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‘Rising’ snags Kesha, Groban, Ludacris

The US version of Israel’s runaway success TV singing competition lands several top performers as host and judges

Debra writes for the JTA, and is a former features writer for The Times of Israel.

(Rising star cast  via Shutterstock.)
(Rising star cast via Shutterstock.)

The cast of the US adaptation of “Rising Star,” Israeli television’s hottest reality program, has been announced, and it is packed with its own star power.

Josh Groban, the American multi-platinum singer-songwriter, will host the program, with rapper Ludacris, bad-girl singer Kesha, and country crooner Brad Paisley filling seats at the judging table.

The program, which premiered last fall in Israel as “Kochav HaBa,” was a runaway hit in Israel thanks to its pioneering interactive software, in which audience members can vote for their favorite singers live, thanks to an integrated app, and have a direct influence on the outcome of the program. The show has since smashed international sales records, and versions of the program are in the works in Russia, Germany, France, Italy and beyond.

Despite a report in the New York Times earlier this month that televised singing competitions are on the outs, and dismal ratings for former sure-fire hits like “American Idol” and “The Voice,” international executives have been quick to snap up “Rising Star” in the hopes that its groundbreaking technology will set it apart from the pack. Critics and music writers seem to be optimistic, too.

“Givem its just-announced all-star cast, this show might actually have a shot,” Yahoo! Music said of “Rising Star” earlier this week.

The US version of “Rising Star” will premiere on ABC on June 22.




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