The Sing-Off 4 Returns Tonight With Format Changes

The Sing-Off

The Sing-Off 3 failed as a fall singing show for NBC in 2011, but now the a’cappella competition has returned to its previous pre-holiday timeslot, where it succeeded during its first two seasons.

Jewell joins returning judges, Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman. Plus, Nick Lachey is back as host.

But, with The Voice producer, Mark Burnett at the helm, expect some changes, including “battle round” type sing-offs between the groups and behind the scenes mentoring!

From TV Guide

How these groups will advance to the next round is also similar. Like the famous battle rounds on The Voice, in which two singers compete by singing the same song together, the two bottom groups of the night will perform the same tune and only one will survive. “It really fits in with the theme of the show and the name of the show,” Burnett says of “The Ultimate Sing-Off” segment.

One of the more controversial changes — at least behind the scenes — will have the judges mentor the groups before they perform, similar to how the coaches on The Voice advise the singers on their respective teams. “My fear was that I didn’t want to be involved in any way in the development of the groups other than being a completely innocent ear. I’ve always insisted on not hearing any of the music before we tape the show,” Folds says. “But as we’ve started doing it, I love these groups and now I am a sucker for working with them.”

Burnett used his The Voice casting team to search the country for a’cappella talent. “They’re not individuals, they come in groups, so you need to be able to easily identify and root for who they are, which we achieved,” said Burnett. Ben adds, “There are a few really outstanding groups, but I think what really was unique about this season is I didn’t know who was going to win.”

Burnett is not going to let the audience forget that singers are performing without instruments. “People watch the show and, 15 seconds in, they forget that it’s not instruments. It’s so good that they forget and they take it for granted. You have to keep reminding people that these aren’t musical instruments because people don’t have that kind of framework and it’s more thrilling for them to understand that,” Ben said. “I don’t always think we’ve been successful in relaying why to people. … Now I think anyone who turns the TV off at the end of the show will say, ‘OK I understand why they did that.'”

We’ll be live blogging the two hour The Sing-Off premiere when it airs tonight after The Voice at 9/8c pm on NBC. The 7 night competition ends on Monday, December 23.

ETA: YES. Season 3 was absolutely a failure in terms of ratings. The series was subsequently cancelled because of it.  The show launched the talented winners, Pentatonix, who went on to become YouTube superstars DESPITE coming off of a low rated show and receiving  little promotion from the platform afterward. The quintet did a fantastic job taking what momentum the show provided to launch themselves.

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!