This week we watched the first episodes of two new shows with the exact same premise, "how well do you know song lyrics?" We saw the promo for NBC's "The Singing Bee" first a few weeks ago and TiVo'ed it. At the beginning of this week we saw that Fox was going to air a similar show, "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" The shows couldn't be more different.
"The Singing Bee" is a very up-beat show. It starts out with the whole audience singing and the host running around the audience and picking out contestants. From there it's a fast paced show. The contestants are competing directly with each other. The field of six quickly gets cut to two, the two have a head to head, then the last person tries to get a $50,000 prize. The song clips are short, the contestant only sings the lyrics after the band stops, and they only have one chance to get it right. It's a quick half-hour show.
"Don't Forget the Lyrics!" feels like "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" There is only one person who is working up a ladder of cash which ends at $1,000,000. The song clips are much longer and the contestant is singing the entire time. After the contestant fills in the blanks they are allowed to change their mind before they "lock in the lyrics." They also have three "backup singers," a.k.a. life lines. The format makes the show come to a grinding halt and since the show is only a half-hour, you have to catch the next show to find out what happens.
If I didn't know which networks the shows were on, I would have placed DFTL with NBC and TSB with Fox. TSB is fresh and imaginative. DFTL feels recycled. I'm not sure if I'll continue watching either one. TSB seems like the better show, but it might be a little too giddy for me.