Sara Bareilles & Daveed Diggs On Audible’s ‘Breakthrough’ Singing Competition Podcast, Plus ‘The Little Mermaid’ Remake And ‘Girls5eva’s New Home – SXSW Studio


Co-Creator/Executive Producer: Will Malnati

Executive Producer: Ethan Russell
Panelists: Sara Bareilles (judge); Daveed Diggs (host)
Logline: In a genre-redefining first, Breakthrough bursts onto the singing competition scene with an electrifying, audio-only series that strips away the superficial to reaffirm what matters most: pure talent. The captivating new Audible Original invites listeners on an intimate musical journey where it doesn’t matter what you look like or who you know, just how you sound. Based solely on what they hear, expert celebrity judges Kelly Rowland (Destiny’s Child, The X Factor) and Sara Bareilles (Waitress, Into the Woods, Girls5eva) coach and evaluate five undiscovered artists as host Daveed Diggs (HamiltonBlindspottingThe Little Mermaid) leads competitors through a series of high-stakes singing and songwriting challenges for one top spot. 

Key Quotes: Sara Bareilles on “blind” judging of performers: “I don’t know if we really notice how much judgment we put on the visual. And we sort of think that we like or dislike someone based on visual cues. We make judgments and we have preferences and, and so taking that out of the equation really opens up just this other space to experience… It’s a great sort of equalizing force.”

Daveed Diggs on working with Halle Bailey (“Ariel”) in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid: “I got to be in the studio with her recording and also like watch her develop that role and just — it’s a game changer.”

Sara Bareilles on Girls5eva moving from Peacock to Netflix for season 3: “We all feel so grateful because we’re so lucky we got our first swing on Peacock and they were huge supporters. And now to get this sort of like second life on Netflix and to have even a wider audience just feels like we get a ‘third second chance.’”

The Deadline Studio at SXSW runs March 10-13, where the cast and creatives behind the best and buzziest titles in this year’s lineup sit down with Deadline’s festival team to discuss their movies and the paths they took to get to Austin, Texas.

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