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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Sing On!’ On Netflix, Where Tituss Burgess Hosts An American Version Of The Streamer’s Karaoke Game Show

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Even though the American version of Sing On! was likely produced around the same time (pre-pandemic) as its Spanish and German sister shows, Netflix decided to release the American version last. Were they trying to gauge interest in the live karaoke game show format? Who knows? But, judging by how fun the other two versions are, it seems likely that a Tituss Burgess-hosted American version would just as fun. Read on to find out…

SING ON!: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

Opening Shot: Entering a studio with a crowd already in a party mood, Sing On! host Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) comes in, wearing all white and shades displaying lyrics. He’s singing Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling”.

The Gist: After Spanish and German versions of Sing On! debuted on Netflix, we finally get the American version of the streamer’s karaoke game show. Burgess is the host here, and the format is the same, except the potential pot is worth $60,000. From our review of the Spanish show, we’ll repeat the gameplay:

The format is pretty straightforward: Six contestants try to sing a song as accurately as possible; the percentage of notes that they got right is calculated by a “voice analysis system,” which compares the notes to the original recording. The percentage of notes the contestants got right determines how much of the available money for that round ($10,000 or $20,000) gets put in the bank that gets awarded to the winner of the episode.

At the end of the song, the singer with the highest percentage of made notes moves on and can’t be voted off. Then the remaining contestants lock in their votes to see who should leave the stage. The contestant with the highest vote total leaves the stage, but is invited to hang out and party on the second level. The strategy employed is to either vote for the strongest competition or vote off the weakest singer, hoping that the strongest singers will make the pot bigger.

In the final two rounds, who’s eliminated is determined purely on the score the voice analysis system gives them. During the final round, the contestant who did the best job during the previous round gets to pick one of two songs for both of them to sing. Also included are “Tituss Bucks,” a $500 bonus that Burgess gives to a contestant he thinks knocks their performance out of the park, and in one round, if each contestant can hit and hold their designated “golden note,” they each get a $1000 bonus.

Every episode has a theme; one is “Movie Night,” another is “’80s Mixtape” (sounds right up our alley!), “Country”, “Summer Anthems,” “Chart-Toppers” and more. The first episode is called “Party Playlist.”

Sing On!
Photo: Netflix

What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Sing On! Spain and Sing On! Germany, of course.

Our Take: Sing On! is pretty much identical to its Spanish and German cousins, right down to the set (they’re likely all filmed in the same studio). Burgess is a natural pick to host a show like this, because he’s a great singer, and can improvise very well. He gave every contestant equal amounts of emcee love, and was able to get the crowd into the show right away, a key to the party atmosphere this show is supposed to foster.

What’s interesting is that, despite the fact that all the songs are in English, as opposed to the other versions’ mix of American and native songs, the American singers had more problems hitting the right notes than the singers did in the Spanish version, for instance. Remember, the voice analysis system isn’t interested in riffing; it just registers people who come in on time and match the melody. In the first episode, out of a possible $60,000 pot, only $39,550 was at stake for the winner. That translates to about a 66% accuracy percentage — actually less, given how the final two money rounds were worth double the first two rounds. You could hear that most of the singers were too busy trying to hit notes than to actually sing well, despite having decent voices.

Like with the Spanish version, we were more interested in the meter and percentage at the bottom of the screen, distracting us from people’s performances — each contestant is given a random set of lyrics to sing, then there are sections where they all sing. What we do know is that the Spanish version felt more fun, and the contestants felt more together, than they did in this version. And don’t get us started on the voting; at least here, the contestants more consistently tried to take out the best singers, despite the fact that the best singers would help make the pot bigger. We’re not sure which strategy we’d go with; we guess it depends on how confident we are in our ability to win.

Like with the Spanish version, though, the best two singers ended up competing for the pot, so in the end it came out the way we expected. But getting there was a bit on the awkward side.

Sex and Skin: Nothing. Like with the other versions, this is something the whole family can watch.

Parting Shot: The winner wins, the other contestants congratulate the winner, and Burgess says there are more songs and contestants coming right up… because Netflix will just roll into the next episode if you don’t hit “Watch Credits.”

Sleeper Star: The band brings the party up a notch, just the same as the band at a bar’s live karaoke night might do.

Most Pilot-y Line: Nothing stands out.

Our Call: STREAM IT. Like its international counterparts, Sing On! is light and fun and a show that you can easily binge if you just want to enjoy watching people singing for prizes.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and elsewhere.

Stream Sing On! On Netflix

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Vanessa Bryant Fires Back at Her Mom’s Shocking Claims

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Eight months after Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash, his widow Vanessa Bryant is facing some serious family drama.

Vanessa’s mom Sofia Laine made shocking claims in a new TV interview with the Univision program “El Gorda y La Flaca.” During the sitdown interview, Sofia accused Vanessa of forcing her to move out of the Irvine home in which she had been living and also requesting that Sofia return a car.

Laine told reporter Dave Valadez in Spanish, “She told me, ‘I need you to get out of this house.’ She also told me that she wanted her car and she wants it now.”

It is unclear what led to Vanessa and Sofia’s falling out, and when it happened.

In response to Sofia’s allegations, Vanessa said in a statement to the show, “My husband and daughter passed away unexpectedly, and yet my mother had the audacity to do a television interview speaking negatively of me while shedding tears for a car and a house that were not in her name.”

Vanessa continued, “She has removed all her diamond jewelry, emptied the apartment I provided, and put away the furniture to make it look like she doesn’t have my support. My husband and I have supported her financially for the past 20 years, and continue to do so, in addition to her monthly alimony.”

According to Vanessa, her mom “has not been physically present or emotionally supportive of my daughters or me” since Kobe and Gianna’s tragic passings.

Vanessa concluded her statement, saying, “Now I see what is most important to my mother and it’s more than painful. I hope that everything that is coming out about our personal relationship ends here.”

In February, Us Weekly reported that Sofia and Vanessa were “incredibly close.” A source claimed, “Her mom is always with her and the girls [Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months] and she’s been keeping Vanessa strong and she’s the weight of her support system. Vanessa takes solace in the support of her mom and her sister [Sophie Laine], who are committed to seeing her through this. But at the end of the day, there aren’t words to describe her feelings.”

In other news, Vanessa has just filed a lawsuit against the L.A. County Sheriff Department over shared crash-scene photos.

The court documents, obtained by TMZ, claimed, “no fewer than 8 sheriff’s deputies at the crash site, pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches. The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.”

The lawsuit accuses Sheriff Alex Villanueva of attempting to cover it up by telling deputies to delete the photos to avoid disciplinary actions.

According to the lawsuit, Villanueva never told the families about the photos’ existence. Instead, survivors learned of the possibl existence of the gruesome photos via media reports.

Citing emotional distress, the papers said, “Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online.”

Vanessa is suing for unspecified damages, including punitive damages.

TMZ reached out to the Sheriff’s Department, but have not heard back.

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This Ultra-Cute Pajama Set Is a Dreamer’s Best Friend

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Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.

The coziest, comfiest, most relaxing place in the entire world? Your bed. Fuzzy blankets and quilted comforters, pillows upon pillows upon pillows, a cloud-like mattress…it doesn’t get any better than that. When you plop down in your bed at the end of the day, makeup off and skincare applied, you can just feel your worries melting away.

The one thing missing from this scenario? Your outfit. Not to ask you what you’re wearing like we’re creeping on you in a late ’90s AIM chatroom, but really — what are you wearing when you climb into bed at night? A stripped-down version of whatever you wore during the day? An old tee and sweats that have had holes in them for months, or even years? Why not some cute pajamas instead?

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Get the Saslax Loungewear Pajama Set for just $31 at Amazon with free shipping! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, September 22, 2020, but are subject to change.

Owning this pajama set will make bedtime even more luxurious and soothing than it already is. Much more adorable too. The matching top and bottom have a loose, cozy fit, but they aren’t so big that you’ll be swimming in them. They’re even flattering enough to wear out and about!

These PJs are soft, stretchy and perfect for lounging around. The top has long sleeves and a round neckline, while the shorts have an elasticized waistband with a drawstring so you can adjust the fit whenever you want. They have pockets too, which automatically boosts them up to the top of our wish list!

Saslax Loungewear Pajama Set
Amazon

See it!

Get the Saslax Loungewear Pajama Set for just $31 at Amazon with free shipping! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, September 22, 2020, but are subject to change.

The second you start to accessorize, these pajamas become fit for the real world. As you can see, even just adding a headband and a dash of lipstick will change the game. Now imagine what will happen when you add some white sneakers or even some leather flats? A fashion moment – that’s what!

These pajamas come in a handful of different colors including some cool tie-dye variations should those suit your style. There are tons of other similar pajamas also on the same Amazon page if you want to check the rest out. Once you discover the power of owning cute, comfy, matching pajamas, there’s no going back!

See it!

Get the Saslax Loungewear Pajama Set for just $31 at Amazon with free shipping! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, September 22, 2020, but are subject to change.

Not your style? Shop more sleep and loungewear here! Don’t forget to check out all of Amazon’s Daily Deals as well to help fill up your cart!

Check out more of our picks and deals here!

This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as face masksself tannersLululemon-style leggings and pretty much anything about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.

The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping!

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How PEN15 Threw A Convincing 2000s Pool Party, Down To The Boy Shorts

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By Sara Radin

PEN15 is officially back for its second season on Hulu, and it’s still seventh grade for best friends forever Anna and Maya, played by 33-year-old writer-creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine inhabiting 13-year-old versions of themselves. Just like in the first season, the middle school memories and pre-teen outfits definitely do not disappoint.

Season 2 finds the BFFs attending a co-ed pool party just days after their secret closet rendezvous with seventh-grade heartthrob Brandt during the school dance that closed the previous finale. For the splashy occasion, Anna wears a denim print swimsuit with a zip down the middle while Maya rocks a floral printed handkerchief-style top with ties. Both looks feature boy shorts, a swimsuit staple for adolescent women in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I myself am guilty of owning plenty.

While their swimwear may seem rather simple, costume designer Melissa Walker explains that it required a lot of creativity to squeeze the stars’ adult bosoms into the suits so their bodies look like that of seventh-grade girls. This is a challenge Walker has run into since the show debuted in 2019, but luckily she’s since been able to upgrade from ACE bandages to compression tanks and bandeau tops. These details are also what make the lead characters’ actions so compelling: From wearing muscle costumes and trying to join the boys wrestling team to practicing witchcraft while rocking thick eyeliner and necklaces made from hair, Maya and Anna always stay true to themselves.

Hulu

Walker likens the process of working with Erskine and Konkle to a “slumber party” because of how it also gives her an opportunity to dip into her own middle school memories and wardrobe. “Maya and Anna are so collaborative, and it’s like, ‘Oh, here’s a very specific memory from my childhood. Here’s one from yours,’” she tells MTV News. “And it’s just nice to cook them all in the pot and see what the most embarrassing soup is that we can make.”

Below, Walker talks about the process of building out the stars’ wardrobes and why she loves working with the IRL best friends so much.

MTV News: What has your process been for building the wardrobe out for the characters?

Melissa Walker: When we started, I went ahead and bought a bunch of YM and Seventeen magazines from like 1997 to 2000 so that we could still see what the kids [saw], who were a few years behind or got hand-me-downs from their older siblings, which is the case with Maya and those more on top of trends. There was such a variance between going through these teen magazines and seeing what the fashion sense actually was versus how that’s interpreted by a high schooler or even a middle schooler, because it’s just so different.

I’m a few years older than Anna and Maya. So I looked through my yearbooks and even thought about the way I translated trends versus how you do in seventh grade. Like, it’s usually right before your first job, so you don’t have money to buy anything on your own, and your parents have much more of an input into what’s going on. That was a big factor, especially with Maya’s mom being a little more overbearing, and then there’s Anna’s parents going through the divorce and being distracted. So we definitely tried to factor that into the decisions that they made through their wardrobe.

There were also very specific things this season, and last season, that were universal, like Rocket Dogs, Skechers, and low-rise jeans. There were very specific memories for Maya, having grown up in California, that we inserted into the show. And then Anna, all the popular girls in her school — she grew up in Vermont — had the matching Tiffany’s jewelry. So we made sure that all the popular girls had those.

Hulu

MTV News: What were some of the challenges you’ve run into with trying to make them look like seventh graders?

Walker: The first episode they threw at me this year was a pool party. We ended up building these bathing suits with compression in it already. We made Anna a denim pocket print tankini suit with spandex and boys shorts. I remember one of my friends had something similar but it was a handkerchief top. Then the bottoms that Maya had, they were little boy shorts, but I specifically added strings on the side. Back then, you’d wear them long so when you left the house, your mom thought you were being a good kid and then soon as you get to pool or beach you’d hike it up thinking that showing another inch or two inches of your thigh was sexy, but it ended up just bunching and looking like a diaper.

Sometimes I’d have to do very quick fittings with them for a specific outfit in between scenes, and when they’re not wearing the bra, you can see a difference in their posture and how it helps them change into their characters.

MTV News: That sounds like such a fun thing to witness.

Walker: The best part of it is that they’re just willing to go for it. One time there was a pair of MUD jeans, and I was like, oh, these might be a little too small. And they’re like, “No, we want the muffin top. We want that. We want the cringe. We want the embarrassment.” They’re not afraid of pushing it as far as they can go. And that freedom for a costume designer is such a treasure.

Hulu

MTV News: So in terms of sourcing the pieces, did you pull from thrift stores? Did you mainly create the pieces that they wore?

Walker: We did a few different things. Season 1, we definitely did a lot of Goodwill and thrifting. The ‘90s were popular, but Y2K wasn’t old enough to not be cool, but not old enough to be cool again. So I was able to find a lot of what I was looking for thrifting or on eBay and just in the time since then, the items I was looking at on eBay went from like $30 to $300. And now there’s this resurgence of specific Y2K fashions, so finding things was definitely more of a challenge.

The price point of all the vintage went up, but then we got to do a lot more collaboration with companies because, you know, Tommy Hilfiger, Lucky jeans, and Skechers — they’ve all started revamping older styles. I got to reach out to some different brands and actually have them send me some of their archived graphics from like 1999 and 2000 so I could reprint them. It was fun to get to collaborate with bigger brands and designers. And then this year we got to make more of the garments too, because we had to have multiples of a lot of things this year for different gags and whatnot. For example, we actually had to remake the Tommy Hilfiger shirt Maya, Anna, and Maura ended up all sharing.

MTV News: That’s so cool. And you mentioned that there’s an actual clothing collaboration, right? 

Walker: We’re making a PEN15-inspired clothing line and right now that’s just launched. Once we started shooting this year, the girls were obsessed with their bathing suits and they were like, “We need to make these.” And so we had intended on making a clothing company, and I was putting together my pitch, but then everything shut down with COVID and no one wanted to invest in the clothing line. So I actually partnered with a factory in downtown [Los Angeles], and we’re creating a program now to help encourage more designers to make clothing lines inspired by their work on the big screen.

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