By Jaclyn Peiser
2:55 PM EDT, July 17, 2012
For the past few days, Gloria Estefan, Nelly, John Rich and Joe Jonas have been in Baltimore, preparing contestants to compete in a new TV show.
Called "The Next: Fame is at Your Doorstep," the CW's singing competition partners the four stars with local, unsigned singers. The four contestants compete on stage, and the audience votes on who they want to represent their city at a live show in Los Angeles.
The Baltimore taping is at 8 p.m. tonight at the Hippodrome Theatre. The winner gets a recording contract with Atlantic Records.
"It's a little like 'The Simple Life' meets 'American Idol,'" Jonas said.
Jonas and the other singers shadow their contestants day-to-day, and offer tips on improving their craft -- though Jonas couldn't reveal his contestant's name or many other details.
"[We are] spending every second we can to practice for this big competition show," Jonas said.
"I have him practice while he plays basketball. While we are hanging out, he is singing. Playing video games, he is singing. Every second I can, I am getting him prepared."
With so many singing competitions springing up, what sets "The Next" apart? According to Jonas, the personable and down-to-earth mentoring sessions are unique for an "American Idol"-like show.
"You really get to dive in and spend time with these people in fun and funny situations," he said. "It's hilarious."
Although Joe's contestant lives right outside Baltimore, he has still been able to enjoy and explore the city the past few days.
"I'm loving Baltimore," he said. "It's been a lot of fun. … I've had some time off and enjoying the city and the nice hot weather. … It's just the fact that everything is set up near water and I love that. And the restaurants are fantastic."
Jonas is pumped for tonight’s taping at the Hippodrome.
"It will be a lot of fun and I hope everyone has a lot of fun with it," Jonas said.
Check-in at the Hippodrome begins at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
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