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John Legend, Simon Lythgoe to Produce American Version of Unscripted Format ‘Love at First Song’

John Legend and “American Idol” producer Simon Lythgoe are among those teaming up to develop “Love at First Song,” a music competition-dating show hybrid, Variety has learned.

The show, which is based on a format first seen on Vietnamese TV and hails from South Korean entertainment and mass media company CJ ENM, will likely try and emulate the success of Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” another adaptation of a hit Asian music show which came from a South Korean entertainment entity.

The U.S. version of “Love at First Song” is being developed by Critical Content, Get Lifted Film Co and Lythgoe’s Legacy Productions, with Legend serving as an executive producer.

“Love at First Song” pairs two singers together and has them “virtually” rehearse a romantic duet, before revealing themselves and their potential chemistry during a live performance. The couples then live together, practice together, perform and compete together, but may swap partners in every episode — for love or music.

“Having worked on some of the biggest reality singing competitions in the world like ‘American Idol’ and pop stars, this is the first format I’ve seen in a decade that’s a unique hybrid having all the right ingredients to be a huge international success,” said Lythgoe. “And more importantly, ‘Love at First Song’ has the potential to launch the next great duo like Tim & Faith, Sonny & Cher or Jay Z & Beyoncé.”

Lythgoe will be executive produce alongside Critical Content’s Tom Forman and Jenny Daly, Get Lifted’s Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius, and Legend. The project is part of a previously announced multi-year unscripted production pact between Critical Content and Get Lifted.

“‘Love at First Song’ is really the best of two great genres: performance and dating, as contestants literally fall in love and make heartbreaking decisions during their duets,” said Forman and Daly in a statement. “It’s the perfect format to come from a love song legend like John, plus a producer like Simon with a proven record of launching both hit shows and huge acts.”

The show originally premiered in January, 2018, on Vietnam’s VTV3.

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