It’s karaoke with costumes and choreography, and it fails on all counts.
Sing Your Face Off, Saturdays at 9pm on ABC
It’s a weekly singing competition in which five celebrity competitors are each assigned a different pop culture legend to impersonate. Essentially, it’s karaoke with costumes and choreography. A three judge panel rates their individual performances on a ten point scale. Then contestants vote to give one of their competitors an extra three points, adding a little spice and intrigue to the scoring process.
The contestants are Saturday Night Live alum Jon Lovitz, soap opera actress Lisa Rinna, Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, NBA player Landry Fields and Disney star China Ann McClain. Panelists include pop star Debbie Gibson, SNL‘s Darrell Hammond and a rotating guest judge (comedian David Alan Grier and drag icon RuPaul Charles have filled that slot so far).
Who is Sing Your Face Off For?
Fans of American Idol, The Voice and RuPaul’s Drag Race are obvious targets, as well as celebreality aficionados and karaoke geeks.
The show refuses to take itself seriously. The contestants have a good sense of humor about their assignments, which may involve donning enormous fake boobs (Lisa Rinna as Dolly Parton) or a jerry curl wig (Landry Fields as Lionel Richie). No one pretends that winning or losing this competition is a career changer, yet they all seem to be trying, at least.
What Doesn’t Work
This show is very cheaply made and awkward as hell. It feels like the production investment is tipped way more toward costuming and makeup, as opposed to vocal training. The contestants – most of whom have some singing and/or acting experience – tend to come off as timid and shaky in their performances. That wouldn’t be so bad if they actually looked like the pop stars they’re “embodying”, but mostly they just look ridiculous. Jon Lovitz is a talented impersonator. I shouldn’t have to cringe in embarrassment for him as he trembles through a rendition of “Bennie and the Jets” under the weight of a very sparkly, very unflattering, white feather suit. And Sebastian Bach as Adam Levine? A total Baldwin, but not in a good way.
If you’re the kind of mean spirited person who goes to karaoke to make fun of the bad singers, this is the show for you. Everyone else, spare yourself the sadness.