The Singing Bee and Don't Forget the Lyrics have a lot in common. They both came out at about the same time, they both ask contestants to remember song lyrics, and they both have well-known hosts. Even their websites look somewhat similar.
So, if you only want to invest in watching one of these musical game shows, which one will give you more bang for your entertainment buck? Let's compare the two and see!
The Singing Bee pits several contestants against each other, eliminating one at a time to end up with a champion, who then gets to play a final round for some cash. Songs are played in snippets, and range from ridiculously easy to extremely difficult. The game moves along at a good pace, without much interference from the host.
Don't Forget the Lyrics focuses on a single contestant at a time. Each player chooses categories from a board and then must provide a line of lyrics from the snippet being played. Contestants are given some time to work out what the song line might be, often taking several minutes to try and figure out the exact phrasing. The host is able to ask if the contestant is sure of their answer, dragging the game out somewhat.
Game Play Edge: The Singing Bee
The Singing Bee is hosted by former boy band hottie Joey Fatone. He's a good choice for this show, with his background and current popularity after doing so well on Dancing With the Stars. Fatone works the audience well, but sometimes seems a bit removed from the actual game. There are times when he's almost stiff or uncomfortable looking.
Don't Forget the Lyrics features Wayne Brady as host. Brady is already an icon for his work on Whose Line is it Anyway?, and he's got oodles of experience singing and acting and doing improv comedy. He's also hosted his own talk show, so this hosting thing is nothing new to him. Brady is warm and engaging, and brings the funny.
Hosting Edge: Don't Forget the Lyrics
The Singing Bee offers a top prize of $50,000. If a contestant makes it through to the "Final Countdown" round, he or she must get five lyrics correct to win the top prize. Making things a bit easier, each contestant also gets three strikes during this round, giving them up to eight chances to win.
Don't Forget the Lyrics offers much more money: one million dollars is up for grabs if any contestant can get through the board and fill in ten lyrical lines correctly.
The main difference is that it's much easier for a Singing Bee contestant to win the big money, even if it's not as much as Don't Forget the Lyrics offers. Plus, The Singing Bee allows a contestant to return to defend his or her title, so there's the possibility of earning even more than a million over time. Would you rather see a contestant take a risk and possibly walk away with nothing, or is it better to see more people winning smaller amounts of money? I like the idea that someone could go on a Ken Jennings-like spree and earn an unlimited amount of money.
Prize Money Edge: The Singing Bee
The Singing Bee takes the "bee" theme and runs with it. This is old-fashioned family-style entertainment, even though the kids might be too young to know most of the songs and lyrics. The addition of musical guests and theme nights has only strengthened the appeal of the show, and there really is something for everyone here. The show is light-hearted, upbeat, and mostly just plain fun.
Don't Forget the Lyrics is more like a straight-up game show, where the clues and questions are musical in nature. There's more of an emphasis on creating drama and tension, with the main focus on the contestant. Whereas The Singing Bee is pure entertainment, Don't Forget the Lyrics relies on contestants risking it all to win more money in the game.
While both shows are enjoyable in their own right, The Singing Bee packs a lot of fun into a 30-minute time slot. If you're looking for something a little different, give The Singing Bee a try.