Sara Bareilles and Kelly Rowland to judge first audio-only singing competition, ’Breakthrough’

Courtesy of Audible

Sara Bareilles and Kelly Rowland are embarking on a new, audio-only singing competition — meaning there will be no cameras, special effects or costumes.

The duo will serve as judges on the Breakthrough podcast, which is coming to Amazon’s Audible this summer. Per the official description, the nine-episode series is being described as a “genre-defining first” that focuses squarely on “pure talent.” 

Kelly and Sara are no strangers to the realm of singing competitions. Sara previously judged The Sing-Off, which gave us Pentatonix, while Kelly was on X Factor.  

Breakthrough will feature five singing hopefuls who will compete through “high-stakes singing and songwriting challenges” until one is left standing. Challenges include singing numbers outside of their comfort zone, creating song hooks and making original music. They will also receive guidance from Sara and Kelly, who will serve as their mentors.

Per the show’s official description, its goal is to create a competition “where it doesn’t matter what you look like or who you know, just how you sound.”

“I love that the creative team are on the same journey as our audience – getting to know these artists without seeing them – developing a sense of their artistry through only their music and storytelling,” Sara said in a statement. “These five incredible souls showed up to each challenge with courage and vulnerability that invited us all into a remarkably intimate space, and I learned so much from them.”

Added Kelly, “I am so happy to be a part of this series that highlights and gives a voice to emerging artists.”

The show will be hosted by Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs. It premieres June 1. You can listen to a teaser of the show now.

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