Belfast Telegraph

Kelis to judge BBC choir contest Pitch Battle

BBC's Pitch Battle choral contest will compete with ITV's junior singing competition The Voice Kids for viewers this summer (17).

R&B superstar Kelis is to head up the judging panel on the BBC's new TV choir contest Pitch Battle.

The Milkshake musician, 37, will join British choir master Gareth Malone as a permanent judge on the show, which is inspired by the singing competitions depicted in the Pitch Perfect films.

"It's kind of nice when things come full circle," she said in a statement issued by the broadcaster. "I started singing in the choir as a child so it's always been something special to me. Now here I am 20 years later as a judge on Pitch Battle."

Gareth, 41, and Kelis will be joined by a third guest judge each week, with Joe Jonas, Chaka Khan, Will Young and Bebe Rexha among the stars lined up to appear on the panel.

On the show, singing groups will compete in a series of challenges including 'riff-offs', a soloists challenge and an a capella round.

The 'riff-offs' are similar to the head-to-head singing battles featured in the Pitch Perfect movie franchise, whose third instalment will open in cinemas in December (17).

Gareth, whose efforts to coach youth and community singing groups were documented in another BBC series, The Choir, added that he hoped the new series would help find "extraordinary groups who have the skill and personality to light up our screens."

Pitch Battle will be fronted by ex-Great British Bake Off presenter Mel Giedroyc, who also hosted Gary Barlow's BBC talent hunt Let It Shine earlier this year.

She gushed: "Not only are we going to be joined by some brilliant groups and megastar judges each week but to top it all off my old mucker (friend) the original twisted choir starter Gareth Malone will be there too. What a combo (combination)!"

Pitch Battle will air on BBC One this summer, with the singing groups battling to be crowned champions over the course of six episodes.

It is expected to face stiff competition for viewers from ITV's rival singing contest The Voice Kids.

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