The CW's 'The Next': The reality singing competition with a twist

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Joe Jonas babysitting; John Rich on a horse in Harlem; Nelly selling sunglasses at the Sunglass Hut; Gloria Estefan mowing lawns.

Yes, that's right. These things really did happen. What's more, they were caught live in the act.

The CW's new singing competition show, " The Next," has enlisted the help of Joe, John, Nelly, and Gloria in mentoring talented artists who haven't quite broken into the music world. This may sound familiar; " American Idol" and " The X Factor" may come to mind, but "The Next" isn't quite like your average reality competition entertainment. In this case, judgement is solely in the hands of the audience, while the mentoring process includes these four music stars-turned-mentors taking part in the daily lives of their mentees.

The result? "A fun show," says Gloria. Viewers will get to see real talent on the stage, as well as mentor bonding and some "silliness."

She tells Zap2it, "You're gonna see real chemistry between the mentors; you're gonna see some cool performances from us; you're gonna see great talent. And you see a lot of silliness... You see the mentors in weird situations."

But this isn't all just fun and games, and the contestants on "The Next" aren't just undiscovered talent. John explains, "They're all like a Rubik's cube, two or three turns away from being ready. And so, our job as mentors was to go in and figure out what those last two or three turns are, and advise them on how to do it."

As for these mentors' experience, on a more serious note (pun intended), we're told it's been a reflective one. "When you get a chance to see these artists, and you go into their environment and you hear their stories, it's almost like looking in a freakin' mirror because you reflect back to when you were in that position," says Nelly. 

Joe chimes in as well to say, "The thing we'd say the most is that we've had up and downs of our success -- even at a young age, to have different variables of what's good and bad in the business. So you meet these artists who have really only seen the bad, and you really want to help them out."

You'll have to watch the show to get all the details, but here's some advice a couple of the mentors shared with us.

Joe: "Ask yourself, 'Do you literally want to get up at 5 in the morning, get on the phone, and then go to the studio till 3 in the morning, get two hours of sleep?'"

John: "You control what you can control at that given moment. And if that means a blank sheet of paper and a pencil and an idea, by God, put something brave down on paper or try to. Write your way out of it, or play everywhere you can possibly play that will let you in the door. Don't sit around and moan about it. Don't sit around and wait to win the lottery. You go to work."

"The Next" premieres Thursday, Aug 16 at 9p.m. on the CW.
Photo/Video credit: CW