This setup is entirely against the spirit of what makes karaoke so entertaining in real life — but as a reality show, it’s hard to deny that the conceit ultimately succeeds. There are a couple key factors that keep “Sing On!” from being a relentless buzzkill. For one, Burgess is the perfect host for the occasion thanks to his sunny charisma and uncanny ability to belt just about any song in the known universe. For another, the structure of the show is smart in a way that many burgeoning reality shows rarely are.
I’m not sure what it means to “win” this show. The last singer standing at the end of each episode can’t claim to be the most accurate, or even the most popular, or even the most-upbeat contestant in the bunch. The series is an oddly compelling celebration of technical mediocrity.
The show is fun enough. ... This dependence on objective scoring makes the actual experience of watching the show way less exciting than any random karaoke night at your local bar. During each performance, the vocal analyzer scrolls left to right across the bottom of the screen, showing us every note that the singer didn’t quite nail. The result is that we end up watching the scoreboard, not the game.