Q. Just to get the giant elephant out of the room to begin
with, "What's your reaction to Jessica Simpson’s engagement?"
Nick Lachey: I'll say the same thing I’ve always said, which is
that, you know, "I wish her the very best."
Q. All right great, well let's move on to the show then. And what do
you guys think is going to be different this season versus what we
saw last year?
Joel Gallen: Well Nick, you want me to take that one first? The...
Nick Lachey: Well I could, I mean, I...
Joel Gallen: Go ahead Nick, yes.
Nick Lachey: Yes, go ahead Joel, go ahead.
Joel Gallen: All right. Well, I mean I think...
Nick Lachey: Well I think, I mean just from a - sorry, from the singer's point of view I think that one of things that I noticed the most - and this is not to take anything away from the talent level of Season 1, but the groups on Season 2 are just phenomenal. The talent level; you know just being in some of the rehearsals and seeing that. I mean that the talent is exceptional. And I think it's clearly stepped up a notch from what Season 1 was. And I was blown away by Season 1. So that just speaks to the, you know, the exceptional talents of the groups you'll see in Season 2.
Q. All right. So just one final quick thing and that’s just, "Based on what we've seen in the past week where the Glee version of Teenage
Dream that was helped set up by the Beelzebubs from last season, ending up becoming a big hit.
Do you guys think that kind of shows just what kind of success can be attained from this show?
Joel Gallen: Which shows were you talking about, Teenage Dream?
Q. Yes, the Teenage Dream cover from Glee was designed by the runner-up from last season.
Joel Gallen: Oh, I see what you're saying. Yes, the - well, I think - well this year more -- this is Joel speaking -- more so than last
year I think the music on the show will be readily available. So I think that kind of potential certainly exists.
I'm not going to sort of anticipate one way or the other if we're going to have songs that are as big Glee's songs. But certainly I feel like
people will respond to these renditions, these a cappella renditions of really big songs. And hopefully it will create a buzz in the online
community and hopefully people will want to download them and put them on their iPods.
Q. Now Nick, as the host do you ever get the feeling after watching these guys, that you want to get back out on stage again?
Nick Lachey: Well it is a little bit of a - it's a bit of a throwback for me to see these groups you know, harmonizing on stage. It
does take me back obviously to where I got my start 98 Degrees and some of the a cappella that we that we did together.
So yes, I think if you're a musician at all, you know, watching them and the passion they have for music and hearing the exceptional
performances, it does make you kind of itch to perform. And I think that's just if you're a musician that's just kind of human nature. But
it's exciting -- it's exciting to be around music and certainly exciting to be around music done so well.
Q. Nice. And I know you have to be unbiased as the host but are you keeping a special eye on Eleventh Hour because they're from
Nick Lachey: I am. Actually coincidentally, they went to my father's high school in Kettering, Ohio. And so there is a little bit of a
And yes, it's exciting to see, you know, it's exciting to see the State of Ohio represented you know, in this competition. There's a lot of
great musicians who have come from there. Certainly the Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, et cetera, et cetera. So to see the
state represented you know, is an exciting thing.
Q. Nice. And Joel, I was I just wondering, why only five days? Why not stretch this out like America's Got Talent, or some of those
Joel Gallen: Well I think that's the hope that if we do well on these five two-hour shows, which we, you know hope to do, that
you know again, that's really an NBC question more than the producer of the show question.
But what we've been told is that you know, this is something that they wanted to try again, it did very well December. You know, the
competition is different, because we're not in the November sweeps and stuff.
So if we can hold our own again, then I think their plan in the future is to do it more like a weekly series and America's Got Talent, that
kind of thing. So let's keep our fingers crossed that that happens.
Q. What was it about the premise of the show that turned you on, made you want you to be part of it to begin with?
Nick Lachey: I think you know, obviously you know, my start was in music and still actively, you know, in the music business. And
specifically with 98 Degree we really took a lot of pride in being able to a cappella and do it well. And you know, quite frankly that's
how we got signed was you know, the opportunity to sing a cappella in a room for Motown Records.
So a cappella music always been, you know, very near and dear, just to my heart. And I love to see it celebrated in any way, shape or
form it can be. And this show obviously does a great job of that.
So for me, it was clearly, you know, something I was passionate about. And I thank Joel and NBC for the opportunity to you know, to
be a part of it. Yes.
Q. Are you a pretty harsh critic of the different acts because you do know your way around this?
Nick Lachey: Well I'm blessed that as far as The Sing-Off goes I'm the unbiased and objective host, so I'm not put in a position
where I do any judging. But I think anyone who's been a part of an a cappella group, or who's performed a cappella, you certainly kind
of know what to listen for and you can recognize when it's done well and not done as well.
And again, thankfully you know, I'd say that the majority of the time on The Sing-Off it's done extremely well. So there's not too much
pain on the ears.
Q. Yes, Nick when I was watching this high school group, I was reminded of back during class of the choirs, when you talked about
how you first started learning this at the High School for the Performing Arts in Cincinnati and so forth.
Kind of reflect on that a little bit; what was that experience, the high school experience, like for you and learning to sing this kind of music
and so on?
Nick Lachey: Well it was incredible for me. I think for anyone who enjoys performing and enjoys singing you know, the
Performing Arts School in Cincinnati was a great opportunity to kind of nurture those interests and those talents.
And I think it's especially exciting for me because it seems as if a cappella music has really blown up. And we've seen so much more
interest in what it was, it's not just the barber shop, or it's not just the, you know, the kind of classic forms of a cappella anymore; we're
seeing a cappella music done in really new and in innovative and exciting ways.
And I think that that's what The Sing-Off does such a great job of celebrating. You know, these are songs that people wouldn't think of
as necessarily as being a cappella, but these groups are, you know are charged with the range you need to perform these, you know in
new and exciting ways. And that's what's so exciting and fun about the show.
So for me, school was you know, it was a great opportunity to get to know a cappella music, to practice it, study it, ultimately perform it.
And that's why I think I have such an appreciation for what these groups are able to do on national television.
Q. And every town is so different on that. And there's some schools where kids don't get much arts, and then there's like Cincinnati's
heard - Jessica Parker talks about how the arts emphasis there saved her life. And it sounds like you went to a great school.
Do you wish there was more arts emphasis and more of these Schools for the Performing Arts in different places? Just reflect a little
more about how good an overall arts environment you grew up in.
Nick Lachey: Yes, well it was phenomenal. You know, I mean I think every student especially at the high school level, you know,
you go and you can obviously your academics but it's the - it's those little intangibles, it's those other interests that make us well rounded
people and that make us excited to go to school every day.
And for me it was performing. It was singing. It was acting. For some people it's playing football, it's basketball or whatever.
So as I said, you know, for someone who's interested in performing, you know, going to school every day and having the opportunity to
learn and kind of cut your teeth in that world, in that business, it was a very unique and special opportunity. And certainly I don't think I'd
be in this business had I not, you know, been exposed to that, you know, at an early age.
Q. I wanted to ask Joel, what was different this year about the kinds of groups that auditioned? And were you able to find more and
varied kinds of a cappella groups?
Joel Gallen: Absolutely. You know first and foremost, a lot more groups auditioned because obviously we were a known
commodity. You know it's a big advantage coming back after a successful first season to put the word out that you know, Sing Offs
coming back for a second season.
A lot of groups that might have either not been available, might have been reluctant because they weren't sure what the show was, they
came out in droves. So we definitely had way more choices this time around which is always great in the casting process.
And because of that I think we were able to find really, really, you know diverse groups that really - you know we found sort of niches
that would appeal to many different types of music lovers and demographics and all kinds of audiences so you know, we can hopefully
reach as broad an audience as possible with this show.
I mean I think the, you know the universal appeal is that people just love music and love singing, you know, will love this show. But you
know, whether you love R&B, whether you love rock, whether you love gospel, whether you love classic rock, whether you love pop
songs -- you know all of that will be covered in both the styles and the song selection of these groups.
So as Nick you know said earlier, I echo his sentiment, "I couldn't be more please with the talent and the range and the depth of these
Q. And we saw from last season that's it's very emotional for these groups to be able to perform the style that they love in front of a
large audience. Nick as the host coming back; how do you help them backstage, deal with those emotions and being able to channel
Nick Lachey: It's - I think it's encouragement you know. I don't think you need to you know, you need to try and emphasize the
importance of you know, performing on national television.
I think all the groups understand that, and they recognize the pressure of that. And you know, quite frankly I've been, you know blown
away by how poised and composed they are given that, you know, given the stakes.
But I think it's just you know, you got to trust, you know, you got to trust what got you there. You got to trust your rehearsal and the old,
you know the old phrase, "Practice like you play," I think you know it rings true in this case; you've got to trust that what you did in
rehearsal, you're going to do out there on live television.
And you know, that's the beauty of my role I think, is I just - I get to support all the groups equally, and just get to be a kind of an
encouraging voice and supportive voice backstage. So it's an exciting and fun thing for me to be able to do for them.
Q. "With everything you have going on with your show and all your guest appearances on Charmed and One Tree Hill and everything,
how do you have your - how do have time for your newly engaged girlfriend Vanessa?
Nick Lachey: Well I think anyone who balances their professional and personal life knows that you have make time for both. So
that's - no matter what your profession, or your personal life, you know it's always a balance and a fine line we all get to walk.
Q. Nick, have you ever, when you were hosting, listened to one of the groups out there and you just cringe and think, "Oh my god, they
blew that?" Or, "Wow, they knocked your socks off. I didn't expect that." Does that - has that happened, I'm sure?
Nick Lachey: Well I'll be honest, you know, it's as I said earlier, I've been blown away, you know, Season 1, and I expect to be
equally blown away Season 2 by you know, just the level of performances. And you know having been in a group that's, you know
performed on national television, I know how daunting that can be.
And these are you know, these are amateur singers from all walks of life, from all over the country. And to see how, you know how
poised and composed they are and how great they sound, I was you know, I expected high things. And was, you know, even blown
So I you know, I think that, you know, you can certainly hear a progression throughout, you know, from the rehearsal process to - from
when they first start rehearsing a song to when they perform it. You know, there's certainly a, you know a growth curve so to speak with
that, but that's true for any group.
You know it's exciting actually to see it grow and kind of evolve into what you hear on national television. So I'd say that for the most
part I'm just completely in awe ad blown away by the talent of these you know, these men and women.
AlQ. Is there any particular part of the country that you've noticed a different approach to the way they show their talent, or?
Nick Lachey: Joel what do you think?
Joel Gallen: Well I would say it's not - yes, it's not necessarily a different part of the country per se, but obviously it depends on
the style of the group. And you know, we have some - we have a couple of groups on the show this year that really - a cappella - pure a
cappella singing is sort of new to them. They're like - they're used to more choral singing and stuff like that.
And so they, as far as actually using their voices for the instrumentation of the song or a baseline of the song, or a percussion of the song,
to one or two of these groups you know, is a newer form for them. But they we such great singers, when they came out and auditioned,
you know, and we wanted to show differing styles, and we had a group like that the first season too.
There was a group in the first season called, Voices of Lee, that really hadn't sang a cappella. And then they adapted very quickly just
because of their talented voices.
And Committed is one of those groups this year that sort of comes more from a gospelly, church singing kind of group that just from their
pure singing style, you know we thought that we should give them, certainly a closer look. And they, along with all the other groups, have
been able to adapt nicely.
And you know sometimes you just - you know, just because a group's been singing a cappella for years, months, whatever, you know
you still have to go for the raw talent. Because it's an amateur, you know singing contest, and you know sometimes getting some of the
Even the high school group like Eleventh Hour, that we mentioned earlier from Ohio, again they haven't been doing it that long, but they
were such raw talent and so much energy there that we thought you know, come in, prepare for the show, and take them under wings,
that you know, they'll rise to the top. And all of these groups have shown, you know, their maximum potential I think.
Q. Yes, and that's what's so great about the show, because that is what you're doing; you're giving people an opportunity that maybe
wouldn't otherwise have that and giving them a chance.
Joel Gallen: Oh yes, because you know, it's not like a cappella is that kind of singing. You know, not many people - in fact none
of the groups on the show can really make a living. You can't make a living, you know, singing a cappella. At least not yet. Maybe after
this show we will be able to.
But for everybody it's really a hobby. If you're a student, it's a hobby in between classes. And if you're - you know we have a group of
teachers from Seattle, and you know and other people that have full-time jobs, and they do this as a passion, as a labor of love. And to
now get on the national stage and compete for championship and a record contract and money; it's just a whole other level for this type
But you know the beauty of it is, it is the most pure form of singing really available anywhere on television because there's no, you know
there's no band. There's no place for you know, era at all, because you got, you know anywhere from 5-6 to 10-12-15 singers that all
have to be completely lined up in perfect harmony and blending together nicely.
Although, you know, one or two mess up, you know there's no guitar part or a base part or big drummer to hide behind. Do you know
what I mean? So it is - you know when you really break down the show, you know I feel like this is most difficult of all the singing shows
to really succeed at.
And that's why, you know Nick and I, you know, are so pleased with the talent that we have. Because we really think that the audiences
will be blown away when they really break it down and see that, "Holy cow, this is just them singing and there's no band, no instruments."
I think they'll be mesmerized.
Q. My first question is what is the main piece of advice you would give to the groups out there as they're performing?
Joel Gallen: Nick you want to take that?
Nick Lachey: I think that - oh sorry Joel. I was just going to say that you know, as a performer I think that the, you know the
biggest thing that I try to remind them of, and the biggest thing I try to remind myself of quite frankly when I step out on stage, is to have
a good time.
You know, obviously the voices matter, you know the music matters, the notes matter. You've got to trust in your preparation as far as
all that goes. But when you step on that stage and the cameras are rolling and it's live television, I think the biggest thing you have to
remind yourself of is to have a good time because you want the audience watching to have a good time, and the only way they feel like
they can is if they see that joy in you.
So go out there and lay it all on the line. Don't leave anything, you know backstage, but when you go out there have a great time. Enjoy
what you do and show the love and the passion you have for the music you're performing so that everyone watching can feel that and
enjoy it with you.
Q. And what about you Joel? What's your advice?
Joel Gallen: Well yes, my advice would be very similar to Nick's. But you know the main thing is be true to who you are and
what your singing style is. I mean you know sometimes people tend to like, "Oh, I'm on television now, I'm going to be seen by more
people, maybe I have to adapt or do this or to do that."
And you know we cast these groups for a certain reason, because we really respected who they were -- both their personalities and
their singing abilities. And you want to sort of stay true, because there's an audience - we felt like there's an audience out for all of these
And you know, Nick couldn't have said it better about having fun. I mean obviously some these groups are going to be anxious, they're
going to be nervous and you just have to get them to relax.
But you know, for amateur groups that really have never been on television before, you know they all have I think good stage presence
and felt, you know, surprisingly comfortable right from the start, you know when we met them, and started you know, rehearsing that
It just - you know obviously nerves are always an issue and sometimes they - that - you get - you dig deep for that adrenaline and it
comes through. And - but mainly be true to yourself and your singing styles was the advice that I would give.
Q. Okay. Nick, are you or any of your former band members going to perform on the show this season?
Nick Lachey: You'll have to tune in and see. Small chance to perform a little bit last year which was fun. And you saw some of the
judges perform with some of the groups as well. So it wouldn’t surprise me if we see something similar to that.
But we can't give anything - too much away. We want everybody to tune in and check it out.
Q. Nick, it is great to see shows like this that emphasize pure singing musical performance, so you can really hear the melody and
harmony which a lot of music today is more rhythm based. Do you think shows like this, putting this kind of music out there, will remind
people of this kind of music and bring it more into the spotlight?
Joel Gallen: Well you know I certainly hope so. I think like I said, you know, this kind of music is, like I said, it's really just a
vocal style. It's the same - it's the music that hear on the radio. It's the music we've been hearing on the radio. It's just a unique treatment
Instead of the singer coming out with a band behind them and singing you know, sort of their rendition of a popular song; you know, this
is more - these songs morph to be reinterpreted and sometimes reinvented to really lend themselves to the full sound that we, you know,
that we're going after for a cappella.
Because that's the thing that I always try to stress in any of these interviews or whenever we're doing press is that some people hear a
cappella and they think it's barber shop quartet, and it's not. I mean, you can have the same level, or in some cases a higher level of
satisfaction, of listening you know, to one of your favorite songs of all time if it's performed and interpreted properly you know, by one of
these very talented a cappella groups.
And it's sort of a - that's why I feel like it could be, you know it could lead to a breakthrough, you know, in the music industry as far as
another way for a group to get out there and get a record deal. It's another way for people to buy records or to download songs, you
know through the NBC.com site that we're going to have.
And all that stuff you know, again there's so many different ways you can perform songs musically, and a cappella is one of those many
ways. But it's incredibly satisfying when you see these groups, you know do, whether it's a you know, a U2 song or it's a, you know a
David Bowie song, or a Stevie Wonder song -- you know, it's just amazing how fulfilling it can still be even without the band.
Q. And from a singer's perspective Nick, do you hope this kind of melody and harmonizing comes back into music in a bigger way?
Nick Lachey: Well I think it is. You know I mean I - it's why for me it's great to do a show with Shawn Stockman, Boyz II Men
was a huge influence on, you know on my group. And I think they, along with Take 6, kind of brought the a cappella sound back into
the, you know into the mainstream.
And I think that all the groups, whether it's, you know ours, or Backstreet Boys or 'N Sync, we all you know, took pride in being able to
do a cappella and do it well. And so it’s nice to see it celebrated and I certainly think there's you know, there's music for everybody.
You know, and you mentioned more rhythmic music now, that's just become kind of more mainstream; you know that's great, but it's
also great to see you know, to see harmony and a cappella celebrated like it is on The Sing-Off.
And you know again, that's why the show was so interesting to me and why we're back doing Season 2, because it clearly is interesting
to people across the country.
Q. Cool. And with the holidays coming up, Nick what are your Christmas traditions?
Nick Lachey: You know what it's - for me it's just family. You know, I think no matter what else is going on, it's the one time of
year where it's really important to be with your family and celebrate the, you know celebrate your year together. So that's always been
Q. Okay. Just at home or anywhere special you go?
Nick Lachey: Yes, you know it doesn't mean - location doesn't really much matter to me. I think as long as you're with the people
you love and you're together, you know that's always the most important thing.
Q. Well what - you know why is - for this is one - this one is for Joel. Why are there - are the series - sorry. Why are the - there limited
episodes and it's not as long as American Idol or one of those longer series? And will it develop into a regular season?
Joel Gallen: Well certainly that's the hope. You know, we certainly developed the show to become a weekly show that would,
you know be on the air for several weeks. But you know, in a very, very competitive marketplace, you know NBC obviously last
December had the idea bringing it in for more of a limited run. And this year they expanded it by one more episode in December.
And you know we wanted to be on NBC. They have been very supportive, and are doing so again this year. So we felt like it was our
best home for the show.
And the hope is that after this December -- you know thanks to guys on this call right now, getting the word out on the show -- hopefully
a lot of people will tune in. And then we'll be back before you know it in a much more expanded, you know, more typical of the music
reality competition series, kind of structure.
But again, that question was asked earlier. And it's really more of a network question than a producer question. I'd like to see it on
beyond these five episodes, I'm sure Nick would too. But you know, we've got to be patient and build our audience and see what
Q. And why have you decided to bring Nick back for the second year?
Joel Gallen: Because he was a great host, of course. And he's obviously - it goes without - you know he was by far our first
choice the first time around. And hopefully he'll be with us for as many seasons as the show continues.
I mean the guy obviously is a great singer and has a great connection to this kind of singing -- you know group singing and harmonies and
you know the 98 Degrees. You know just listen to their records; I mean you take those instruments out, they could have been doing a lot
of a cappella themselves.
Q. And you Nick, why did you decide to join initially?
Nick Lachey: Well I love the idea of the show, the premise of the show you know, as Joel alluded to. You know a cappella was
always a real passion for myself and for my group. And I've always appreciated the you know, the art form. And it's great to see it
celebrated on national television.
So you know, I - it was a show that certainly I was passionate about. I think I can speak for Shawn and Ben and Nicole, our judges and
just say they're equally passionate about it.
And it's just great to be a part of something that, you know celebrates real musicians who are out there, you know doing a very, very
difficult form of singing and doing it very well. So it's just, it's a great show.
Q. Just regarding your engagement Nick, I haven't heard the latest. Have you and Vanessa set a date or a timeframe yet for it, for your
Nick Lachey: No, we're still you know, we're still basking in the glow of our, you know very recent engagement and enjoying that.
And I'm sure we'll get on to all the other planning and whatnot shortly. But right now we're just enjoying this experience.
Q. Okay, great. As far as the show is concerned, you've done a few projects that have involved finding new talent. Can you talk a little
bit about why these types of shows are important to you?
Nick Lachey: Well, I think for me, you know it's, you know I remember that moment when you know, kind of when we got
discovered, when you got your opportunity. And certainly there is countless talented people around the world, across the country.
And you know, it's exciting to see people who truly, you know, love a cappella singing, who love music; it's exciting to see them get that
opportunity to, you know step out and make their dreams come true so to speak. And have the - you know, the chance, the opportunity
to you know, to win a competition like this. And make it a career potentially.
So this is the genuine love and excitement that's contagious with all these talented people.
Q. Okay, and in terms of your career going forward, are you going to be releasing any more albums or are you planning to focus more
on acting? Or what are your plans going forward?
Nick Lachey: No, I'm - yes, I'm - music will always be you know, always be my passion, and kind of my home base so to speak.
So yes, I'm actually getting back into the studio here right now to start a new record. I'm now independent.
Drive Records and I've - we've decided just to part ways, which is exciting because the music business has changed so much over the
last few years. There are a lot of new opportunities and ways to go about, you know being in the music. So it's exciting - kind of an
exciting rebirth for me to attack from a different angle and get a new perspective.
But yes, you know music will always be something that is very meaningful to me. And I can't ever imagine not, you know not doing this in
some capacity. So very excited to get some new music together and get a new album out there for everyone to hear.
Q. Okay, great. And you know, you sort of eluded to that fans of 98 Degrees, there might be some surprises on this show that you
might perform is them or something. Are there any actual plans for a 98 Degrees reunion to go out on tour -- like Backstreet Boys has
done, and New Kids on the Block have done?
Nick Lachey: Yes, you know, it's - we remain in contact with each other, you know constantly. And you know, kind of throw that
idea out there every now and then. I don't think there are any eminent you know, plans to get back together. But it's certainly something
we've all kept the door wide open on.
And given the right timing, the right opportunity; yes I can certainly see that happening. But for right now there's no eminent plan to go out
on tour or do anything together.
Q. Okay. Now regarding the show again, you said you know, you're the sort of impartial host. But sort of, within your own mind as
you're watching these groups sing, do you sort of pick out a favorite and sort of you know, root for somebody.
You know, not necessarily voice it to the public, and I don't - you know, you don't have to tell us here. But just sort of you know, a yes
or no, like do you have sort of a favorite of the 10 groups that are there?
Nick Lachey: You know that they're all so different, and I think Joel said it perfectly earlier when they, you know I mean, some -
they all come from different kind of backgrounds and maybe have different, you know strong suits in terms of their experience in a
And that's I think, the beauty of the show is we get to see these groups you know, challenged along the way. And you know, thrown
some curveballs with the judge's choice, and you know, have to prepare and perform songs that maybe outside of their typical, you
know wheelhouse so to speak.
So you know, just when you think you've heard it all, "Oh, that's the group that's you know way out front," the next week someone else
comes along. I remember the first season, Voices of Lee, I think in one of the earlier episodes maybe they were on the brink of not
making it to the next show. And then they grew and they got better, and they were right there as one of the final groups in the
So you never know, it can all come unraveled in one performance, or you can, you know, you can elevate yourself you know,
dramatically with one performance. That's the beauty of performing on national television; you never know how it's going to play out.
So there's really no way to predict, you know with any accuracy, who's going to win and who's going to lose.
Q. All right. And a couple of questions for Joel. Joel can you just give us a ballpark estimate of just how many groups initially auditioned
for this season?
Joel Gallen: Oh Boy, a ballpark. I would say - let me see, we were in - I would say including the ones that just - that we didn't
see in person but they also, you know sent us, you know links or video and stuff like that; you know probably in the neighborhood of like
Q. So I mean, you know just - let's talk about that then. I mean how do you narrow down 600 groups to 10? What criteria do you use
to get those 10 final groups on the show?
Joel Gallen: Well, just like with any casting process, you know, there are certainly obvious ones that just are not up to the
standards, that get eliminated right away, as far as their singing abilities and their blends as a group and all that.
And then of course you - once you narrow - you know eliminate those, then you start, you know you're really going through the process
of trying to separate the, you know the great ones from the good ones.
And you know, we have a, you know a team of executive producers and myself, and obviously the casting people and - that have had
years of experience doing this. And they're very difficult decisions, but you know, we make them based on what we think is best for the
And like I said earlier, what we think will also be the best for the audience watching and making sure that we are representing a lot of
different styles of music. So you know, there's not too many of the same type of group.
You know, that - it's a definitely a difficult process. I can't say we've mastered the process yet. I don’t know of anybody in this business
who gets involved with casting - there's always going to be disappointment. There's obviously a lot of celebration for the people that
And the ones who don't make it, you know they probably usually benefit from it and they come back and they audition the next time. I
do another show called America's Best Dance Crew and you know, there we're going into our sixth season.
And there are groups that have been, you know rejected, you know three, four or five times in a row and they keep coming back. And
they, you know, the group Poreotics, who won Season 5; they auditioned all four seasons and didn't make it. And they finally made it
Season 5 and then they were the champions.
So you know anything's possible. And it just you know, makes - will make these groups, you know work that much harder to get back,
hopefully, for Season 3 because there's only room for so many groups.
Q. Right. Well - but how long is this casting process? How long does it take you to narrow down 600 groups? I mean you and your
team of people of course, to narrow it down, 600 groups to 10?
Joel Gallen: Well it's probably about a 90 day process -- probably three months, you know through production, traveling,
reviewing, you know coming back and going through the process. I can't give you an exact calendar, but I would say it's approximately a
three month process.
Q. Nick Lachey, this one's for you. Although all of my questions about the show have been answered. So I'm just curious, what are
some of your favorite go-to romantic songs?
Nick Lachey: Gosh, there - you know there are obviously countless songs that fall into that category.
You know I could probably most easily answer it this way; aside from all 98 Degree songs, (unintelligible) make the perfect wedding
songs. But Sade is my favorite, you know my favorite kind of romantic artist out there.
There's no better concert I've ever been to in terms of romance and vibe than the Sade concert. So pretty much anything she sings,
especially live, would fall into that category.
Q. Nick, congratulations on your engagement. Any chance you might pick one of the a capella groups to perform at your wedding?
Nick Lachey: I haven't gotten so far as to even, you know, even get into the planning stages of that. But yes, you know what? I'd
be honored. You know they're all incredibly talented. And so yes, I...
Joel Gallen: I can get you a good - Nick, I can get you a good price on one of them. So if you do decide that.
Nick Lachey: Do you manage the winner Joel? Should I go - I should go to you?
Joel Gallen: No, no -- only for weddings. Only for weddings.
Nick Lachey: Yes, you know what it's - that's a great suggestion there. You know, they've all done such great work. And so yes,
not a bad suggestion. I might take that one.
Q. All right, cool. And also, with the wedding planning and Season 2 of The Sing-Off and all your various projects, do you find it
difficult finding time to work out?
Nick Lachey: To work out?
Q. Do you have any fitness secrets that you could share with our readers?
Nick Lachey: You know what, honestly for me it's - that's the one thing that more than anything helps me clear my head. You
know, I tend to do my best thinking - which isn't saying too much, but do my best thinking when I'm running. So I - yes, it's something I
always find a way to work in.
Q. This first question is actually for Joel, "I've heard this question kind of asked a little bit today, but I haven't heard anything specifically
about the show. What changes and similarities can audiences actually find in the second season of The Sing-Off?"
Joel Gallen: Well you know, there are - because there are ten groups, because there's one extra show, there's more challenges.
So I think we opened it up to a few more genres of music than we had last season. I think that's probably the biggest change.
And I think that the - as far as other changes go, I mean we have you know, obviously the same type of format, and the same judges
obviously. And the process of narrowing down the groups from ten groups to the finals, that go to the finalists, is the same process.
And then of course at the end, after the last - after the fourth episode, the actual champion will be picked by the home audience.
So to be honest with you, main change is the fact that we have more music on the show and more groups. And we also have more
opening numbers because last season we didn't have one every - we didn't open every show with a big group opening number.
This season all five episodes will open with a big, you know, a full-on opening production number, with every member of every group
Joel Gallen: So I'd say that - those are the biggest changes.
And then of course, as Nick and I keep saying in this thing, the other change is that we feel like we have, truthfully the ten best a capella
groups in the country.
Joel Gallen: You know we really feel like, that everybody came to this year that would - you know, that you know, some of
which might have been, you know staying on the sidelines last year, I think they all came out. And I think we really found, you know the
cream of the crop in a capella.
Q. Very nice. Nick this one goes to you, "What qualities do you think the judges - or know for a fact, do you think the judges look for
when they're actually voting for members?"
Nick Lachey: Sorry I - somebody hit a redial in there; I missed the middle of your question?
Q. That's fine. What qualities do judges actually look for when they're voting each performance?
Nick Lachey: Well honestly that'd be a, you know question for them. I would suppose that it's - you know it's a lot of different
You know, it's obviously blend is huge. I think that, you know intonation - I mean there's a lot of different factors that I think all play into
what makes a great performance. And I think that those factors are all weighed in there.
You know everything from the arrangement to the blend to the intonation to the performance, the visual performance -- I think those
things are - all factor in. And as I said earlier, "I'm thankful that I don't have to make those decisions because I can only imagine how
difficult they are based on the, you know, on the talent we have here in Season 2."
Q. Right. And finally for Joel, seeing your past with America's Best Dance Crew and with The Sing-Off, you seem to be kind of
portraying, dance, music; is there anything else we can kind of look for, like America's Best like Golfing Team or what would - what
should we expect?
Joel Gallen: Well there's a couple more that I can't speak about on this call. But there is one or two more that I think have been
un-tapped and there's an audience for, that maybe you'll hear about some time in the future -- along this kind of structure of a show. But
it won't be America's Best Golf Pro; not from me at least. So - but I like the idea.
Q. Yes Joel, a little contrast here; for American Idol people always agree that the most excruciating parts are the group numbers -- and
even the performers say that. Well I've seen the first two group numbers from the first two shows here; just sensational group numbers
that you guys have here.
Joel Gallen: Well thank you.
Q. And I was wondering, how long did it take you to put that together to make it really work? How long a day do you have rehearsing
that opening number? And what's the trick to getting that many people blurring back and forth and somehow making it work?
Joel Gallen: Well listen it's - truthfully I wish we had more time. I'm happy to get the good review from you about it.
And it's tough and it's not really that big a stage. And especially the earlier episodes, when we have so many groups still in the running.
You know we've got to get all those bodies on stage and we have to block it for camera.
You know, as far as how much time goes, it's sort of a blur to me right now because you know, you're blending in the rehearsal for the
opening number along with the rehearsals of all their individual numbers.
You know I always feel bad for the groups -- I don't feel that bad because obviously they're on a national stage and there's a great
opportunity for them.
But they are working literally from 8:00 in the morning, in some cases until midnight, 1:00 in the morning, you know getting their song
ready, getting whatever choreography they're going to do ready, being on stage with us, camera blocking, trying out - trying on
wardrobe, what they're going to wear and all that.
So you know, the one thing about - you know especially this kind of schedule when you're shooting a lot of shows off - you know, over
a short period of time, you know you have to have - these groups all have to have a tremendous amount of stamina, along with their
passion obviously, to get them through it. Because I'm sure they all go home and sleep for a week when they're all done.
But it's definitely a limited amount of rehearsal, but enough to make you like it. So that I'm happy about.
Q. Okay. And just a real quick one for Nick, "You mentioned auditioning a capella with 98 Degrees in front of Motown. Tell us what
that experience was like; did you do it a capella on purpose or did they specify that? Or you know, because some groups at least bring a
track to sing to or something. What was that experience like for you?"
Nick Lachey: Well no we - it was 100% intentional. And it was nerve racking to say the least, just to step into, you know the
President of Motown's office and just say, "Hey go." You know? And have to perform, and knowing what was at stake.
But you know I think that is also the very same reason why we did a capella and did it, hopefully well, is that - and Joel said this earlier, I
mean it's the one kind of music where there's nowhere to hide. There's no one to hide behind. One single member drops the ball and the
whole thing comes derailed.
So you know, we always feel like, "Hey, if we can walk in and sing a capella and just at the drop of a hat start snapping our fingers and
do what we do, that's the way we'll be able to show our true talent."
And I think it, you know it clearly worked. They were impressed enough that they signed us based on that audition. I think Boyz II Men
did a very similar thing, you know when they sang for Michael Bivins, and it was Bell Biv DeVoe back in the day.
So you know this is a - there's really nowhere to hide with a capella; you either have the talent and the chops and the work ethic to pull it
off well -- and all these groups on the show do -- or you don't. And that becomes very apparent and very quickly.
Q. Hi there Joel. I wanted to know how difficult it was to reunite all the original judges? And how pleased were you when they were all
able to sign?
Joel Gallen: It was - well you know we were very lucky in the sense that it wasn't that difficult because they all love the show and
they all were certainly itching to get back. And when we finally got the announcement from NBC that we were coming back, basically it
was just a phone call to each of them and they were all thrilled to come back.
So I'd like to make up this long story for some intense negotiations and a lot of back and forth and all that stuff, and it took us you know,
weeks and months to do it. But it really - they really love the show. And I think that shows in their performance.
And I think we sort of carved a little niche last year in some of the press we got, in that they - that we were one of the few shows that
really weren't sitting there, just you know, being harsh to a lot of our competitors. Instead they were, you know they - if somebody
wasn't that good, or wasn't good enough, they would - it would come in the form of constructive criticism.
And it was more, you know I think more - they spun it more in a positive way than in a negative way, which was sort of refreshing. And I
think the judges all appreciated that kind of feedback, because you know that's who they are.
I think they're all great singers, and they're all very talented musicians that we have. And along with Nick, when you think about it all four
of our, you know our celebrities on the show, are all you know, very, very, very good singers. And I don't know if other singing shows
can say the same thing.
So they're all experts in their field and so when they're giving comments and constructive criticism or even praise, there's a lot - that goes
a long way as far as, you know, meaning so much to these groups because they know they're getting this feedback from people that
really know the trade, know the art, very well.
So - but getting back to your original question; not difficult at all, they were all thrilled to come back.
Q. That's so good to hear.
Joel Gallen: Yes.
Q. And for Nick, following up on the engagement, I wanted to see if Vanessa was a fan of the show originally and if she sings at all?
Nick Lachey: Yes. I mean definitely she was a fan of the show and had a chance to come and witness first hand, you know the
sound of these groups.
And I've never met anyone really, quite frankly, in my life that loves music so much as she does. And you know, having worked as a VJ
at MTV for years and years, is exposed to music constantly and she just, she loves it.
And she does sing, although I think she'd be the first to admit, not especially well. That's - that is not her strong suit. But she does love
music more than anyone I know. So she's a huge fan of the show.
Q. That's perfect.
Joel Gallen: So wait a second; we're not going to be able to do that Sonny & Cher duet I was going to pitch you, I Got You
Babe, with...No? Okay, okay.
Nick Lachey: We're working on it. We're working on it.
Joel Gallen: All right.
Q. Sounds great. And how does it feel in general, to be engaged?
Nick Lachey: It's very exciting. Yes, we're - you know, we're obviously extremely happy and looking forward to, you know, to
everything that the future brings for us. So very excited and just enjoying the moment.