'Rising Star' host Josh Groban 'has the artist's back,' except when it comes to math

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Think of "Rising Star" as the microwave of singing competitions.

Can't wait for results night? ABC's version of the Israeli show kicks off Sunday, June 22 and the show's novelty is that the audience's immediate reaction counts.

"There are two sides to this production," executive producer Ken Warwick tells Zap2it. "One is the show side, one is the technology side."

The stage is dominated by a 14-foot high, double-sided LED screen that is 50-feet across.

In what has to take stage jitters to a new level, as the singers perform, people vote. If they garner enough votes, the singers move on in the competition. It's all happening during the song, and against that wall where the LED screens feature photos of those voting.

And yes, there are censors in place to catch those who would think it hilarious to pull a Carlos Danger on national TV. People will have to register to be able to vote, but Warwick says it will be a very simple process.

A couple of thousand contestants auditioned to be on the show, and their fates are decided within 90 seconds.

"My main goal is to go back which I did in the early days of Idol and find a star," says Warwick, who was a producer on "American Idol."

Ludacris, Kesha and Brad Paisley will tell the singers what they got right, and wrong, and Josh Groban hosts.

"They could have asked anybody to host," Groban says. "They could have gotten a DJ or a model, anybody to read a prompter. They wanted this to be music-centric. And my background is 150 percent music and 5 percent hosting -- I am terrible at math.

"They wanted me to riff with the judges and to be able to contribute," Groban continues. "And I am sure I will have an opinion, and sometimes I will be Switzerland. I understand what it feels like at 16. I will have the artists' back to give them a positive experience."
Photo/Video credit: ABC