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It's a criticism you hear often from established artists—TV's singing contests give instant fame to folks who've never put in the blood, sweat and tears on the road to build their careers.
And that's why Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland hesitated at first about becoming a mentor/singer on new ABC show Duets, which launches Thursday (May 24).
"I've always been somewhat skeptical of the music-reality competition shows and think that's because I came up through the ranks in a certain way," she tells CountryWeekly.com. "I came up through the club scene and was running around the country in a 15-passenger van with five smelly guys, schlepping my own gear. I really paid my dues that way."
It was the success of stars such as fellow judge Kelly Clarkson, an American Idol winner, and Carrie Underwood, another Idol star, that ultimately convinced Jennifer that reality competitions have a place in the world. "Television has, at least currently, proven itself to be a legitimate inroad to the industry," she says.
Jennifer is mentoring two contestants—an R&B singer, J Rome, and a fellow Georgia native, John Glosson.