Reality Rocks (New)

‘The Sing-Off’ to Return With New Judge Jewel, Awesome Judge Ben Folds

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

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New "The Sing-Off" judge Jewel [photo: NBC]

In happy news, first announced this past March, one of my favorite not-so-guilty-pleasure TV shows, a cappella competition "The Sing-Off," will be returning to NBC for this year's holiday season. Yay! It's a Christmas miracle!

In additional joyful news, original judge Shawn Stockman (of Boyz II Men fame) and original host Nick Lachey (Shawn's tourmate on the current Boyz II Men/NKOTB/98 Degrees "Package Tour") will also be back on the "Sing-Off" for Season 4.

And in more exciting news for the show, music and reality TV veteran Jewel has signed on as a judge (replacing another singer-songstress, Sara Bareilles). Jewel was once a judge on "Nashville Star" and "Platinum Hit" and a guest judge on "American Idol" Season 5, so she comes to "The Sing-Off" with plenty of experience.

Additionally, Mark Burnett, the producer who made "The Voice" such a smash hit for NBC, will be overseeing "The Sing-Off" next season…which also will hopefully give the once-struggling, now-uncanceled show a boost.

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Returning judges Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman [photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

But, in especially awesome "Sing-Off" news: BEN FOLDS IS COMING BACK!!!! BEN FOLDS IS COMING BACK!!!! BEN FOLDS IS COMING BACK!!!!

Those caplocks were intentional, people. I genuinely, deep-down-in-my-heartedly believe (this is not hyperbole here) that Ben is THE best reality judge this side of Simon Cowell. The piano man, who's actually curated the compilation Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!, clearly knows a thing or two about both good AND bad singing; he is always credible, likable, and tough but fair; and he always offers insightful, genuinely MUSIC-BASED critiques. So-so judges on other shows (Mariah, Britney, J.Lo) could've certainly learned a thing or two from DVRing and studying Ben Folds on "The Sing-Off."

Now please excuse me while I go set my own DVR for "The Sing-Off" Season 4…

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