Game Shows Wiki
Joey Fatone (2007)
Melissa Peterman (2009-2012)
The Singing Bee 2007.png
NBC: 7/10/2007 – 12/28/2007
The Singing Bee 2009.png
CMT: 6/16/2009 – 7/23/2012
The Gurin Company
Juma Entertainment

The Singing Bee was a short-lived musically-themed game show where contestants were tested on their musical capabilities by singing along to popular songs; in other words it was the show where "You don't have to sing it well - You just have to sing right" (which in turn it also uses the same tagline for its competitor Don't Forget the Lyrics!). In each episode, six contestants (four contestants in season two) were selected from the audience to play a series of games that tested their knowledge of song lyrics. If a contestant made a mistake, he or she would forfeit his/her chance to get into the "musical chairs". If a contestant was not in a musical chair when the round was over, he/she was eliminated.


As mentioned, at the start of the show, the band would play a song and the host "randomly" gave audience members a chance to sing part of the song. If they sang it correctly, they became one of the contestants on the show. This part of the show was actually staged, and the contestants were preselected. During this part of the program, viewers could sometimes see (as the contestants ran up to the stage) that the lyrics for the song were being scrolled on a banner over the stage so that the preselected contestants didn't make a mistake.

Round 1[]

The host would provide the year the song was released, the performer, and the name of the song. A portion of the song was performed, and then the contestant had to attempt to sing the next line of the song. If correct, they advanced to the next round, and a new song was introduced, which the next contestant in line had to attempt; if not, they had to step back, and the next person in line would try the same song. A song was thrown out if none of the remaining contestants got the lyrics correct. The first four people (three people in Season 2) who got a song lyric correct advanced to the second round, and any contestant who didn't have a chance lost and returned on a future episode.

Round 2[]

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

  • Scrambled Lyrics (Later renamed Random Shuffle) – To play this game, while the band was performing, words from the next line were shown scrambled on screen. The contestant was required to sing the line in its correct order. When one contestant was correct and the other was wrong at any point, the one who was correct advancedto the Championship Round. On the CMT Version, each correct answer was worth five points
  • Karaoke Challenge – To play this game, while the band was performing, the contestant would see the words to the song in karaoke fashion. As the contestant sang the song, he/she would also see blanks, each representing a word in the song. The player who filled in the most blanks correctly (out of a possible 15) won and advanced to the Championship Round. This round was similar to FOX's Don't Forget the Lyrics! because the contestant was the lead singer in this round. In the CMT version, each blank was worth two points (for a maximum of 30).
  • Blind Start – To play this game, the band would play the beginning notes of a song. When the band stopped, the contestant had to sing the opening line correctly. One of the three contestants was eliminated from the second round.
  • Playlist – To play this game, the three contestants were given six categories of songs which had comical titles. Whichever two contestants had the most points after the six songs advanced to the next round.
  • Singing with the Enemy – To play this game, the band would play part of a popular song. The first contestant had to do the next line when the band stopped playing. The band then would pick up with the line the contestant said and stopped. The next contestant continued on with the song. This went through 3 passes. The two with the highest score advanced. On the CMT version, up to 15 points were possible.

Chorus Showdown[]

This followed a similar format to the first round, but instead of singing a line, the contestant was required to sing the entire chorus without mistakes from the song performed. If both were correct or incorrect (sometimes after two rounds, meaning they each play twice), then they would go to a tiebreaker, where they were given the year and the name of the performer and the first person to buzz in was given the option of singing or passing. If the singer was correct, they won. If the singer was wrong, the other contestant won.

The winner advanced to the Final Countdown.

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

The Final Countdown[]

Ray Chew introduced this concluding round by announcing in song: "It's the Final Countdown!" Up to seven songs were performed in a similar manner to Round 1, but the contestant knew nothing about the song, (artist, title, year) and thus had to use the lyrics in order to win the big money. For each song lyric that was sung correctly, the player won $5,000. If he/she got five right, then they won $50,000. However, if he/she sang a lyric incorrectly, a strike was given. If three strikes were given at any point, the game was over, but the contestant still won whatever money was accumulated up to that point. Beginning in Season 2, the winning contestant also returned as a defending champion on the next show agains three new challengers. On the CMT version of the show, correctly guessing a song earned $500, and getting five won $10,000.

Changes for One-Hour Shows[]

The above format was the standard for a 30-minute episode of the show. In a one-hour show, several changes were made:

  • There were two qualifying games.
    • In each game, six players were picked from the audience to play Round 1, however, the first three to complete a lyric (five in Season 2) advanced.
    • The three players then competed in a Round 2 game. Play continued, including a tie-breaker if needed, until one player remained. In Season 2, three rounds were played until three contestants were eliminated.
  • The two survivors of the qualifying games would play the Chorus Showdown, and the last player standing played The Final Countdown.
  • Beginning on August 21, in between some breaks, host Fatone would into the audience to give an audience member a chance at $500. A question about a song was asked, and if the player was correct, he/she won the money. On December 28, two audience members were challenged to the same lyrics. The contestant who waited was given headphones and an eye mask so that they couldn't hear or see the other contestant until the song was completed. If both contestants were correct, they both won $500. If only one was correct, that contestant won $1,000.

Set Pics[]

NBC era[]

CMT era[]


A Board Game was released by Cardinal in 2007.

A DVD game was released by Imagination in 2007.

International Versions[]

Here are a list of countries where The Singing Bee was aired and had other versions:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom


The Singing Office – Spinoff show aired on TLC in 2008


Phil Gurin & Bob Horowitz


(NBC Fatone era) Official Site
(CMT Peterman era) Official Site