BWW Interviews: JOHN BARROWMAN Talks New ABC Talent Competition SING YOUR FACE OFF
From battling monsters on BBC's 'Doctor Who' to appearing in numerous musicals on Broadway and the West End, John Barrowman has enjoyed success in many realms of the entertainment world. The multi-talented performer has worked in both film and television, including 'The Producers', 'Doctor Who', and it's spin-off, 'Torchwood', along with starring multiple theatrical productions, such as 'The Phantom of the Opera' and 'Miss Saigon'. His extensive background in professional theatre led to his eventual role as a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical talent shows, including 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria'? and 'I'd Do Anything'.
Barrowman now hosts the new talent variety competition 'Sing Your Face Off', during which five celebrities (Lisa Rinna, China Anne McClain, Jon Lovitz, Landry Fields, and Sebastian Bach) will attempt to assume the identity of a musical icon.
This week, BWW was given the oppurtunity to speak with John about 'Sing Your Face Off', and get the scoop on his upcoming projects.
You currently host the new ABC variety competition 'Sing Your Face Off'. Can you tell us a little about the premise of the show?
It's a pure entertainment show where we take celebrities have them choose iconic musical performers that they would like to portray, and then mix those up with performers we would like to see them as. Then we spin a big wheel that chooses which iconic singer they'll be portraying, and they'll need to transform physically, mentally, and vocally into that performer and actually perform as that person. It's hysterical to watch- you're either laughing with them or laughing at them. It's great for me, because this is kind of thing we used to do with my nieces and nephews; dressing up, singing, and putting on shows at Christmas parties and such. It'll be great for the audience to sit back and enjoy family night on ABC on Saturday nights. It's the perfect entertainment variety show!
You've appeared as a judge on various talent search competitions, including 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?' and 'I'd Do Anything'. What was it like to switch roles from judge to host?
Having been a judge, as the host I can guide the judges into saying what they want to say. Sometimes judges are afraid to critique, or say anything that might be deemed as being 'not nice'; I'll know how to get it out of them! Also, having been a judge myself, I can chip in sometimes, and say what I thought about the performance. I really enjoy what I get to do with it!
You played Captain Jack Harkness on the popular BBC series 'Doctor Who', and its spin-off, 'Torchwood'. Is it possible you'll be appearing on 'Doctor Who' sometime in the future?
I have no idea, but actually I'm now contracted with Warner Brothers for the next seven years playing Malcom Merlyn full time. But I've always said that if I'm asked to play Captain Jack again, I would do it at the drop of a hat!
Do you have any other upcoming projects you'd like to tell us about?
I have a new album coming out on June 30th, which is available on iTunes for pre-order. It was funded completely by my fans, which I think is amazing because it's allowed me to record everything from songs like 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri all the way to a traditional Scottish number to a Broadway number. So you've got a variety that reflects my life and my career, along with songs I know my fans would love to hear. Also, I've just finished producing and hosting a show about a veterinary hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, which comes out in the U.K. quite soon. And then of course, I have 'Sing Your Face Off'!
About SING YOUR FACE OFF:
"Sing Your Face Off" is a talent variety competition featuring celebrities who are transformed and trained to perform as a legendary musical icon. Over the course of the series, the five celebrities - Sebastian Bach/legendary rock star from the band Skid Row, Landry Fields/NBA's Toronto Raptors, Jon Lovitz/comedian, actor, singer, China Anne McClain/Disney Channel's "A.N.T. Farm," and Lisa Rinna/"Days of Our Lives" - will take on the identity of an iconic music performer. The celebrities could find themselves transformed into someone far older, younger or even someone of the opposite sex.
From the hours in the makeup chair to the days spent with choreographers and vocal coaches, each show will feature the complete transformation - not just physical - the celebrities will embody everything about the assigned icon - their walk, their talk, and their distinguishing mannerisms leading up to the live performance in front of the studio audience. Viewers will get the chance to see each of the celebrities portray multiple musical performers during the series -- such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Pavarotti, Pitbull, Britney Spears, and Tina Turner to name a few.
John Barrowman ("Arrow," "Torchwood") is the host. Debbie Gibson and Darrell Hammond are the primary judges, while guest judges along the way will include David Allen Grier, RuPaul, Carnie Wilson, Richard Simmons, Tom Arnold, and Carmen Electra.
Based on Endemol's global hit "Your Face Sounds Familiar," "Sing Your Face Off" is produced by Endemol USA. Georgie Hurford-Jones ("America's Got Talent," "Britain's Got Talent") is Executive Producer.
'Sing Your Face Off' airs Saturdays at 9pm on ABC.
Photo credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal