I have always loved the fall. Unfortunately, as I have grown older, I have also grown apart from my childhood in regards to the ways I enjoy autumn. The days when I would play in piles of fallen foliage for hours on end are now a thing of the past. No longer do I stuff my face with Halloween sweets or go trick-or-treating with my parents; those traditions have died as well.
Yet never has my affection for fall changed. Instead I have come to appreciate new aspects of the season, including the State Fair, haunted houses and my personal favorite– bad television shows.
Channel-surfing on Monday night, I was unlucky enough to stumble upon another of these sub-par productions. However, I can confidently say, that after a glorious two hours watching from my recliner, NBC’s The Sing-Off deserves its spot amongst the worst I’ve seen.
The show’s premise is textbook: sixteen groups compete for a $200,000 prize and a recording contract. However, on The Sing-Off all of the groups perform a cappella style, meaning they sing without instruments to back up their voices. I appreciate the unique idea producers had in mind, but one man can only take listening to so many poorly done remixes.
To be fair, the groups don’t always sound horrible and occasionally someone comes up with a solid, if not exciting, arrangement. One team, Urban Method, even specializes in “rap a pella”, where they take hit pop songs and add their own hip-hop flavor. These exceptions are a rarity at-best though and viewers are often left with the show’s typical whiny, unoriginal lineup.
And as if below-average vocals weren’t appealing enough, just wait until the groups try “busting a move.” I cannot comprehend why these groups find it necessary to focus on all of the elaborate, but cheesy, choreography they do. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t dance; just let it go and move on.
While mediocre vocals and embarrassing dance routines made The Sing-Off, only one aspect of the show was truly unbearable to watch: host Nick Lachey. From his time as a member in the boy band 98 Degrees until now, Lachey has always been able to attract an audience with the crack of a smile.
Not anymore. His comments are unnecessary, unwanted, corny and, at times, inappropriate. His failed attempts at humor leave the audience feeling awkward and his struggles in terms of connecting with eliminated groups makes viewers resent him. Sorry Nick, you’ve lost your touch, and you’re bringing the show down even further.
I don’t mean to blame Lachey entirely for the show’s disgraces, but he is, without a doubt, the final piece of the failure puzzle. He, along with two hours of pedestrian vocals from sixteen a cappella groups and some of the most atrocious dance moves imaginable, helps to make The Sing-Off one of the worst shows in recent memory.