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Nick Lachey is getting his game on tonight in Clash of the Choirs, a weeklong live celebrity choral competition. Nick handpicked 20 singers from his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, to compete against four other choirs lead by heavy weight recording artists Patti LaBelle and Michael Bolton, country superstar Blake Shelton and Destiny Child’s alum Kelly Rowland. The winning team will donate the $250,000 grand prize to improving their community. My high school show choir was never quite like this!

I caught up with Nick last night at the show’s dress rehearsal, where the former boy band star told me his group is up for the vocal challenge. “They’re motivated. They’ve worked too hard to come up here and lay an egg,” Nick laughed.

The choirs will perform a variety of musical styles including gospel, rock and country. On Wednesday night, the remaining teams will perform holiday music. Nick’s advice for his team to go the distance? “Be yourselves,” he shared with me. “Just because it’s live TV, you’ve been performing great, so keep doing what you’ve been doing and have fun. If they’re up on stage and loving what they’re doing, people at home are going to read and admire that and hopefully vote for them.”

Nick’s hoping to get his own cheering section in the form of girlfriend Vanessa Minnillo, who might pop up in Clash’s studio audience over the next four nights. “You never know where she will turn up,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Clash of the Choirs begins Monday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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