The world needs another singing show like we need another joke about Twinkies.
But that isn’t stopping NBC and the makers of “The Voice” from trying.
The show is called “The Winner Is ” and a winner will take home $1 million. The twist, as explained in the press release, has a bit of “Deal or No Deal” in it, which isn’t surprising since the producers of this show also created that show:
The contestants will be judged by a special in-studio panel led by one celebrity judge (to be announced) as they compete for an ultimate cash prize of $1 million. In a unique twist, they will have the chance to negotiate a deal with their opponent. Before hearing their fate the contestants can choose to step out of the competition in exchange for a predetermined cash prize or continue on in the game.
Singing contestants need to be confident of their own talent but shouldn’t underestimate their opponents. There’s a lot at stake: the amount of money each duel is worth increases with every round, right up until the finale.
In the finale, eight singers will duel and negotiate. They continue to compete until just two amazing singing contestants remain. Then the two finalists must make a crucial decision. After their performance, they each get the chance to walk away with $100,000 — or they can risk losing that huge amount of cash by awaiting the jury vote and the votes from the viewers for the chance to win the $1 million prize.
Sound enticing? A casting call is set for Saturday, Nov. 24 at 55 Tapas Lounge on 255 Peters Street in Atlanta from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You should come ready with at least three popular songs prepared, verse and a chorus. If you want to set aside an appointment and have a better shot of being heard, you can send advance information to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age, occupation, where you’re from, a brief bio and an audio or video clip of you singing with a verse and a chorus. Use MP3, MP4s or Youtube links but not WMA files. There will be callbacks via Skype and if you make the next cut, you might be able to fly out Los Angeles.
The show will be shot in February and March. A launch date has not been set but it won’t compete directly with “The Voice” so it will likely air in the summer.
There will be about 11 episodes and 20 to 30 acts will get to perform. There is no age limit but if you’re under the age of 11, you need a guardian to authorize the materials you’re sending and if you’re under 17, you need a guardian to be at the casting call. There is no size limit to your group if you are a singing group. Bring your own instruments if you need them but the restaurant can’t accommodate anything elaborate.
Based on what I’ve been told, the show is meant to keep viewers engaged from a game-show perspective. There’s no pretense that a great singer is promised a career of any sort after it’s over. But $1 million is a sweet prize.
I have to give Kalia Booker, the casting producer for the show, credit for enthusiasm and an oddly appropriate last name. Here’s her email pitch to me, capital letters intact:
My name is Kalia Booker and I am a Casting Producer with NBC’s new ground-breaking singing game show, The Winner Is! From the creators of The Voice and Deal Or No Deal plus the powerhouse Executive Producers behind NBC’s biggest hits, this show is sure to be the whopper of singing shows. Simply put, we are looking for amazing voices. They could be chasing the dream or just your grandma who happens to have a beautiful voice. We are looking for the entire spectrum of performers: groups, duos, single singers, a cappella groups, cabaret groups, high school choruses, singing telegrammers-all of it! If you or anyone you know has a great voice and wants to WIN A MILLION DOLLARS and shoot to stardom, WE. WANT. YOU!