We awoke today to find that the world is still turning. People are dying and people are being born, hearts are being broken, breaths are being breathed, people are eating things that they don’t even like in an effort to “try something new,” and NBC has ordered a brand new totally convoluted and palpably desperate singing show called “The Winner Is,” which is a terrible name. From Huffington Post:

The show’s contestants, who will be comprised of all ages and include both solo acts and groups, will face an in-studio panel led by one celebrity judge while they compete for a cash prize of $1 million. Here’s where the twists come in: the contestants can negotiate a deal with their opponent. Before hearing the results, contestants can choose to either leave the competition in exchange for a predetermined cash prize or stay in the game.

Contestants will also be able to make a deal after each singing duel. In the finale, eight singers will duel and negotiate until two remain. After the final two perform, each will get the chance to walk away with $100,000, or they can choose to put their fate in the hands of the jury and viewers at home for $1 million.

The identities of the celebrity judges have yet to be announced.

READING THAT DESCRIPTION FELT LIKE BEING AT SCHOOL! Or like a game you buy at the store and then you get it home and realize that there is no way you’re going to read, LET ALONE UNDERSTAND, all of the instructions, and then you never look at the game again. “It’s like The Singing Bee meets Who Wants to be a Millionaire meets a math test meets game theory meets a nightmare meets Deal or No Deal.” Here’s a better idea for a game: us thinking of better ideas for a singing game show right now.

  • Contestants and blindfolded and placed in a mystery location. They sing songs with locations in the song lyrics, and if the location in the song lyrics is close to their mystery location they are not shocked. But if the location in the song lyrics is not close to their mystery location they ARE shocked, and it goes on until they figure out the exact song they have to sing.
  • Contestants sing in each others’ faces and whoever sings the loudest wins a million dollars, but then the other one ALSO can maybe win a million dollars too.
  • Contestants are paired with a celebrity and the celebrity doesn’t know this, but each of the contestants is trying to win their celebrity’s heart, and whoever wins their celebrity’s heart wins a million dollars + a record deal. If you win another contestant’s celebrity’s heart you win multiple record deals + you can marry the (NBC-approved) celebrity of your choosing.
  • You live in a dorm room with Cee Lo and try to put out an album using only your iPhone.
  • Contestants with bad singing voices are told that they have good singing voices while the whole world laughs at them and they have no idea.

Good shows! Someone get TV on the line because we have a lot of good shows for them to hear about!

Comments (39)
  1. Wait, is it ONE celebrity judge, or several? What a confusing article!

  2. What sort of deals are being made, exactly? If I’m a contestant, can I choose to stay in exchange for a 5% partnership?

  3. “Hey guys, you know how the best part of karaoke is singing awesome songs and watching your friends do the same? Well, let’s put a pin in THAT and instead take the worst part of karaoke — watching strangers sing not awesome songs — and make an entire cottage industry of creating and airing 200 versions of that.” — America’s Broadcasters

  4. Name: “Sing to Zing”
    Description: A game show where contestants change the lyrics of popular songs so that the new lyrics resemble jokes or “zingers”
    Theme Song: “Walmart, Maybe”
    Ratings: Bonanza

  5. You’re paired with a celebrity judge in a singing contest, but each celebrity judge is a clone of carrot top. You can only communicate to carrot top through song, but if you go off pitch or sing too loud or too soft or don’t enunciate well his head will explode and you are not the winner. The winner is the one whose carrot top lives longest, although everyone will joke that the REAL winner is the first to be free from their carroty albatross. It will win a million emmys.

  6. Something where I get to be paired up with a celebrity, and that celebrity is Dreama Walker. That’s as far as I got before I just started doodling “Dreama Taco” all over my Trapper Keeper.

  7. 2 contestants are taken from each state, to sing against one another in an arena….to the death: The Singer Games

  8. My idea: Bunch of jerks (ages 18-21) sing vibrato-infused covers of shitty pop songs to a panel of judges comprised of a C-List celebrity, a D-List Celebrity and a record executive you’ve never heard of.

    Each week, one singer is voted of in a complicated manner and is never heard from again (save one appearance on the Today Show for a a minute and thirty the day after — just enough time to say what an honor it was to compete and wish the other contestants well).

    The finalist is given a recording contract and their collection of Linda-Perry penned originals and covers hits the iTunes digital download charts at #45 for 1 week before being consigned to the bargain bin for eternity. -FIN-

  9. Each contestant is paired with a middle-aged man who thinks he is very cleverly reciting the lyrics to a song that he thinks is really cool or subversive but is now being used in a credit card commerical or some shit and he stares at you expecting you to be really impressed and the contestant who lasts the longest without pretending his or her phone is ringing and says something like ‘excuse me but I just have to take this’ and walks away and shudders wins one million dollars.

  10. Siri is the celebrity judge.

  11. Two contestants are chosen from each region of the country and they are all thrown into an arena to SING each other to death.

  12. This isn’t new? They’ve been paying Paula Abdul a living wage so we won’t sing for like 8 years on American Idol and however many seasons of X-Factor.

  13. how about one where two barren women sing against one another in order to win a baby.

    • And if there’s a tie they have to split the baby in half but then if one of the women is like “no. give her the baby because I’d rather see her have it than to see it come to harm” she gets the baby because king solomon.

  14. Each contestant sings their song all alone in a locked, windowless, soundproofed room. The song is not recorded, and the performance is not judged. The results are not broadcast. The entire process takes place in absolute secrecy, and the TV-watching public never hears about any of it. The winner gets to go home and live a normal life and never try to get on a talent-, game- or reality-show again. P.S., every contestant is a winner.

  15. It’s a contest where we see who can punch the softest. You go first.

  16. Silly NBC. The very same concept has already become a huge flop in both the Netherlands and Germany.

  17. How about Americal Idol but with Stereogum commenters as the judges?

    • Won’t work. It’s hard to judge a singing competition when you have your fingers in your ear and keep repeating “Lalala, I can’t hear you!”

  18. Game Show craze > Singing competitions

  19. Can’t wait until we’re all setting world records for longest ever internet discussions in the comments of the weekly Videogum The Winner Is recaps. “Did you see who the winner of The Winner Is was? I’m waiting to watch the winning The Winner Is when I get home!” we’ll all say. “It really is a great name for a show,” we’ll also say.

  20. Ethan R. McDowell  |   Posted on May 30th, 2012 +8

    My roommate told me about a study that she had to read for one of her clinical psychology classes where they induced shame in people by making them sing a Brian McKnight song with headphones off and then afterwards watch a recording of it with a stone-faced researcher. I think this would somehow make a good singing game show.

  21. I had an idea for a gameshow (non-singing, sorry!) in which people competed to win $1,000,000. The challenge is using hyperbole frequently and inappropriately. Then I gave up on it when I realized that Kelly would be unbeatable.

  22. Title: FACE OFF

    Premise: Sing a complete song before the Miami zombie eats your FACE OFF.

    Inevitable question from critics: Too soon?

    Inevitable lawsuit: Travolta and co. (but then I will countersue because he probably touched my nuts).

  23. This is way too long after the original post for anyone to read it, but the last suggestion was a real show! I watched it with my old roommate in abject horror for the ENTIRE SEASON. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called. It was on around the same time that “So you think you’re hot” show with Lorenzo Lamas was on. We used to watch them together and hate ourselves. In the end I think they tried to show they weren’t the worst people in the world by giving the “winner” singing lessons or something, but it was so heartbreaking when the winner found out s/he had just been on this show to be made fun of. S/he cried and cried, it was awful. There was, thankfully, no second season.

  24. “Sing Good or Get Murdered”

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