Host: Wayne Brady
Executive Producers: Brad Lachman, Jeff Apploff, Chris Coelen and Greg Goldman
Series Premiere: July 11th, 2007
Airs on: Thursday and Friday nights, from 8-9 pm Eastern
Top Prize: $1,000,000
Don't Forget the Lyrics is similar in concept to The Singing Bee, in that contestants are challenged to remember missing song lyrics. The format of Lyrics is much different, however.
Contestants play the game one at a time, starting off by choosing a song category from the board. The board contains nine categories, with choices such as "Classic Rock," "80's Pop," and "Love Songs." As a contestant moves through the categories, their winnings increase.
After choosing a song category, the contestant can then choose between two songs, listed by title, artist, and year of release. Once the song is chosen the live studio band plays a portion of the song as the contestant sings along to the lyrics, which run across a screen karaoke-style. The band and the lyrics stop, and the contestant is required to sing a pre-determined number of words to continue the song. If their lyrics are correct, they move on to the next chosen category. If not, they forfeit their prize money and their game is over.
Contestants can choose to quit the game before locking in their lyrics, and walk away with whatever prize money they've banked up to that point. If they reach the $25,000 mark, they're guaranteed to leave with that much money, even if they misquote the lyrics to a song.
Each contestant is given three safety nets in the game, called "Backups." "Backup Singers" allows the contestant to bring in one of their two supporters, who are friends or family members chosen before the game. The support person can then provide the missing lyrics, or help the contestant decide what to do. "Two Words" lets the contestant choose two words from their answer, to find out if they are correct or not.
Finally, "Three Lines" gives the contestant three possible lines that would fit into the song, allowing them to choose the one they think is correct. Each Backup can only be used once, and they cannot be used during the Million Dollar Song.
The Million Dollar Song:
If a contestant makes it through the category board and reaches $500,000 in prize money, they then have the option to risk it all for the Million Dollar Song. Host Wayne Brady can only tell the contestant that the song was a number one hit – he cannot reveal the title, artist, year, or even the genre of the song.
The contestant must decide whether or not they will play the Million Dollar Song round before hearing the song itself. If they decide to go ahead, they risk leaving with only $25,000. Only one contestant, Dottie Harris, has won $500,000 on Don't Forget the Lyrics, and she chose to leave the game with her winnings rather than risk it on the final song.
Pros and Cons:
Don't Forget the Lyrics depends a lot on the liveliness of the contestants to make the show work. Wayne Brady is a fantastic and upbeat host, but if a contestant isn't that interesting, there's not much he can do to save the round. The focus is completely on the game at hand, and there are many drawn-out pauses for dramatic effect. Despite the over-production of the show, it's very entertaining and a lot of fun to play along with.