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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

Singing The Praises of Our NBC Choir

Time for a confession... or two.... or more....

--I don't like the title, "Clash of the Choirs," but I think it could be a big hit this week on TV (8-10 p.m. today, Channels 5, 2), if people give it a chance. There are some "American Idol" elements to it -- a singing competition, stories about the singers (ordinary people with interesting backgrounds, including two women who have had sick children treated at Children's Hospital here, the beneficiary if Cincinnati wins the competition), and a chance to vote for your favorite singers.

--This has nothing to do with church choirs, which could turn off some potential viewers. These are vocal ensembles singing pop, R&B, country, all kinds of music. This is not your grandmother's church choir.

--The real reason this show could be a hit: I've heard the Cincinnati choir, and it's won-der-ful. Dr. Stephen Zegree, the Bobby McFerrin professor of jazz at Western Michigan University, has given Nick Lachey’s choir a jazzy twist on every song. (Ever heard Manhattan Transfer, the Grammy-winning jazz vocalists?) They make beautiful music together.

I saw them rehearse five of their seven songs a week ago, and each was terrific. One is Lachey's "What's Left Of Me."I heard the "top secret" song that Lachey didn't want to discuss in my Sunday story. If done right, it will blow people away. The big question for Lachey and Zegree is when to do that special song? If they do it tonight, might they not match those high expectations again? Should they hold it to the Wednesday finals,when each choir does three songs? What if they don’t make it that far?

That's where you come in. Watch tonight. Give it a try. If you like what you see, call and vote for the Cincinnati group.

And then check out my blog. I'll post a review tonight, and I’'l be interested to read your take too.


at 12/17/2007 8:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I saw a lot of Cincinnati signs in the audience.

And even more surprising. They were all spelled right.

at 12/17/2007 8:40 PM Anonymous La Librarian said...

John, according to my program listing on Time-Warner, they're pre-empting the show tomorrow night for 'Conversations with Carlos Watson'. No later showing. Really? Seems like a dumb move on WLWT's part.

at 12/17/2007 10:18 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

La Librarian:
Time Warner has it wrong. Our Sunday TV book has it wrong. Tribune TV listing service has it wrong. Carlos Watson repeat from last week airs 7-8 p.m., and "Clash of Choirs" will air 8-9 p.m.

at 12/17/2007 10:25 PM Blogger Rachel said...

I was so impressed with them! I just got done voting my limit on both phone and internet. And what Cincinnatian doesn't love Nick Lachey!?!

at 12/17/2007 10:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the show was better than I thought it would be. I am not a fan of Karaoke Idol at all. I only watched because of the Cincinnati connection and was very impressed. I also like the charity selection as well. Go team Lachey!

at 12/17/2007 10:26 PM Anonymous Gail said...

As for myself, I always thought a choir consisted of gospel singing and not the kind of dancing that was promoted tonight.
I will leave my vote for Miss LaBelle. She was the nearest to what a choir should be, up lifting our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

at 12/17/2007 10:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for myself, Only one of the choir's came even close to being what a genuine choir should be, An uplifting of our Lord And Savior, Jesus Christ.

I always thought that a choir consited of gospel. Not a bunch of dirty dancing.

Miss LaBelle, your choir did great!!

at 12/18/2007 9:35 AM Anonymous choir mom said...

Yes, if Cinci's Choir makes it to the third round and does their "mystery" number, listeners will be speechless! It is one of the most remarkable "feats" of combined human voices I have ever heard!

~~a choir mom

at 12/20/2007 10:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not a church choir show, and the purpose is not to sing only religious songs. This is a prime time national choir competition, meant to display a wide variety of talents. Labelle's choir is one dimensional; lots of talent but starting to get annoying. Lachey's choir has become immensely interesting due to their diverse offerings. "Flight of the Bumblebee" won me over.

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