CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The WB and reality guru Mike Fleiss are searching for their own "American Idol"-esque music superstar, just not the kind you'd think.
Here's how the WB describes "Superstar U.S.A.," a new performance reality series set to bow next month:
"THE WB'S SUPERSTAR USA" GOES IN SEARCH OF THE PERSON WHO 'THINKS' THEY'RE AMERICA'S NEXT SINGING SENSATION
Performance Reality Series Set To Premiere Monday, May 17
Celebrity Panel Include Recording Artists Vitamin C & Tone-Loc
Uber Executive producer Mike Fleiss ("High School Reunion," "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette") and The WB Network are set to premiere an off-key version of the red-hot performance reality genre, THE WB''S SUPERSTAR USA, on Monday, May 17. The seven-episode series will be hosted by former MTV vee-jay Brian McFayden.
Where some shows go out of their way to find the next truly talented singer in America, THE WB'S SUPERSTAR USA is a send-up of the genre, where hopefuls have all the determination and drive to make it as a singing sensation, even if they lack the voice. All the unsuspecting participants have a shot at fame and fortune, but not for the reasons they initially think. In the end, through a progressively funnier take on the genre, THE WB'S SUPERSTAR USA will have his or her dream come true, receiving a talent and recording deal worth $100,000, along with the immense fame and potential earning power derived from starring in a network television series.
"This is a genre that is ripe for parody," said Jordan Levin, CEO of The WB. "Back when we first introduced this type of show to an American audience with 'Popstars,' we found that the most memorable and relatable contestants were the people who had perhaps more courage than talent. Their passion to become superstars shone through. In this series, the viewing audience will be rewarded with a fun, funny and entertaining send-up of the genre, but in the end, you'll be won over by our Superstar."
"When I did 'Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire,' ratings sky-rocketed because people couldn¿t believe what they were seeing," explains executive producer Mike Fleiss. "This show will certainly strike a whole new chord with audiences and is sure to get people talking. The fact that we are able to perpetrate a hoax of this magnitude with thousands of people for more than a month is absolutely incredible."
Auditions for THE WB'S SUPERSTAR USA were held in Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Orlando and Philadelphia. The best singers are told that they aren't right for the show, while those who have more guts than pipes are encouraged by the show's respected music experts - rap music pioneer Tone-Loc, pop star Vitamin C and television producer Chris Briggs. Ultimately, 12 uniquely gifted performers are then whisked away to Hollywood, where they receive superstar treatment, complete with a makeover, dance sessions with a top choreographer and singing lessons with a respected voice coach. The conclusion of the show is played out in front of a live audience, where the last one standing will be given the title of THE WB'S SUPERSTAR USA, along with talent and recording deal and cash.
Created by executive producer Fleiss, THE WB'S SUPERSTAR USA is co-executive produced by Mike Nichols and Jason Carbone and produced by Next Entertainment in association with Telepictures Productions.