, Simon Fuller’s ill-fated one-season attempt to showcase the raw talent of kids ages 5 to 13, but Majors & Minors, airing on the Hub network Friday nights, certainly has plenty of buzz on its side.
Credit the dozen or so proven pop stars and songwriters that have been enlisted by show creators Evan “Kidd” Bogart and his brother Tim, including permanent mentor Brandy, who makes her debut in the second episode, hitmaker and OneRepublic singer Ryan Tedder, Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, Leona Lewis, Avril Lavigne and Idol alums Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert, the latter pictured here in a still from an upcoming episode.
Show producers are staying tight-lipped on when Lambert’s episode will air, no doubt to ensure the Glamberts keep tuning in, but his presence is already being touted as a highpoint of the show’s inaugural season. Says Evan Bogart: “[Adam] specifically wanted to work with the kids on stage presence and delivering the right performance. Even when you're not the person singing, what you're doing, how you're interacting with other people on stage, how you're being a part of it when you're not the center of attention. And then when you are the center of attention, how you grab that, run with it, and then pass it off.” All topics in which Lambert boasts expert knowledge.
Haven’t had a chance to catch the show yet? THR has your primer:
First, it’s important to understand that Majors & Minors is not a competition show and, while it involves some element of judging, it’s not the cut-you-down and send-you-home-crying kind. In fact, no one goes home. Instead, the kids learn to work as a group. Vocal parts are sketched out factoring each participant’s tone and talent, they’re coached by the illustrious Debra Byrd, one of very few principal characters who’ve worked on Idol since day 1, and guided by Brandy, who in episode 2 gets so teary hearing the kids run through an original song called “One World,” that the group gives itself a collective pat on the back, as if to say, “mission accomplished.”
Of course, singing in unison without an accompaniment is just the beginning of the process. The kids are then outfitted with in-ear monitors, state-of-the-art staging and lights and a killer performance space.
It’s basic training for a career in pop music, which of course includes the requisite dance moves (cutie contestant and Youtube star Josh Metzler, 15, has already made it clear that if he were a character from Glee, it would be Finn with his two left feet), impressive solos and the occasional overreaching vocal run. After all, not everyone can grow up to be Christina Aguilera, but the fun is in trying to get there, while also learning the ins and outs of the ever-evolving music business.