Members of UF’s No Southern Accent might soon take their talents to television.
The 16-person coed a cappella group is in talks with the associate producer of Animal Planet’s “Ghostland Tennessee” and the founder of Smith Multimedia Entertainment LLC, Ben Smith, about starring in a reality show based on the 2012 hit comedy “Pitch Perfect.”
C.J. Wittus, the president of No Southern Accent, said the similarities between the movie and the reality of a cappella life might surprise viewers.
“They want to present what is becoming a college norm to the public so they can see what it’s actually like to be part of an a cappella group,” said the 22-year-old UF criminology senior.
Smith declined to comment, but Wittus said he believes the show would begin filming early next year, subject to UF approval. It would take place in Gainesville and follow group members through the auditioning process, tri-weekly practices, competitions and gigs, he said.
After one of the busiest and most exciting years the group has had, Wittus said being discovered by Smith Multimedia seemed like a reward. The group participated in producer auditions with “America’s Got Talent,” sang on a Royal Caribbean cruise and won ICCA, the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.
Although Wittus said the group is like a family, some members were not convinced the close-knit dynamic would protect it from the pressures of reality TV.
Spencer Jordan, a second-year No Southern Accent member, said reality shows tend to focus more on drama than what the show is actually about.
“It’s really funny to watch, but generally that’s not something I’d want to be a part of,” the 20-year-old UF family, youth and community sciences sophomore said. “The camera can do some weird things to people.”
However, the group met last week to address potential concerns about the show and decided it was worth the risk.
“I don’t really know what kind of opportunity it is or what doors it opens for us, but it’s definitely an experience,” Jordan said, “and pretty once-in-a-lifetime.”
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 3/27/2014 under the headline "A ca-awesome: UF singers talk potential reality show deal"]