The Sing-Off: Back after two years without missing a beat

Saving us from lengthy recap episodes of The Voice, NBC has resurrected television’s only a cappella singing competition after a one-year hiatus. With the aforementioned ratings powerhouse as a lead-in, Nick Lachey’s hosting capabilities barely hold a flame to the tried and true skills of TRL alumn Carson Daly but it was still great to see a familiar face.

20131210-000123.jpgAward-winning artist Jewel is the newest face to grace the rotating middle female judging slot and she’s not pulling any punches. She boasts equal music theory as Ben Folds, carries the same charm as Shawn Stockman, while sharing her own sexy earthiness that the panel desperately needs.

In comparison to previous years, season four fills all the genres: the old guy doo-wop group, the cheeky ivy league-ers, the gospel hopefuls, the good ol’ southern boys, the spicy Latin group, the poppy innovators, the all-females, and the seasoned ringers who formed the group the day before the competition started.

Promising to wrap by Christmas, The Sing-Off season four spans over a two-week period with chicken skin performances and fast paced eliminations. Still not sure of the reason for last year’s lapse, the show is a welcomed return to the holiday programming tradition. If there were only a better naming convention for these groups. Vocal Rush? VoicePlay? acoUstiKats? Ugh.

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