“All my music lives on black radio. So, TV is a huge opportunity to be seen by everyone in Middle America and all those other places where I don’t really tour,” admits Thicke to the Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve really only had one song that played on the pop charts.” His 2006 hit “Lost Without U” was that song.
“Duets” premiered last Thursday on ABC, starring Thicke, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles as judges who double as performers and mentors for a set of fledgling singers. Thicke thinks this new twist on an old model set the show apart from others of its type. “What’s fun about it is it’s very unpredictable because you get to see a free concert almost every show from John Legend, Jennifer, Kelly Clarkson and myself,” he said to Good Morning America.
Initially, Thicke was not happy about the idea of having to judge people, thinking he was just signing on as a performer. “The first pitch they gave me was, ‘Oh, you’re going to sing on every episode in front of millions of people.’ I was like, ‘Hey, I love to sing. I love to make music.’ So, it seemed like an easy decision to make,” said Thicke. “Then after I had already signed on, they were like, ‘Oh, by the way, you’re going to be judging other people.’ I was like, ‘Wait, I thought I was just performing. I don’t want to judge anybody.”
Eventually, Thicke was won over and saw the show as a mentoring opportunity. “This show isn’t just about them [singing] on their own, it’s about how we blend together,” said the crooner. “So once I realized we can look in each other’s eyes and create a spark on stage that was when I made my decision.”