Why I can watch the Sing-Off and never watch American Idol

I have been watching the most recent season of the Sing-Off on NBC. Here are some reasons why I am willing to watch this but have no interest in viewing American Idol.

1. The Sing-Off is only five episodes. Short and sweet. This doesn’t require much commitment on the part of viewers and it leaves them wanting more. In contrast, American Idol seems to go for ever and involves lots of weeks with minimal talent.

2. The Sing-Off seems a bit quirkier (perhaps that is the nature of people trying to make accapella music look cool?) while American Idol seems contrived. (This may be the result of time – it’s hard to remember an era when American Idol was new and exciting.)

3. I like Ben Folds as a judge. Since I enjoy some of his music, it is interesting to watch his comments and actions. I get the feeling that he really like this gig – he gets to be the nerdy judge who compliments the all-important rhythm guy or girl behind what the rest of the group is doing. And whenever he finishes his comments, he immediately sits back, crosses his arms, and smiles.

4. The group aspect is appealing. These are groups that don’t often get the same sort of attention lavished on rock stars. They seem to really enjoy what they are doing and just like having some people pay attention to them.

5. I like the song selection better on the Sing-Off. The songs picked for American Idol seem to be arranged for middle America – hinting on edgy but never really straying from the middle of the road. How many times do we have to hear something like “Bridge Over Troubled Water”?

6. The host battle is a toss-up. Nick Lachey has very little personality while Ryan Seacrest is a bit too smooth (unless he is fighting with Simon).

My prediction at this point: it comes down to Committed or the Back Beats with Committed winning America’s vote (though I think Back Beat would get the judges’ votes).

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