"Our rivals ended up being Boyz II Men... They used to cheat in the talent show with glitter by (throwing it out of their hands). Girls started swooning, I was like 'What are you doing? That's Nate from science class! Come on now." Questlove and Black Thought of hip-hop group The Roots found early rivals with fellow classmates Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men. All of the musicians went to Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts together in Pennsylvania.
Singer Jewel has signed up to replace Sara Bareilles as a judge on the upcoming fourth season of U.S. reality show The Sing-Off. She joins returning talent scouts Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman, while Nick Lachey will continue as host when the TV contest kicks off again this winter (13).
Jewel, you were meant for The Sing-Off.
The four-time Grammy Award nominee has joined Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman and singer Ben Folds as a judge for NBC's singing competition series' recently announced fourth season. Nick Lachey will continue to turn the heat up to 98 Degrees as host of the show while singer-songwriter Jewel replaces Sara Bareilles, who took over for Nicole Scherzinger during the third season but is now stepping out to "focus on her music."
"There are very few musical artists as accomplished and talented as Jewel. Her addition to The Sing-Off judges panel, along with our stellar team of Shawn Stockman and Ben Folds, raises the showmanship of the series up another notch," said Paul Telegdy, NBC's President of Alternative and Late Night Programming. "The musical credentials of Nick Lachey are extraordinary and his continued contributions to the show as host remain a huge asset.""I am so thrilled to welcome Jewel to our expert musical panel," added executive producer Mark Burnett about the singer, who most recently starred in Lifetime's June Carter Cash biopic Ring of Fire in addition to releasing a greatest Hits album.
Here's to hoping the judge lineup is here to stay when The Sing-Off returns in December, because let's be real... these foolish changes are tearing us apart.
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R&B legends Boyz Ii Men helped make a fan's proposal one to remember by serenading his girlfriend with their ballad On Bended Knee before he asked for her hand in marriage. The trio partnered with auto company Kia for the Sorento Serenades with Boyz II Men series, which offered three competition winners the chance to have the band sing to them during a special occasion.
Stephen Pether enlisted the crooners, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman, to help him propose to his girlfriend Nikki during a romantic meal at a Los Angeles restaurant. The group performed an a capella version of their romantic track before Pether got down on one knee.
The singers burst into applause as a tearful Nikki accepted the proposal. The bride-to-be said, "I can't believe this happened tonight. This is ridiculous. I'm never going to forget this, it's the best proposal ever."
Attention all singers, relevant or otherwise — there could be an opening in the hotly sought-after reality TV judging world.
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According to Entertainment Weekly, pop-folk singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles (she of "Love Song", which is currently playing at a Kohl's somewhere out there) is leaving the a cappella competition series The Sing-Off to "focus on her music." You know, like how Christopher Abbott isn't returning to Girls for Season 3 so he can "work on numerous other projects." There's no reports of beef on The Sing-Off set, though there are rumors that host Nick Lachey was told, "Stay out of it, Nick Lachey!"
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The Grammy-nominated star took over for Nicole Scherzinger on the NBC series after her Season 3 departure to Fox's X Factor. Bareilles' co-judges Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman, on the other hand, would appear to be staying put on the summer series for now.
[Photo credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC]
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By the time the third, super-sized season of NBC's The Sing Off went off the air in the fall of 2011, not many people were watching. Although the network didn't pick up any new cycles for 2012, it never officially canceled the show, either. But — thanks to the success of Pitch Perfect (and the dismal state of NBC's ratings) — the a cappella singing competition is headed back to TV.
"I am happily able to confirm that casting is going on. The show is back," producer Deke Sharon confirmed to Entertainment Weekly. Although Sharon couldn't confirm whether host Nick Lachey and judges Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman, and Sara Bareilles will return, he did reveal that Mark Burnett Productions has come on board for Season 4, which will likely return for a short holiday run (much like Seasons 1 and 2).
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The decision to make The Sing-Off a full season was always kind of baffling. Well, the reasoning behind it was obvious: It had great ratings for a small investment, and with NBC's entire lineup struggling, it was a natural choice. But the scheduling brass forgot one important thing: No one likes a cappella that much, not even the people singing it. A month-long contest is fun and easy to get invested in. A season-long commitment? No thanks.
While you might not be as excited as I am about this news, there are plenty of reasons why you should be. The Sing Off is so much better than The X Factor, The Voice, or American Idol, and here's why:
1. No Audition Round B.S. The first two or three audition episodes are always kind of fun, but at a certain point you just kind of want the competition to start. Yes, even on The Voice, although the blind auditions are arguably the best part of that show. There's none of that bulls*** on The Sing Off. We already start with a finite number of groups.
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2. Smart Judges Although Nicki Minaj's bizarrely on-point but rambling critiques are spicing up American Idol for its twelfth go-around and Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have emerged as superstars thanks to their judging prowess on The Voice, there's no panel as good at their jobs as Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman, and Sara Bareilles. The three manage to combine their technical knowledge of music with their emotional responses to each performance into the most useful, accurate criticism on any singing competition show. Ever.
3. It's Only a Month Long Awkward fall experiment aside, here's the best reason why The Sing Off is so much cooler than all those other singing competitions: It's mercifully short. Don't have it in you to spend months following your favorite group to the finals? The Sing Off is for you. Plus, as Sharon told EW, NBC is planning to revert to the old format of airing the show during the holidays, when there's nothing else new on TV.
Are you a Sing Off fan? If you weren't before, has your love of Pitch Perfect inspired you to give it a shot?
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC]
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