Karaoke can be a lot of fun. A group of friends get together, go out to a bar for the evening, and take turns in the spot light singing their favorite songs To a group of people who, for the most part, are supportive and don't want to seen anyone fall on their face. Most performers know they are Grammy material, but are there to have fun. The camaraderie of the experience makes the whole thing a party.
The Singing Bee, NBC's new singing competition, is not that. Hosted by Joey Fatone (of *N'SYNC fame), it is the only singing competition that has nothing to do singing.
Contestants come up on stage and sing along with the music. They are judged simply on whether they get the lyrics right to well known songs. Sounding good is not part of the process. In fact much of the tune carrying skill is only good enough for the American Idol gag reel.
Rather than using actual recordings of the hits, the show has its own house band and performers who sing the songs (marginally well) up to the point where the contestants have to know the next lyric. The house singers/band don't even sound much like the original recording.
Of course, like any new game show, they have their dancers -- The Honybees. You can follow the Honeybees' Blog here.
Much like the Million Dollar Dancers from Shatner's cancelled Show Me the Money, they almost have their choreography right. The difference is that while Show Me the Money may not have been a good show, The Singing Bee is actually a really bad show.
But if you want to be on The Singing Bee, they are still holding auditions.
As for me, I'll stick with singing Jimmy Buffet songs at the bar.