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The Sing-Off: Episode 1

Wow. It's been a while since I updated. This quarter kicked my ass, you guys. It kicked my ass hard. After my Video Production final tomorrow, I am going drinking with my group from that class and no, I do not give a shit that it will be 12:30. I need that drink. I have Video Production II next quarter.

Last night I was in the editing room with said video group working on our final project and luckily, I got home in time to watch the return of my favorite reality competition show The Sing-Off.

One of the reasons I have been loving the introduction of the Warblers to Glee is that I am a GIANT a cappella nerd. I did choir for five years and I wish I had gotten the chance to do a cappella just once. There’s something so powerful about it – I am constantly in awe of what these groups can do with just their voices.

Here are my thoughts by group:

Eleventh Hour
"Baby" - Justin Beiber

If last season kind of nudged us in the side and whispered, "We're capitalizing on the success of Glee", this season is screaming it at us. A rag tag group of high schoolers from Ohio who step out of their normal cliques and come together for a love of music? How obvious can you get? Don't get me wrong - those kids are talented, even if I highly object to their song selection (Justin Beiber makes them come off more as middle schoolers than high school students). But they’re also raw talent; Ben had a point when he said that some of it was not as nailed as it could have been. The kind of control they need is something that they have time to learn.

On The Rocks
"Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga

I can't help but get a feeling of The Beelzebubs 2.0 from them, but overall they were fun and really talented. Since I had already seen their cover of "Bad Romance" on YouTube, I was a little bored (though I'm obviously not going to argue against it being their signature song). I look forward to seeing them on Wednesday.

Groove for Thought
"I Wish" - Stevie Wonder

I like them. I like them a lot. They sound great, the jazz style was interesting, and their arrangement worked really well. They will not come close to winning this competition. It's not just money and a title up for grabs here - there's also a recording contract. Which means the group that wins has to be marketable. Their performance, while good, was outdated and the audience was definitely not feeling it.

Pitch Slapped (ELIMINATED)
"Good Girls Go Bad" - Cobra Starship

Gonna have to agree with the judges here; Pitch Slapped (which is the best group name EVER and they should get a separate prize just for that) brought the enthusiasm and theatrics to their performance like none of the other groups, but their music suffered because of it. The rest of the group felt like background to the leads, when they should be emphasizing them and standing out from them simultaneously. It's hard to explain.

Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town
"Save the Last Dance" - The Drifters

I appreciate the history that having Jerry Lawson from The Persuasions in a group brings to the show. I really do. But these guys were BORING. That is the kiss of death on any reality show. I expect them to be like Maxx Factor of last season - kept around longer than they should be for the sake of history/uniqueness to finally be cut when they need to get down to the real contenders.

The Whiffenpoofs
"Grace Kelly" - Mika

LOVED IT. LOVED IT. Oh, I should say more? Okay. I really enjoyed that they started out sounding traditional before launching into the little more modern music. I love that they played up the stuffiness and penguin suits to the point where it was funny and loose. The lead was awesome and sassy and I loved him. Like Ben, I enjoyed the lack of beatboxing (it's okay, but sometimes it ruins a song - I'll get to that in just a little bit).

If they don't make it to at least the final four I will be upset.

Men of Note (ELIMINATED)
"The Longest Time" - Billy Joel

Yawn. They were good, but so bland. Also, it's funny watching jocks try to dance. I'm pretty sure that the show has a choreographer because a lot of a cappella groups don't do a ton of moving around.

Street Corner Symphony
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" - Tears for Fears

Remember two paragraphs ago when I said that beatboxing could ruin a song? This is where that happened. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is a really mellow song and that feeling comes from the drums not being so intrusive. The beatboxing here ruined that and made it feel rushed. To be honest, I’m really not feeling them as a group anyway.

The Backbeats
“If I Were A Boy” – Beyonce

AMAZING. Most groups choose up-tempo songs because it is so hard to do that melancholy feeling in a cappella without it getting boring, but they really pulled it off. The arrangement was fantastic and really exemplifies the other vocals complimenting the lead instead of taking a back seat.

“This Love” – Maroon 5

I agree with Ben in saying that this is what we’ve been waiting for on the show – for a cappella to bring a new take on a song we already know. This was by far the best performance of the night. I’m calling it right now; they will make it to the final two.

The Judges

I have a music nerd crush on Ben, who always says what I am thinking and sometimes things that I missed.

Shawn is good. He knows his stuff and he’s entertaining. I definitely had a good laugh at him being speechless after Committed’s performance.

If Nicole could go away forever, I would love that. She is the Paula Abdul of the show and every time she opens her mouth I hit the mute button on my remote.



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