Talking ’bout 1-2-3 — the first three celebrity contenders in the special live Lip Sync Battle that is.
The Michael Jackson-themed affair will feature the talents of Taraji P. Henson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Neil Patrick Harris, EW can exclusively reveal. The three actors should prove stiff competition for each other — and other contestants still to be named — given their extensive musical backgrounds.
Henson made her singing debut in Hustle and Flow and went on to perform the Oscar-winning song from the film during the Academy Awards, while Harris has Broadway chops and has proved his song-and-dance skills hosting the Tonys, Emmys, and Oscars. Steinfeld has showcased her vocal chops in the Pitch Perfect films, and she released the album Haiz in 2015 and has featured on other artists’ tracks.
This first-ever live episode of Lip Sync Battle on Thursday, Jan. 18, which will be broadcast from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, will also mark the launch of the new Paramount Network (currently Spike TV).
The television special, hosted by LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen, will also feature a performance from Michael Jackson ONE, the Cirque du Soleil show currently in permanent residence at the Michael Jackson theater in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.
Lip Sync Battle LIVE: A Michael Jackson Celebration airs Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. ET. The fourth season of Lip Sync Battle officially launches, the following week, Jan. 25, at 10 p.m. ET.