Josh Groban is, of course, known for his warm baritone, but he also has proven quite an affable host, as his guest stints on “Live With Kelly” showed. The long-running morning show used his as a frequent fill in and the rumor was that he was considered a possible replacement for Regis Philbin before ultimately selecting Michael Strahan.
So it makes sense that Groban will serve as host for “Rising Star,” ABC’s new summer talent competition. He tells Hitfix that he’s certainly seen the work of fellow singing show hosts “American Idol’s” Ryan Seacrest and “The Voice’s” Carson Daly, but he plans to set his own path.
“I think the reason they got me is I’m me,” he says. “I don’t want it to be anything other than what I have to offer. Maybe they’ll like it maybe they won’t.”
He adds that he learned a lot about live TV from his co-hosting duties with Kelly Ripa: “When you have someone as brilliant as Kelly to riff off of and have dialogue with, she makes it look easy,” he says. “When you can make it look easy and put the audience at ease, that’s when it’s the best. That’s what I learned from that experience.”
Though he’s a host, he’ll also serve as an expert, “to give [the contestants] advice before they go out there, to talk to them about their song choices, to talk to them about bringing out that uniqueness that they may not know they have.” The official experts are Kesha, Brad Paisley and Ludacris. Check out our interview with Kesha here.
Groban goes back on tour in August, while “Rising Star” is still in its 10-week run. It will be a bit of a juggling act, he admits: “I’m going to do a little flying. I’m going to have some great outdoor orchestra concerts this summer, mostly on the east coast this summer.”
“Rising Star,” which debuts June 22, will rely on the experts and Groban, to mentor the contestants, who then perform in front of a wall. As viewers at home vote on whether the contestant should go on to the next level, the wall will either rise —if they get enough votes to pass on to the next round— or stay down. While the experts will get to vote (their total vote share is 7%), the fate of the contestants is in the hands of the at-home viewers and the results will be immediately known. To be able to vote, viewers can download the “Rising Star” app here.
Groban also explains in the video how the show works for viewers on the west coast, given that “Rising Star” airs live and the results are announced in real time. The short answer is yes, Pacific time zone votes will count too.