Last year, NBC, home of the unstoppable "Voice," announced its controversial decision to cancel its other, more underrated vocal competition, a cappella talent show "The Sing-Off." It was the day the a cappella music died. But the show's cast members and diehard fans didn't go without a fight: Judges Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman (of Boyz II Men), and Sara Bareilles, along with host Nick Lachey, all took to their Twitter accounts to mobilize viewers to #SaveTheSingOff, and a grass-roots campaign, led by former contestants Street Corner Symphony, was soon fully underway. Shawn was especially vocal (no pun intended), even posting a link to a petition asking NBC to reinstate the show and encouraging fans to use "power of social media" to keep the beloved cult show on the air.
And now, it seems that NBC execs have listened to those judges and fans--or have at least taken notice of the success of "Sing-Off" Season 3 champs Pentatonix and the a cappella movie Pitch Perfect--because they've excitingly decided to resurrect "The Sing-Off" for a fourth season, back in its old Christmas mini-series format.
"The Sing-Off" started off as a five-night lark during the holiday season of 2009, and it was a total feelgood family funtime program, the ultimate in seasonal viewing alongside other networks' Rudolph and Frosty reruns. The show in a way hearkened back to Christmases past, to a simpler, sweeter time when relatives would huddle around a rabbit-eared analog TV set to watch G-rated Perry Como and Bob Hope holiday specials--and it was an unexpected hit. The problem came when "The Sing-Off" was over-ambitiously expanded to a full fall season in 2011 and quickly got clobbered in the ratings. Now that "The Sing-Off" will return as a short-run show over a few consecutive nights in December this year, it actually stands a chance again.
So thank you, NBC powers-that-be, for bringing great a cappella singing--and hopefully Ben Folds, one of the greatest reality television judges EVER--back to airwaves! (A representative for NBC was unable to confirm the Season 4 cast at this time.) Receiving this news right now truly is a fantastic early Christmas present.
- Pentatonix performance, interview at Yahoo!
- Pentatonix, "Idol" alum join forces for viral video
- More on "The Sing-Off"