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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

How Well Did Lachey's Choir Do?

Did Nick Lachey's Cincinnati choir do well enough to sing a second night? I think so... even though I thought "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield wasn't the best song I heard at rehearsal about two weeks ago. It wasn't as jazzy as the other songs they've learned under Steve Zegree, the Western Michigan Univ jazz professor (and a Miami grad?).
Certainly Cincinnati got lots of great attention -- with video of the skyline, Fountain Square, Music Hall, Children's Hospital Medical Center newborn intensive card unit, the School for Creative & Performing Arts and Graeter's ice cream (yeah, like he really dished up ice cream and rode a trolley to look for singers).
The story line was very touching about Arielle Underwood and her dad, who forgot the lyrics to "Fly Me To The Moon," and her mom battling breast cancer. SCPA grad Arielle, 20, made it to the Hollywood round on "American Idol" two years ago. (NBC still has more stories in the bank, about a singer with a sick child treated at Children's Hospital; an Indiana woman who lost a child to a brain tumor; and maybe more on University Hospital nurse Shonda Fowler, Nick's classmate/first kiss.)
Did you notice in the Lachey bio, they jumped from 98 degrees to his solo career -- and forgot to mention his hit MTV show, "Newlyweds" with Jessica Simpson? Who inspired his hit "What's Left Of Me?" (which the Cincinnati singers will perform with Lachey Wednesday night, if they make it to the finals).
NBC paced the show well. The bad/goofy singers provided comic relief. So did country singer Blake Shelton, who "had no clue" about choirs, and asked one woman if she had been drinking before the audition. I liked his taped piece the best.
From my scorecard on the first night: Michael Bolton played the best air guitar; Patti LaBelle wins for best hat (multiple nominations); all groups tied in their ability to shake their shoulders (a whole lotta shakin' going on); tied for stupidest gimmicks were Nick's trolley and that Cincinnati lady in the chicken suit.
Worst moments: The repeated gushing by the celebrity choir leaders. (Where's Simon when you need him?) This will get old by Wednesday. Will we hear the least little criticism from anyone? (Or was it when the host thanked the soldiers "for making the ultimate sacrifice?" I don't think she meant a death wish.)
I'd say Round One goes to Patti LaBelle's Philly singers tonight. I think Cincinnati did well enough to advance. My guess is Michael Bolton's New Haven choir goes home, I think they did the least with "Living On A Prayer" and had the fewest solos.
You tell me: Who were the best and worst?


at 12/17/2007 10:59 PM Blogger Rachel said...

Best - Patti Labelle.
Cincinnati did just fine though!
I would agree that Bolton's kids will go. There wasn't enough there.

Who would have thought that I would be so into this show? I only tuned in for Cincinnati and Nick (which I have to say I didn't hear of him on any trolley either) but I will definitely be watching tomorrow night.

at 12/18/2007 12:18 AM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

Rats, I forgot this was on and now after reading about it, wished I had seen it. I did not realize they would show off Cincinnati so well.

Any chance of them repeating this John what with the writer's strike and holidays?

Thanks for the report.

p.s. Look forward to your piece on Burbank. Sure gonna miss him.

at 12/18/2007 5:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patti's going to be hard to beat. I thought Nick's group was second best. Bolton is the likely loser, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Rowland's group go, either. The producers, I think, did the country guy's pre-song segment in a way that'll keep him from being sent home early.

at 12/18/2007 8:08 AM Blogger Brian Siegel said...

Go Cincinnati and our "new choir"! I enjoy seeing all the positive images and activities are displaying for our City! Truly making music and our city sing!

Brian Siegel

at 12/18/2007 8:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Patti was the best, but Team Cincinnati did quite well. I was proud of Nick--you can tell he really wants to win this for the city and Children's.

at 12/18/2007 8:19 AM Blogger robin said...

I thought Cincinnati (both the city and the choir) looked and sounded great. I am a proud Cincinnatian who often defends and praises this area to people during my travels. The montag (even the "cheesey" parts), Nick Lachey, and especially the members of the choir, showed the nation why I am proud of this area. Congrats to all involved! I look forward to watching them perform tonight.

I think Bolton's Team will say "goodbye" tonight, but since the decision is based solely on votes by viewers/fans, it will depend on whose fans were most vocal. Good luck to all the choirs.


at 12/18/2007 8:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say goodnight to our country.....Say goodnight to this city..... This is what we have come to. Can it get any worse?

at 12/18/2007 9:50 AM Anonymous Michael said...

I thought that the cincinnati choir was in the top two. I do have to give them more points on being more like a choir ,than like some of the others a leader singer and back ups.

I should have figured that Will and his daughter would be singled out. And the next time i see him i will joke with him about him getting nervous. If it was not for him i would not watch the show. But this is the first i have seen his daughter and heard her. She definently has his talent to sing.

I will have to watch it tonight just to see if they could keep up the good work.

at 12/18/2007 10:18 AM Blogger Lauren Bishop said...

OK: Why did Patti LaBelle's choir get to sing the most traditional/gospel-y song, while all the other choirs sung pop/rock songs? Who chooses what songs the choirs sing? That choice and Patti herself helped the Philly choir come off the best, I think, followed by Cincinnati. I think Team Bolton's going home tonight too (I wasn't that impressed with Blake Shelton's choir either, but you can't compete with the troops). I also thought it was funny that the Connecticut choir, rather than the Philly choir, sang a song by New Jerseyans Bon Jovi, who might as well be from Philadelphia.

And I would LOVE to know how much money Natasha Bedingfield has made off of "Unwritten," between last night, being "The Hills" theme song and those Pantene commercials -- Pantene, which is made by Cincinnati-based P&G. Coincidence?

at 12/18/2007 10:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cincinnati got great press last night from the pre-preformance segment!

at 12/18/2007 4:18 PM Anonymous John in Boca said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the show .. I moved to Florida from Cincy in 1998 and thought the city showed up well in the opening montage about it.

I certainly didn't expect to get so emotionally drawn in by it, but almost went to tears when they showed Children's Hospital's Neo Natal Care Unit .. You see, I lost a son there some 37 years ago after he made it through one week of life on this earth. They are such a GREAT organization, as are all the other charities that could benefit from the top prize.

Hopefully you will never have to have a child use this facility, but they are the most professional highly dedicated bunch of great people that I have ever met. I can't say enough good things about them.

For Cincinnati's choir to win, they will have to step it up a little but I thought they were better than the rest other than maybe Philadelphia's group headed by Patti Labelle.

The New Haven Choir with Michael Bolton was good, but their performance was primarily a solo spot for the guy in the hunter's cap during his audition. None of the rest of the choir got to shine. And I know there was talent in it, because I noticed this one lady shine during the opening number of the show. I think they would have been better served to showcase more of the members. I think it will cost them their spot.

John in Boca Raton

at 12/18/2007 4:35 PM Blogger Sam said...

I was really proud of Team Cincinnati last night. From the very beginning of "Unwritten" if you listen they have the most blended and real "choir" sound. they all seemed to be having a good time on stage and that will go a long way. I agree that I think Bolton's team will go tonight. He seemed like a deer in the headlights all night. His choir just didn't seem like were in the same league I guess. I am looking forward to seeing what Team Cincinnati will continue to do as they move on. Congrats Nick and a great Team.

at 12/18/2007 10:52 PM Blogger robin said...

I was, once again, extremely proud of the choir's performance. I was impressed with their fun interpretation of one of country's biggest hits--true to the music/song, but still a unique performance of the hit. The two Nicks (the soloist and Mr. Lachey) were wonderful "Cincinnati ambassadors".

I was surprised to see Kelly Rowland's choir "evicted". I hope Michael Bolton's choir is the next to go.

Keeping fingers crossed for Team Cincinnati!!!


at 12/18/2007 10:55 PM Anonymous Marney5 said...

Considering that Cincinnati is a town that knows what a chorus "is", I was disappointed by the lack of ANY real choir.We have the May Festival Chorus and endless excellent adult choirs and many Children's choruses. I would love to see a "real" choral competition.Cincinnati would blow all other competitors away. I understand that Nick Lachay was a student at the SCPA so he knows the difference. These competing choruses are nothing more than soloists with back-up singers. It's all entertaining, but not a choral competition!The benefactors, Children's Hospital is a deserving recipient and I hope they win. I just wish the competition would have been called something other than a choral competition for those who know the difference. Marney 5

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