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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Battle of the Singing Game Shows

So, who won the battle of singing game shows last week?

NBC’s “The Singing Bee” was last week’s most-watched show with 13.3 million viewers. FOX’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” debuted with 8.3 million viewers.

If you’re trying to figure out which one to watch, let me give you the rundown…

“Lyrics” is hosted by Wayne Brady and is in the same vein as “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Contestants march up the money board by choosing categories and singing songs in that category. The contestants completely sing parts of the songs with accompaniment by the band. If contestants correctly fill in the blanks on the screen while singing, they get to move on. If they’re stuck they can use one of three helps. The top prize is $1 million. The bandleader is Ricky Minor of “American Idol”…

“Bee” is hosted by Joey Fatone who’s backed up by dancing girls called the Honey Bees. A group of contestants are called up on the stage and must sing their way into the next round. The four who get the words to their songs first move on to round two where two contestants compete against each other and try to fill in as many blanks as they can with different songs. The two winners face off in round three by trying to correctly sing a chorus of a song. The winner of that round goes to the final game where they fill in more blanks to win as much money as they can. The top prize is $50,000 and a trophy. The contestants only sing the blanks (The band handles the rest.), with the exception of round two where they have to sing the entire part of the song. The bandleader is Ray Chew, the musical director of the Apollo Theater Foundation.

Of the two, “Bee” is the most fun, and it would be cool to see Wayne Brady on it since I think it better fits his personality. Joey is a good host, he just needs to find another word besides “sweet.”

“Bee” was also easier for me since it stuck mostly to songs from the 80s and 90s. But the truth is if I was on the show, when that screen went blank, I would go blank too…

“The Singing Bee” airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC. “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on FOX…