It is a revision of the page for the mythical singing competition song Sing for the World that I created here last year. This new version contains specific information on competition rules and formats, when the live shows would have begun and ended, and what would have happened moving forward. I also reduced the size of the world tour to a more manageable two months. The new "tour" still covered 40 cities in 23 countries on six continents.
This was revised again on Jan. 18, 2014 to change the British singer's last name to one I liked better. And besides, I'd used "butt" enough times already.:) Then, just minutes later, I removed Boston from the tour and replaced it with Atlanta.
Sing for the World is a competition show co-created by Hollywood producer Joel Gallen and former European Broadcast Union executive Bjorn Rehnquist. The EBU organizes the Eurovision Song Contest on which this is based.
In 2009, the show debuted with simultaneous TV programs in 38 countries and territories - Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.
Each country has its own format and rules. Here's how it worked in the U.S.:
In 2009, the competition began with open auditions in 10 U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, Dallas, Denver, Miami, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon. The top four acts in each city advanced to the next round. Both solo acts and groups were eligible; all participants had to be at least 13 years old (although one group member could be as young as 12).
From there, the 40 acts advanced to the next round, called the "chorus challenge." Each act was limited to a 30-second performance, which in most cases was the chorus of a popular song. After that, the three judges ("head coach" Matt Pinfield, Brian McKnight, and Colbie Caillat) picked the following 24 acts to move on to live shows at the Tribune Studios in Hollywood:
- Buddy Wayne Barefoot (country)
- Lauren Bendykowski (folk rock)
- betaBOOZEbrain (straight-edge punk)
- Bird & Fly (R&B duet)1
- Blinky Blink (rap/dance)
- Bubba Brister (blues/gospel)
- Terrell Hightower (reggae)
- Hootie & the Owls ("beach music")
- Bubbles Hernandez (Latin Mexican)
- Amber LaBelliard (Cajun)
- Melanie MacMelville (hard-edge pop)
- Malibu (boy band)
- Georgia Mae McGlory (gospel)
- Pinky McPipkin (rockabilly)
- Carly Pineda (opera)
- Brittany Raylene (bluegrass/country)2
- RBNL (doo-wop)
- The Real Blondie (pianist)
- Gaynell Robinson (country)
- Rockin' Robin and the Railbirds (all-female rock)
- Potter Stewart, Jr. (standards)
- Matthew Traylor (contemporary Christian)
- Ultimate Dreamz (tribute girls' group)
- Caryn Warner (rock guitar)
2Changed name from Brittany Spears between audition and top-40 round
The acts that advanced went to live shows that aired on ABC, hosted by Shandi Finnessey. The show debuted on May 25 with the top 40 named on the June 8 episode, the live shows beginning on June 15, and the live finale on Aug. 11.
Barefoot and 37 other national winners advanced to the World Finals at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 25, 27, and 30. Fourteen acts competed in the semifinals on the first two dates, with the top seven moving on to the final on the last date to join Barefoot and five others who drew a bye. Of course, Barefoot won the competition, with Hayley McBroom (Australia) second and Little Miss B (Germany) third.
After the world finals wrapped up, Barefoot received a world tour as part of the overall prize package.
- Sep. 17 Paris - Omnisports Bercy
- Sep. 19 London - The O2 Arena
- Sep. 20 Manchester - Manchester Arena
- Sep. 22 Stockholm - Ericsson Globe
- Sep. 24 Rotterdam - Ahoy Rotterdam
- Sep. 25 Hamburg - The O2 World
- Sep. 26 Berlin - The O2 World
- Sep. 28 Prague - The O2 Arena
- Sep. 29 Vienna - Sportpaleis
- Oct. 1 Milan - Mediolanum Forum
- Oct. 3 Istanbul - Sinam Erdan Dome
- Oct. 4 Tel Aviv - Nokia Arena
- Oct. 8 Johannesburg - Standard Bank Arena
- Oct. 11 Rio de Janeiro - HSBC Arena
- Oct. 13 Mexico City - Palacio de los Deportes
- Oct. 15 San Juan - Coliseo José Miguel Agrelot
- Oct. 17 Atlanta - Philips Arena
- Oct. 18 Washington, DC - Verizon Center
- Oct. 19 New York City - Madison Square Garden
- Oct. 21 Montreal - Bell Centre
- Oct. 22 Toronto - Air Canada Centre
- Oct. 23 Detroit - Joe Louis Arena
- Oct. 25 Chicago - United Center
- Oct. 26 Nashville - Bridgestone Arena
- Oct. 28 San Antonio - AT&T Center
- Oct. 29 Kansas City - Sprint Center
- Oct. 31 Denver - Pepsi Center
- Nov. 2 Las Vegas - MGM Grand Garden
- Nov. 3 Los Angeles - Staples Center
- Nov. 5 San Jose - HP Pavilion at San Jose1
- Nov. 7 Vancouver - General Motors Place2
- Nov. 12 Tokyo - Nippon Budokan
- Nov. 13 Seoul - Jamsil Arena
- Nov. 15 Shanghai - Mercedes-Benz Arena
- Nov. 16 Hong Kong - Asia-World Arena
- Nov. 18 Quezon City - Araneta Coliseum
- Nov. 19 Singapore - Singapore Indoor Arena
- Nov. 21 Sydney - Sydney Super Dome
- Nov. 22 Melbourne - Rod Laver Arena
- Dec. 5 Raleigh - RBC Center (Christmas charity concert)3
2Now known as Rogers Arena
3Now known as PNC Arena
Blondie, who finished fourth in 2009, won the U.S. version of this show in 2011. In May of that year, she traveled to Dubai for the SFTW World Final, but ended up in fifth place. Little Miss B was the overall winner.
Bubba Brister's third try at SFTW paid off on Sep. 9, 2013, when he won the U.S. version at Tribune Studios in Hollywood. Brister had less than a week to prepare for the world final, which took place on Sep. 17, 19, and 22 in Berlin at The O2 World. He finished third, behind Dutch rock band Pinwheel (winner) and British singer Emily Blackborough (runner-up). Blackborough was part of Shakespeare's Piper, which represented the U.K. in 2009.
Due to time constraints, only 20 acts were on the U.S. version in each year. In 2011, the number of open auditions were cut to five, while in '13, all 20 were invited after failing to win past singing competitions (like SFTW, American Idol, and The Voice).