NBC’s a cappella singing competition, “The Sing-Off,” is getting back to its roots. The show, which originally began with a December run in 2009 but later expanded to a full fall season, definitely suffered when it strayed from its successful holiday format, host Nick Lachey tells Zap2it.
“When they did move it to the full fall schedule it did lose a little something,” Lachey tells Zap2it. “And I think that maybe was the fear for all of us going into it: ‘I hope we don’t lose what we have because we were kind of on to something special.’ So it’s cool to see it go back to where I think it belongs and it seems to work really well.”
The holidays are the best time to run a show like “The Sing-Off,” says Lachey. “It’s a feel-good show. It’s not one of these shows where the judges are super critical and you go for the embarrassing audition moments. This show really has a good nature to it, and it works so well around the holiday season where people are just in that feel-good mood.”
Now that reality TV producer extraordinaire Mark Burnett and his crew are involved, the show has been retooled and reinvigorated with new energy. Original judges Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman are back, with newbie Jewel rounding out the judging panel.
“I think it was good to have a little separation, honestly, in between the two different takes on the show,” says Lachey. “For all of us who had been there from the beginning, we weren’t necessarily sure it was going to come back. So getting that news — no matter how late it was — was very exciting for all of us.”
Essentially, “The Sing-Off” was ahead of its time. It ran before the movie “Pitch Perfect” surprised everyone at the box office, and Pentatonix — the Season 3 winners — are mega-successful YouTube stars, but a lot of people don’t even know they were on the show at all. The band’s success “really validates what ‘The Sing-Off’ is all about,” Lachey says. “They’re out there really killing it and doing their thing.”
“The Sing-Off” premieres Monday, Dec. 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, and Pentatonix will perform on the season 4 finale on Dec. 23.