8:01pm PT by Jennifer Konerman
How 'Caraoke Showdown' Compares to "Carpool Karaoke," 'Cash Cab'
Spike has debuted its latest singing-competition show (a la Lip Sync Battle), this time taking its show on the road with unsuspecting performers.
Caraoke Showdown, hosted by Craig Robinson, premiered tonight, following along as the Office alum guided passengers turned contestants through song-inspired games.
Robinson drove around with four teams of players in the game show's first episode, who all competed in karaoke-style games to win prizes along the way. The final two teams made it to the last round to battle for $5,000 by singing karaoke favorites.
Leading up to the premiere, Caraoke Showdown has often been compared to James Corden's similarly named Late Late Show segment, but how similar are they really? Robinson told The Hollywood Reporter that the show is more karaoke-meets-Cash Cab, referring to the Discovery game show in a taxi hosted by comedian Ben Bailey.
See how the three shows compare below.
1. These are not professionals. While James Corden rides around with Grammy winners and the general idea of singing in cars is the same, Spike’s game show features singers of a slightly different talent level. For one game, contestants have to sing along to a song, specifically matching lyrics when the game dictates it. The game's rules never said anything about rhythm or pitch, however. The general Cash Cab setup has stuck around too, with Robinson picking up passengers, asking their destination, revealing they're on a game show and going on to ask the questions.
2. There is a winner. As opposed to "Carpool Karaoke," when Adele and Corden belt out Spice Girls songs and everyone wins, this show has a clear winner, who takes home cold, hard cash, as a matter of fact. Cash Cab's contestants tended to take home cash winnings as well, but Caraoke Showdown's grand-prize winner at the end of each episode wins $5,000 (on top of what he or she already won in round one).
3. Celebrities are there, but they are limited. Caraoke Showdown does feature celebrities singing in a car, which might sound familiar. But when Hollywood faces appear on the Spike show, they're there to help the contestants in a game. And, similar to as in "Carpool Karaoke," they're there to show off their own music, too. For example, in the first episode, Steve Aoki appeared to guide the contestants along a game about identifying songs in a mashup.
4. They have a clear destination. Similar to "Carpool Karaoke," and more so Cash Cab, Robinson is posing as a taxi driver of sorts in order to drive around unsuspecting passengers as they play the games. While Cash Cab was a New York affair, the Spike series moves around from city to city, with locations including New York and Las Vegas.
5. Not all of it actually takes place in the car. Unlike "Carpool Karaoke" and Cash Cab, Robinson's passengers leave the van for round two. Performing a chosen karaoke song to decide the grand-prize winner, the ultimate two teams head to a bar/club/bowling alley of some sort to sing for votes. Like "Carpool Karaoke" and Cash Cab, however, the karaoke/game portion remains in the passenger seat for the duration of the show.