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June 25, 2008

'The Singing Office' scans the help for entertainers


It's not a typical day at the airport. Melanie Brown, the season five "Dancing with the Stars" runner-up, is traipsing around with a camera crew in tow, begging JetBlue employees to croon "Like a Virgin" a cappella.

No need to alert the Long Beach Airport's TSA crew, or even TMZ — Brown is simply filming a segment for "The Singing Office ," a new tongue-in-cheek TLC vocal competition.

In each episode of this Dutch reality TV import (premiering June 29 at 9 p.m. EDT on TLC), co-host Brown and fellow former "Dancing" contestant Joey Fatone surprise employees at two separate workplaces with impromptu auditions. Today, the 33-year-old Spice Girl is courting everyone from JetBlue baggage carriers to flight attendants.

"It's not like 'American Idol' or 'Dancing with the Stars,'" Brown told The Associated Press during a recess from her quest for five amateur singers to make up a new performance group. "It's not a serious competition. It gives people a break from their everyday lives to have some fun with their co-workers."

Eventually, her JetBlue crew will have to prepare for a different kind of takeoff. After a weeklong dancing and singing bootcamp with a professional choreographer and vocal coach, the group will perform in front of a studio audience against another team helmed by former 'N Sync member Fatone. Then, the crowd will pick a winner.

During this day of filming tryouts last April, there was no rehearsal, off-camera interference from producers or even a long line to audition. Instead, Brown merely ambushed JetBlue employees on camera with a list of preapproved songs to sing, and the workers responded by unabashedly singing — granted, mostly badly — their hearts out.

"This doesn't work if it's overly produced," said executive producer Scott Sternberg. "The thing about this format is it only works if it's real and unscripted. It's more than just a competition. It's about real people going outside of themselves and performing in front of a studio audience. It can be a very uplifting experience." Read more

This one sounds pretty scary...

Posted by acapnews at June 25, 2008 9:53 PM


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