The Singing Bee (American game show)

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The Singing Bee
Title screen.
Created byPhil Gurin
Bob Horowitz
Directed by
Presented byJoey Fatone
Melissa Peterman
StarringSteve Dorff and the Bee Hive, CMT
Ray Chew and the Groove, NBC
The Honey Bees, NBC
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes66 (total)
Executive producersPhil Gurin
Bob Horowitz
Production locationsCBS Studio Center, Studio City California CMT
Production companiesJuma Entertainment
Singing Bee Enterprises
The Gurin Company
Original release
ReleaseJuly 10 (2007-07-10) –
December 28, 2007 (2007-12-28)
ReleaseJune 16, 2009 (2009-06-16) –
July 23, 2012 (2012-07-23)

The Singing Bee is a sing-along game show that originally aired on NBC and then CMT. Combining karaoke singing with a spelling bee-style competition, this show features contestants trying to remember the lyrics to popular songs. Originally slated to begin with a six episode season during late 2007, it launched early in reaction to Fox's competing Don't Forget the Lyrics![1]


CMT Version
Member Genre Role Seasons
1 2 3 4
Melissa Peterman Host
Jared Johnson Country Music Singer
Bobby Tomberlin Country Music Singer
Kim Parent Variety Music Singer
Roger Cain Acoustic and Electric Guitarist
Steve Dorff Pianist
Scotty Kormos Drummer
Tony Love Bassist
Jeff Vincent Pianist
Kenley Shea Variety Music Singer
Paula MacNeill Variety Music Singer
Kimmy Keyes Variety Music Singer
Storm Lee Rock Music Singer
Baylie Brown Country Music Singer
Beau Davidson Rock Music and Country Music Singer
Danielle Lauderdale Country Music Singer

Broadcast history[edit]

The Singing Bee premiered with a half-hour episode on July 10, 2007 at 9:30pm Eastern/8:30pm Central, beating Don't Forget the Lyrics! to the air by one day. The premiere episode was repeated the following night, July 11, 2007, at 8:30pm Eastern/7:30pm Central. On NBC, it was hosted by Joey Fatone. The house band, The Groove, was led by Ray Chew and features: Deanna Johnston, Paula MacNeill, Wes Quave, Tom Sartori, Storm Lee, Kelli Sae, Jeschelle Magbitang, Carmen Carter, Kara Shaw, Leah Shaffer, Karen Ashe, Christopher "C.J." Emmons, Vann Johnson and Chris "Breeze" Barczynski. The back-up singers were Toni Scruggs and Tanya Diona. Dancing to the band are the house dancers, The Honeybees: Ferly Prado Dunn, Monique Cash, Holly Cruikshank, and Lisa Byrne.[citation needed]

Melissa Peterman hosted the CMT version. The house band, Steve Dorff and the Bee Hive, also featured: Roger Cain, Scotty Kormos, Tony Love, and Jeff Vincent.[2] The singers were Jared Johnson, Baylie Brown, Beau Davidson, Paula MacNeill, Kim Parent, and Bobby Tomberlin.[3]

In each episode, six contestants (four contestants in season two) will be selected from the audience to play a series of games that test their knowledge of song lyrics. If a contestant makes an error, he or she will forfeit her chance to get into the "musical chairs". If a contestant is not in a musical chair when the round is over, he or she is eliminated.

In a promo for the show's launch, NBC revived their original 1983 slogan "Be There" as "Bee There".

Due to low ratings, and to make room for The Biggest Loser, NBC put The Singing Bee on hiatus for November sweeps. The Singing Bee returned on December 21, 2007,[4] and aired two new episodes each Friday, before being placed on hiatus again.[5] On April 2, 2008, NBC announced its schedule for the 2008-2009 television season. The Singing Bee was left off this list, and is officially canceled. A spin-off of the show, The Singing Office, debuted on June 29, 2008, hosted by Fatone and Mel B and airing on TLC.[6]

On April 29, 2009, CMT confirmed that it would revive the series in the summer of 2009 with Melissa Peterman as host.[7] The Singing Bee premiered on CMT on June 20 and will now air every Saturday at 9pm. Melissa Peterman confirmed the show was renewed for another season on August 24, 2009. In November, 2010 CMT reportedly picked up the show for a third season.[8] The show's last episode aired on July 23, 2012.[citation needed]


As mentioned, at the start of the show, the band plays a song and the host "randomly" gives audience members a chance to sing part of the song. If they sing it correctly, they become one of the contestants on the show. This part of the show is actually staged, and the contestants are preselected. During this part of the program, you can sometimes see (as the contestants run up to the stage) that the lyrics for the song are being scrolled on a banner over the stage so that the preselected contestants don't make a mistake.

Round 1[edit]

The host would provide the year the song was released, the performer, and the name of the song. A portion of the song is performed, and then the contestant has to attempt to sing the next line of the song. If correct, they advance to the next round, and a new song is introduced, which the next contestant in line must attempt; if not, they have to step back, and the next person in line tries the same song. A song is thrown out if none of the remaining contestants get the lyrics correct. The first four people (three people in season two) who get a song lyric correct move on to the second round, and any contestant who hasn't had a chance loses and returns on a future episode.

Round 2[edit]

The contestants who advanced go up in pairs to play a mini-game. The winner of the game advances to the championship round. In the CMT version, all four contestants play 3 mini-games for points, the two players with the most points moves on to the Chorus Showdown.

  • "Scrambled Lyrics" (Renamed Random Shuffle): To play "Scrambled Lyrics", while the band is performing, words from the next line are shown scrambled on screen. The contestant is required to sing the line in its correct order. When one contestant is correct and the other is wrong at any point, the one who was correct moves on to the Championship Round. On the CMT Version, each correct answer is worth five points.
  • "Karaoke Challenge": To play "Karaoke Challenge", while the band is performing, the contestant sees the words to the song in karaoke fashion. As the contestant sings the song, he or she will also see blanks, each representing a word in the song. The player who fills in the most blanks correctly (out of a possible 15) wins and goes on to the Championship Round. This round is similar to FOX's Don't Forget the Lyrics! because the contestant is the lead singer in this round. In the CMT version, each blank is worth two points (30 maximum).
  • "Blind Start": To play "Blind Start", the band plays the beginning notes of a song. When the band stops, the contestant must sing the opening line correctly. One of the three contestants is eliminated from the second round.
  • "Playlist": To play "Playlist", the three contestants are given 6 categories of song which have comical titles. Whichever two contestants have the most points after the 6 songs move on to the next round.
  • "Singing with the Enemy": To play "Singing With The Enemy", the band plays part of a popular song. The first contestant must do the next line when the band stops playing. The band then picks up with the line the contestant said and stops. The next contestant continues on with the song. This goes through 3 passes. The two with the highest score move on. On the CMT version, up to 15 points are possible.

Chorus Showdown[edit]

This follows a similar format to the first round, but instead of singing a line, the contestant is required to sing the entire chorus without mistakes from the song performed. If both are correct or incorrect (sometimes after two rounds), then they go to a tiebreaker, where they are given the year and the name of the performer and the first person to buzz in will be given the option of singing or passing. If the singer is correct, they win. If the singer is wrong, the other contestant wins.

The winner moves on to the Final Countdown.

In the CMT version, Peterman gives the year, artist, but not the name of the song just yet. Then, the contestant in the lead gets the choice to play that song or pass it, then they give the name of the song.

The Final Countdown[edit]

In the NBC version, Ray Chew introduces this concluding round by announcing in song: "It's the Final Countdown!" Up to 7 songs are performed in a similar manner to the first round, but the contestant knows nothing about the song, (artist, title, year) and thus must use the lyrics in order to win the big money. For each song lyric that is sung correctly, the player wins $5,000. If the player gets five right, then they win $50,000. However, if they sing a lyric incorrectly, a strike is given. If three strikes are given at any point, the game is over, but the contestant still wins whatever money was accumulated up to that point. Beginning in the second season, the winning contestant also defends as champion title to face three more challengers. On the new CMT version of the show, correctly guessing a song earns $500, and getting five wins $10,000.[citation needed]

Changes for One-Hour Shows[edit]

The above format is the standard for a 30-minute episode of the show.

In a one-hour show, several changes are made:

  • There are two qualifying games.
    • In each game, six players (only 5 for season 2) are picked from the audience to play Round 1, however, the first three to complete a lyric (only 5 for season 2) advance.
    • The three players then compete in a Round 2 game. Play continues, including a tie-breaker if needed, until one player remains. In season 2, three rounds are played until three contestants are eliminated.
  • The two survivors of the qualifying games play the Chorus Showdown, the last player standing plays The Final Countdown.
  • Beginning on August 21, in between some breaks, host Fatone goes into the audience to give an audience member a chance at $500. A question about a song is asked, and if the player gets it right, he/she wins the money. On December 28, two audience members were challenged to the same lyrics. The contestant who will wait is given headphones so that they cannot hear the other contestant until the song is completed. If both contestants are correct, both win $500. If only one is correct, that contestant wins $1,000.


The first episode premiered with 13.1 million viewers. It was the biggest summer premiere since ABC's premiere of Dancing with the Stars.[9] The debut episode finished second for the week of July 9–15, 2007, by an extremely close margin. The number one program, the 2007 MLB All-Star Game, beat "Bee" with an 8.4 rating, to the game show's 8.1[10]

However, The Singing Bee hit an all-time low in the ratings with a 1.7 rating, on October 30, 2007. On December 28, 2007, the show scored a 3.7/7 rating, and came in second place behind Ghost Whisperer, before NBC announced its cancellation. The show would eventually be revived by CMT in 2009, running until 2012.


Season First Aired Last Aired Episodes Network
1 July 10, 2007 December 28, 2007 18 NBC
2 June 16, 2009 August 15, 2009 10 CMT
3 January 22, 2010 August 20, 2010 18
4 April 8, 2011 June 17, 2011 10
5 April 20, 2012 July 23, 2012 10

International versions[edit]

  Currently airing franchise
  Franchise no longer in production
Region/Country Local name Network Main presenter Date aired
 Australia The Singing Bee[11] Nine Network Joey Fatone (2007)
Tim Campbell (2008–2010)
October 7, 2007 – 2010
 Belgium Singing Bee vtm Walter Grootaers 2008
 Chile HIT, la fiebre del karaoke Canal 13 Sergio Lagos January 2, 2008 – March 2008
 Colombia Dígalo cantando Caracol TV Guillermo Vives 2007–2008
 Denmark Magi i luften TV3 Robert Hansen February 2008
 Ecuador Dígalo cantando TC Televisión Sergio Sacoto and Pierina Uribe 2008
 Finland Biisikärpänen MTV3 Sanna Hirvaskari, Lorenz Backman, Lari Halme and Vexi Salmi April 5, 2008 – December 17, 2011
Hittikärpänen TV5 Roope Salminen and Sami Saari September 7, 2015 – November 9, 2015
 Germany Singing Bee ProSieben Senna Gammour
Oliver Petszokat
September 9, 2008 – 2009
 Greece Θα πείς κι ένα τραγούδι
Tha peís ki éna tragoúdi
Alpha TV Andreas Mikroutsikou 2007
 Hungary Popdaráló TV2 Áron Kovács March 14, 2008 – December 6, 2008
 Iceland Singing Bee Skjár einn Jón Jósep Snæbjörnsson September 19, 2008
 Indonesia Happy Song (adaptation) Indosiar Choky Sitohang April 27, 2009 – April 25, 2011
The Singing Bee Indonesia (official franchise) RCTI Ananda Omesh December 14, 2022 – August 30, 2023
 Israel תשיר את זה
Tashir et zeh
Channel 2 Assi Azar 2008–2009
 Italy Chi fermerà la musica Rai Uno Pupo December 16, 2007 – February 22, 2008
 Japan Singing Bee Fuji TV 2010
 Jordan غنيها صح
Ghaniha Sah
Ro'ya TV Haitham Baroudi May 2019
Lebanon Lebanon طنة وغنة
Tanneh wo ghanneh
Future TV Razan Moghrabi September 2012
 Morocco فاصلة
2M Imad El Natifi 2005
September 2007
 Netherlands Singing Bee RTL 4 Gordon Heuckeroth December 31, 2007 – July 26, 2008
 New Zealand The Singing Bee NZ TVNZ 2 Jordan Vandermade September 13, 2008
 Norway Singing Bee TV3 Åge Sten Nilsen 2008
 Philippines The Singing Bee ABS-CBN Cesar Montano April 21, 2008 – February 6, 2010
Amy Perez and Roderick Paulate November 16, 2013 – February 6, 2015
 Portugal Chamar a Música SIC Herman José
João Manzarra
May 18, 2008
July 30, 2011
 Romania O-la-la Pro TV Andra October 18, 2008
Za Za Sing Antena 1 Liviu Vârciu April 5, 2017
 Russia Можешь? Спой!
Mozhesh? Spoy!
Perviy Kanal Dmitry Shepelev July 12, 2008 – December 28, 2008
 Spain Al pie de la letra Antena 3 Javier Estrada December 25, 2007 – January 9, 2009
 Sweden Singing Bee[12] TV3 Hanna Hedlund January 13, 2008 – December 3, 2009
 Turkey Singing Bee Show TV
 Ukraine Зірка караоке
Zirka karaoke
Novyi Kanal Dmitry Shepelev March 9, 2008 – December 31, 2008
 United Kingdom Sing It Back: Lyric Champion* ITV JK and Joel July 7, 2007

*Prior to the premiere of the American version, British Network ITV had its own version of the show titled Sing It Back: Lyric Champion. 2M TV in Morocco already had their own version of the show since 2005, called Fasilah, but since September 2007 they changed the rules into that of the American version.


  1. ^ "Karaoke Wars: NBC Rushes 'Singing Bee' - Show moved up to beat FOX's 'Lyrics' to air". Retrieved 24 June 2007.
  2. ^ "THE SINGING BEE/MUSICIANS". Country Music Television.
  3. ^ "THE SINGING BEE/SINGERS". Country Music Television.
  4. ^ " - The Singing Bee". Archived from the original on 2007-07-04.
  5. ^ "NBC TO WRAP 'JOURNEYMAN,' REVIVE 'BEE' IN DECEMBER". 2007-11-29. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  6. ^ "The Singing Office".
  7. ^ "CMT revives 'Singing Bee'". The Live Feed. April 29, 2009.
  8. ^ "CMT Renews 'Singing Bee' For Season 3; Co-Creator Phil Gurin Signs With CAA". Deadline Hollywood. November 21, 2010.
  9. ^ "'Bee' soars on NBC, 13.1 million viewers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
  10. ^ " ratings sheet, 7/9-7/15/07". Archived from the original on 2005-10-01.
  11. ^ "Channel Nine smash hit new series The Singing Bee". Retrieved July 14, 2007.
  12. ^ "World Screen - Home".

External links[edit]