Sing Your Face Off

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Sing Your Face Off TV Poster Image
Viewers will tune out silly celebrity vocal contest.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Contestants imitate performers' appearances, vocal styles, and trademark moves in ways that sometimes seem like they're poking fun at them but are necessary for the overall effect. Jon Lovitz wears a suit that makes him look heavier to become Luciano Pavarotti, and Lisa Rinna uses oversized inserts to replicate Dolly Parton's breasts, for instance. On the plus side, the show challenges contestants to step out of their comfort zones, and they obviously have fun doing so.

Positive Role Models & Representations

None of the participants takes himself or the contest too seriously, and the judges are mostly kind in their remarks. It's evident that the show is more about entertainment than it is about any one person claiming victory over the others. 

Violence
Sex

Female performers wear skimpy outfits and gyrate suggestively when they're in character. In some cases, their costumes call for body enhancements like larger breasts, which inspires conversation and a few jokes. 

Language

Occasionally "damn" in song lyrics. Stronger stuff like "f--k" is bleeped. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sing Your Face Off is a lighthearted reality competition in which celebrities impersonate a variety of famous singers from Willie Nelson to Pitbull. The show is pure candy for the entertainment eye, so if you're looking for something with at least a hint of a positive message, you won't find it here. Dance moves often include groin thrusts and other suggestive moves, and prosthetics accentuate certain body features (Dolly Parton's breasts, for instance), which get plenty of attention. Language is another concern ("damn" is audible in song lyrics, but "f--k" is edited), although it's sporadic. 

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What's the story?

Entertainment stars such as Lisa Rinna, China Anne McClain, and Jon Lovitz match wits onstage in a no-holds-barred impersonation competition called SING YOUR FACE OFF. Contestants are assigned new singing subjects for each episode and work with experts to match the look, sound, and stage presence of the likes of Rihanna, Elton John, and Michael Jackson. Celebrity judges Darrell Hammond and Debbie Gibson are joined by a new guest panelist each episode to score the contestants' efforts.

Is it any good?

Hosted by John Barrowman, Sing Your Face Off takes the familiar singing competition format to a whole new level of monotony. It devotes an entire hour to only a handful of performances and fills the time in between with meandering clips of the contestants stumbling through dance class and applying prosthetics. Worse yet are the judges' inconsequential remarks and arbitrary scoring process, which clearly exist to fill time between segments. And, because there's seemingly no prize for the winner, the whole thing feels like a preschooler's game of dress-up run amok.

To their credit, the contestants put forth valiant efforts in the roles they play, even when the pairings transcend the ridiculous. Eighties rock screamer Sebastian Bach as Lady Gaga? Lisa Rinna as Justin Bieber? When a singing show stoops to gender-bending as a comic mainstay, it's time to question its point. Yes, some performances do surprise in a good way, and it's always fun to see celebs step outside their comfort zones. But ultimately Sing Your Face Off amounts to 60 minutes of frivolity that's more about the contestants having fun than the audience's enjoyment. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reality show genre. Why is it so popular? What, if any, value does a show like this one have for viewers? How real is "reality" TV? Do you think viewers believe what they see in unscripted series? 

  • Why do you think these celebrities took part in this show? Do you think they'll win any fans by their participation? Do you think it's true that all publicity is good publicity when you're a star? 

  • Is there a topic that hasn't been explored by the entertainment industry? Is there a market for one that you can think of? Is there learning potential in it? 

TV details

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For kids who love reality shows

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