Host Reveals Feelings on New ABC Singing Contest – “Duets”

It was a moment to top all other moments in his career when former Canadian MTV VJ and host of Total Request Live, Benjamin Quddus Philippe, known as Quddus, got the call from his manager saying ABC wanted him to host the “Duets” show. According to Quddus, it is an amazing feeling when you put your heart and soul into something and out comes an opportunity like hosting “Duets.” He goes on to tell that everything he has done in his career made sense, even the failures. He feels his time has finally arrived.

He speaks of the first moment he stepped into his dressing room, finding a basket of flowers and a note from the network, revealing how he knew he was in the company of a team that took nothing for granted. He offered that this does not happen very often as he has been in the business for twelve years. Now that he has worked with the “Duets” team for over a month, he said the flowers were not a front. He goes on to say that he has truly never worked with a group of people so thoughtful and so good at what they do. While he said he loved hosting “TRL” on MTV, it was never as special as “Duets.”

Quddus shares his first experience of stepping on the stage to see the four superstars rehearsing.  He said he literally had goose-bumps, the kind you get when you do something you’ll never forget. He said that even last minute addition to the stars, John Legend, even had a smile on his face that reminded him of the last time he saw a kid in a candy store. He says even the producer meetings are filled with good vibes.

Backstage before the show is electric says Quddus. He tells about the energy and expresses his gratitude for the opportunity to host a show like this with the kind of people involved. He lets them know the show and people are genuine and the “Duets’ are nothing less than expressions of love for the music and the moments that it manifests to fill you up.  He tells the stars that he is honored to be their host.

Different from “The Voice” and “American Idol” in that the stars actually perform with the contestants live on stage. Superstars include, Kelly Clarkston, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Nettles, and John Legends. Contestants are screened and chosen by the artists.

The season’s contestants already revealed in the first episode are as follows:

  • Alex Foster – born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Class of 2012. He will perform with Robin Thicke.
  • John Glosson – a Georgia native is a special events and wedding business owner. He’s been singing since childhood in his family choir and will be hitting the stage with Jennifer Nettles.
  • Bridget Carrington – grew up in a small Virginia town. She first discovered her love for music as she sang gospel songs in church as a child. John Legend will be her “Duet” partner.
  • Johnny Gray – a native from Fort Worth, Tx, grew up in a musical family.  He has a voice that can handle anything from Reba McIntire to Brian McKnight. John Legends will be his mentor.
  • J Rome – a Maryland native is ready to hit the “Duets” stage running to make a name for himself. Singing since childhood, he will join Jennifer Nettles center stage.
  • Jordan Meredith – is a small town Wisconsin girl who listened to her father sing to her as a child which inspired her love for music. Kelly Clarkston will be her “Duet.”
  • Jason Farol – born and raised in Torrance Ca. has had a life long dream to be a professional singer, but has had to put it off due to his parents determination for his higher education completion.  Kelly Clarkston has put her confidence in his dream.
  • Olivia Chisholm – gained her musical background in the 5th grade when she learned to play the flute. The Charlotte, NC native continued to expand her musical talent and will “Duet” with Robin Thicke.

Tune in to ABC’s latest singing sensation on Thursday nights 8/7c for the next episode of “Duets.”