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Clash of the Choirs

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Five celebrities have taken on the challenge of piecing together four 20-voice choirs for a charity sing-off.

Recaps by Pierre Kelly, GSNN

Host: Maria Menounos
Choirmasters: Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, Kelly Rowland, Blake Shelton
Creators: Friday TV (based on an original format)
EP: Jason Raff, Paul Telegdy
Packagers: BBC Worldwide Americas, Friday TV
Origin: Steiner Studios, New York

Airs: All this week at 8p ET on NBC


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The Assembly and First Swarm
December 17

December. A month where choirs go caroling, and this show proves why it's part of the holidays. Tonight, we unveil the principles: Patti Labelle, Kelly Rowland, Nick Lachey, Blake Shelton and Michael Bolton. The Mission: Assemble anyone who can sing to form a choir. The objective: Perform songs in any genre. The reward: Anything to win back a community. It's a mission they'll soon forget. Join us now from New York for night one of CLASH....OF THE CHOIRS!

Maria Menounous is the captain to the ship and all of the choirs will do "Living In America" by James Brown to kick it off. How did they get here, and what did they do to deserve the grand prize of $250,000 thanks to the movie "First Sunday?" We start of with Nick Lachey, a founder of 98 Degrees, whose brother is a DWTS season 2 champion. Before we do that, it's a choir sampling "Deck the Halls." Nick goes back to Cincinnati, Ohio, home of the Reds & Bengals as he hops on a trolley to give free ice cream to anyone who can sing. Wish I'd had one for fun. Even the Bengals cheerleaders want to show support for him. 1 girl in the floral print is a nurse who wants to join, but decides to get back to work. AT least, she tried, anyway. 1 was in a chicken suit, 1 was a jump roper, and even a belly dancer showed up. Hey, Halloween was 2 months ago. There was a father & daughter team, one of which has breast cancer, and when his father did "Fly me to the moon," his daughter got the assist. That's future help to all you DFTL fans out there. With 30 in, They split into 3 groups, and Nick chose #1 & #2 to make it in. Even Shanda the nurse made it.

They're now on stage to do "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. Here are some facts about the song:

  • It's the theme from "The Hills"

  • Was used in a commercial

They were energetic and ended with: "I Am Unwritten." Of course, the remaining 4 don't want to sit on the bench, they want to judge. And because they get positive reviews, I'll find something that is interesting. Blake thought it was a bit jealous of a father-daughter team. That would be Ariel & Will Underwood who made their mom proud. BTW, Nick's charity is the children's hospital up in the natty.

Kelly Rowland is next. A destiny's child member, the bread of life is her charity to help low income & homeless families with the needs. A scene from "First Sunday" after a commercial later, she heads to Houston, TX, where the Rockets, Texans, and Hilary Duff are. And the radio is where to tell it on. There was one caller who sings, but got hung up. Why? There was one Malaysian named Martin....well, let's name him Martin. I know he's does bad, actually he did good. There was one named X, and I'm not making this one up. He's a dancer. There were some that did the national anthem, but others played ball with her hit, "Survivor." 1 girl relocated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina struck down. She wasn't good, but scores anyway. All were formed and we're ready to go.

After a "Jingle Bells" snippet, they'll do "Freedom" by George Michael. Here's the skinny on it:

  • Originally done by "Wham!"

  • 1990 version remixed, most listed to

The choir used the backup and left the vocal parts out in the chorus. 1 guy in the cowboy hat was soulful and all ended with their fists in the air. Now that's patriotic. And the amazing experience credits to Lindsey Paplaw, the hurricane survivor.

Now, Michael Bolton. 18 years in the biz, and was in bands as a youth. He now plays for the domestic violence services. An "O Christmas Tree" sample later, he races to the mall in New Haven, Conn. with a bullhorn. Did Ty Pennington do that anyway? Moving on, help on the radio was needed and with the auditions set, 1 was a little off but she's not an alto as Michael wanted it to. It got worse, but it picked up steam and Ryan kept the party going. A barbershop quartet was up and 1 tenor was snipped in. Can you guess who? I won't. Lindsey had a good point and was in, but in the Seniors category, it was a 77-year old woman who was in. All were assembled and ready to go.

They'll now do "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi. Facts about the band coming up:

  • Lead singer is owner of AFL's Philadelphia Soul

  • song is from "Slippery When Wet" album

  • band had most marriages & divorces

Michael had that guitar gesture going, but the Senior one named Janet Daygar says singing is still youthful. Haven't look a day over 18.

Blake Shelton is the man. "Austin" propelled him to stardom and lived in a state that had more natural disasters than any state. He's playing for Project Rebuild and we go back to Oklahoma City, OK. Once it got down to it, 1 who was a choirmaster was out. Even one girl was operatic. Talk about the Macaroni Grill. After we see 1 marine, the Hynes Bros. were up. 2 were good, but one says he can't get in without his brother. So it's a double play for both. After 1 nails it, 1 had a pink scarf moved on....okay and some were good, others wasn't. When all were teamed up, 2 from the military joined in. In rehearsal, it didn't sound cool. They forgot an accompanist....oh, they got one.

Before we proceed, the message comes from the troops in Iraq, and GE's Frank Taylor comes in to donate $250 to Disabled American Veterans. That is something to be proud of. Now they'll do "Life is a highway" by Joe Cochran. Here's something you already know about it.

  • Rascal Flatts covered it on the "Cars" Soundtrack

Blake whipped out his guitar to join in. Even Nick knows his brother was in the Army. To round it out, Patti Labelle, and when you talk about her, it's a whopping 40 years in the biz. After a shoutout to the troops, we head to the home of the Sixers, Eagles & Flyers, Philadelphia. John Stanley, his musical director needed help. 1 had a burp....okay and the audition struggled. Some wanted to sing "Lady Marmalade" but Patti says uh-uh. A 30-year old girl lost 140 lbs. and it was no loss for words. Funny people came, but after all that, there was one out of Patti's view. After 20, it was on.

They're the last ones to do "He's got the whole world in his hands" It's a gospel hymn, and they took it to church. And who almost got the scissors? Frank Dicristo tells about it. Even Blake honors her.

We've completed 1/4 of the mission. In a 22-hour timeframe, tune in again as 1 choir is out of the mission. From New York everybody, Good night!