Joe Jonas Previews TV's Next Singing Contest, on The CW: 'It's Definitely a Shock Sometimes'

Joe Jonas The NextThe CW is branching out beyond its signature sexy teens and addictive supes with a singing competition titled The Next, which launches tonight at 9/8c. But how exactly does this new musical offering stand out among those already on the market, including American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor? TVLine posed that very question to Next mentor Joe Jonas, and he made clear the differences between the veteran shows and this fresh venture.

But before we get to that, here’s how The Next nets out: The CW’s singing competition follows four recording artist mentors — Jonas plus Nelly, Gloria Estefan and John Rich — as they scout out talent all across the nation and then immerse themselves in the day-to-day lives of a chosen few, as they ready them for their sing-offs.

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Each week the four “discovered” competitors in each city will compete against each other at a local venue, after which the in-person audience chooses which one will move on to the finals in Los Angeles. Ultimately, after several rounds of live sing-offs in L.A. and viewer voting, only one will be named “The Next” big music sensation.

Now, Jonas breaks down a few reasons why The Next sets itself apart from the pack.

THERE IS MENTORING, NOT JUDGING | Unlike the bickering — and sometimes vicious — judges on other competition shows, the Disney alum and his peers are on hand to help and mold the contestants. (So yes, it’s a little Voice-like, but not quite.) “We don’t really choose the talent, but we do have input,” he explains. “When they do their live performances, we have to be pretty honest with them, whether it was bad or good, in order to make sure that it goes over well.”

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THE AUDIENCE GETS AN IMMEDIATE VOTE | Gone are many of the “dial in after the show” moments typical to this genre. Instead, the crowd witnessing the opening rounds of sing-offs cast their votes right then and there, and one of the four performers is crowned at episode’s end. It is because of that wrinkle, Jonas says, that The Next has some edge. “It’s definitely a shock sometimes,” he recounts. “[I never know] how [my contestants] will do with an audience — and then they blow me out of the water!”

IT HAS (FUN) PERSONALITY | “We don’t really take ourselves too seriously,” Jonas says of the team of mentors. “You have people like Gloria Estefan on a tractor, and Nelly selling sunglasses at a Sunglass Hut… just really hilarious stuff that you wouldn’t expect. It’s great television.”

Are you going to give The Next a try? Hit the comments!