Though he's relatively less popular than the other judges on "Duets", Robin Thicke admitted he never felt underestimated. The R&B singer opened up that he and fellow judges, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles were appreciative to one another.
"I don't think any of us are taking it too personally, because we all actually truly respect each other," Thicke told The Hollywood Reporter. "Jennifer Nettles, Kelly and John, these are great singers. For me, I'm the underdog of the group. I'm just happy to be part of it and give my best I can each week."
Thicke went on admitting that he hoped "Duets" could introduce him to a whole new audience who had never seen him before. "I've really only had one song that played on the pop charts. All my music lives on black radio. So, TV is a huge opportunity to be seen by everyone in Middle America and all these other places where I don't really tour," he said.
On how he first got involved in the judging gig for the new singing competition show, the 35-year-old musician explained, "The first pitch they gave me was, 'Oh, you're going to sing on every episode in front of millions of people.' I was like, 'Hey, I love to sing. I love to make music.' So, it seemed like an easy decision to make."
"Then after I had already signed on, they were like, 'Oh, by the way, you're going to be judging other people.' I was like, 'Wait, I thought I was just performing. I don't want to judge anybody'," he added. "But, you realize it's not about judging, it's about inspiring, trying to give anything I've learned in my career back to these young contestants to help with their future."
"Duets" was premiered on ABC at 8 P.M. last Thursday, May 24, a day after "American Idol" named Phillip Phillips the winner of its eleventh season. On the talent show, each of the mentors will find two duet partners for themselves. Each week, the proteges will perform with the stars before a live audience. The winning contestant will get a recording contract with Hollywood Records.
Of choosing Alexis Foster and Olivia Chisholm as his proteges, Thicke said, "When I saw their tapes, I saw these beautiful spirits and I saw this great talent in both of them." He gushed, "And then when I got to sing with them in person, I thought there was a connection."
"This show isn't just about them [singing] on their own, it's about how we blend together," the Los Angeles native continued. "So once I realized we can look in each other's eyes and create a spark on stage, that was when I made my decision."