The 5 Shows To Watch For Up-and-Coming Stars

Hi lovelies,

One of the coolest things in entertainment is being a fan of someone early on. It’s true in sports, music, film, and even reality television. Sometimes you just see someone - say, Kelly Clarkson early in her run on American Idol, or George Clooney in ER - and you know that someone is going places. Now, part of the fun of all this is that it’s tough to predict where a future star will come from. With that said however, we have five suggestions for shows you should be watching for the next up-and-coming stars in entertainment.
1. The Voice

The Voice has become one of the more popular reality talent competitions in TV history, and has produced a fairly incredible number of skilled performers over the years. Even some of the musicians who didn’t win, such as singer-songwriter Matt McAndrew, have gone on to real careers with droves of fans behind them. The success of the performers comes down largely to the amount of talent on the coaching panels. Country music star Blake Shelton and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine are regulars along with a rotating group that has included the likes of Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Usher, and others. Additionally, the show brings on guest coaches that provide incredible insights, such as John Legend for the upcoming season. It’s no wonder there’s always up-and-coming talent on a show with so much existing star power.
2. X Factor

X Factor has crossed the Atlantic and now has multiple versions (which is true of a few of these shows, actually), but we’re talking about the UK version, in which contestants are tested by four judges who are still led by producer Simon Cowell. They go through numerous stages of competition, such that unlike The Voice things start out fairly casually, such that there’s a lot of laughter and there are some less than serious auditions in the early going. However, the competition is designed to narrow things down over time until only legitimate talent with star potential remains. And unlike in some other shows, the winner of X Factor gets an automatic £1 million recording deal with Sony Music! That pretty much guarantees “next big thing” status.
3. Saturday Night Live

Not all shows with up-and-coming talent revolve around music. To that point, Saturday Night Live remains unquestionably the best program to watch if you want to see some of the next big names in comedy. Many will agree that the show is past its heyday, and it’s true that we haven’t seen a comedy megastar the likes of Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, or Will Ferrell come out of the show in a while. However, consider some of the talent currently circulating in Hollywood and you’ll quickly get to names like Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, Kate McKinnon, and Bill Hader. All of these people got their starts on SNL, and it seems that even when the show is in a down year or two there’s always someone on it who’s on the cusp of stardom.
4. Top Chef

The idea of watching a cooking competition for the next big star is a little different, and to be fair these contestants never really become “stars” beyond cooking. Given the massive scope of culinary reality television however, that’s not a small area in which to be a star. These days, some of the big winners on these shows go on to effectively become personalities, owning and operating their own restaurants but also appearing frequently as guests hots and judges in other seasons or even on other shows. Top Chef puts a lot of emphasis on individual ability (as opposed to team-based shows like Hell’s Kitchen) and as a result it’s produced several of these figures. There are genuine stars in the culinary world, such as Michael Voltaggio and Richard Blais, who have come out of this show.
5. The Four

The Four is brand new, so it’s hard to say it’s a proven star-producer. However, the argument is out there that it could be the best talent show ever, and it does seem well worth keeping a close eye on. What separates it, aside from an awesome panel of judges ranging from P. Diddy to Fergie, is that it incorporates hip-hop among other styles of music. It’s more of an anything-goes contest in which, truly, the best musical performer advances and has a shot to earn fame and status. We have little doubt the show will ultimately produce some big new names in the music business.
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