06/11/2013 08:11 am ET

'The Winner Is...' Preview: Singers Have The Option To Take Some Money And Run (VIDEO)

NBC is hoping to have dominant singing competitions on the air year-round. While "The Voice" is wrapping up, the network kicked off its summer entry, "The Winner Is..." This series gives contestants a chance to opt out for cash, while leaving their fate entirely in the hands of the studio audience.

Singers perform head-to-head in front of 101 music lovers who then vote on the act they like the best. The numbers go up on the screen -- with 101 voters there will always be a winner (51-50 in the closest possible scenario). After seeing the numbers, but before they know who got which score, host Nick Lachey offers the singers a chance to take some money and run.

If they take the cash, though, they lose out on the chance to advance in the competition. Throughout the night, everyone was feeling confident and passing on the quick cash, which meant broken hearts -- and broke contestants -- along the way. In the final round, though, one group took the payout. the Kalama Brothers and Katie Ohh split the vote 91-10, and the Brothers were pretty sure it didn't go their way. So they took the $50,000 offer.

It was a good thing they did, as Katie won the vote and moves on to the show's finals for a chance at a $1 million grand prize. But does "The Winner Is..." have what it takes to be a winner for NBC? The Washington Times wasn't impressed, calling it just another useless talent competition.

But Gossip & Gab thought NBC might have something here. "There's something very practical about the idea of people singing to win money," they wrote. "I think this will be a nice filler once 'The Voice' is over. NBC may have its problems, but coming up with not one, but two smart vocal competitions that are distinct from American Idol is pretty impressive.”

"The Winner Is..." airs another preview episode next Monday in advance of its official series premiere on Thursday, July 11.

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