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Home > Main > The Dutch Sing-Off Finals – Reviewed

The Dutch Sing-Off Finals – Reviewed

by Robert-Jon Eckhardt

Well, here we are. At the other side of the Dutch Sing-Off. Let’s reflect!

Of course, let’s start with the finals themselves, which were slightly unfulfilling to me. Once again I think they did a good job with the format, eliminating two groups after the first round of singing and letting the two remaining groups battle it out in the final round with two huge hits; Jay-Z’s “Empire state of mind” and “End of the road” by Boyz II Men.

But I could’ve done with just a little more drama. (Which means something, coming from someone who despises any form of unnecessary hoo-hah.) This is the final episode and we are talking a Sony recording contract. A special guest-performance would’ve been in place, for instance. But with the shortened broadcasting time of an hour, all we got were six performances, which were good, a few empty jury comments and two instances of unfounded elimination. This one did not go out with a bang.

Wait! – you say – what about the big final performance? Allright, it was nice to see the jury and host performing with all the groups. Tooske can actually sing! And Karin Bloemen brought some great singing action to the stage. But honestly, we’ve seen “Use Somebody” done before, and better, in the second episode. And it would’ve been nice to show some respect to the losing groups by letting them have their solo parts and according screen time.

But let’s not forget about the groups! Heartbeat and Jade got voted out first. Not my picks per se, but I thought any of the four groups deserved to win, or lose, for different reasons. Rumors are going round that Jade is going on tour, with or without iNtrmzzo, and I’ll definitely get myself a ticket. They’ve shown what they can do in a few weeks of rehearsing and I’d love to see them after a few months of that. I’m not so sure about the future of Heartbeat though. We’ll surely hear more from lead-singer Jared, but the group didn’t seem too tight to me.

I thought Sharp did very well overall, but they weren’t able to wow me on enough occasions. I agree on them getting second place. I’m very excited about seeing them live on Bo’s final exams, June 14th in Hengelo. Finally, I thought Gentle Voices made a great winner. Both their renditions of “I wish” and “End of the road” were great, and they’re showing some consistently professional performances. They have the complete package of a tight bond, awesome musicality and a spoonful of charisma. If any of the groups deserves to create an album, it’s them.

So here we are, at the other side of the Dutch Sing-Off. It didn’t go over as well as most of us hoped or expected it to, but I loved every second of it. I sincerely hope SBS gets clear on why such a successful format was able to flop so badly, and doesn’t make the same mistakes again in the future. As for us, we have to cut our losses and see how we can get the best out of this. Overall, there were still close to 400.000 people watching a show about a-cappella music, and some of them must’ve gotten inspired, right? Let’s be open to those people entering the a-cappella world.

I’d like to thank everyone who worked on the show for what they’ve done for the Dutch vocal scene, even though we might not see it just yet. I’d like to thank the participating groups for the risk they took, and the hours of sleep they missed while doing their pioneering work. And especially, I’d like to thank Deke Sharon for being a vocal daddy to everyone who was even remotely interested in the show. For his endless patience in addressing everyone in a personal and friendly manner. And for his inspiring commitment to our kind of music. Thank you.

Sing-Off // out.

Stay tuned with Robert-Jon via his blog http://robert-jon.tumblr.com or follow him via Twitter

Did you see the Dutch version of the Sing-Off? What do you think? Do you think the show would work in your country? We’re looking forward to your comments, views and reviews. And if you’ve not done so already, join the Vocal Blog Facebook group and follow us at Twitter.

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  1. 21. April 2011, 12:50 | #1

    After Robert Dietz (CASA blogger) asked the “flop question” – I asked my Dutch Twitter friends to sum up their impression of the Dutch Sing-Off show in less than 140 characters…here’s the little Twitter dialogue that came out of it:

    >> @rdietz55 (Robert Dietz)
    Question – Dutch Sing-Off wound up flopping? Last I heard it was doing really well. @vocalblog what happened?

    >> @eckie (Robert-Jon Eckhardt
    @rdietz55 1st ep of #thesingoff had great ratings (hyped), but was produced horribly. Half the ppl quit after that one. Downwards from there

    >> @vocalblog (Florian Städtler)
    @eckie can you sum up #singoffnl in a tweet for @rdietz55? (Robert, did you read http://bit.ly/gnfeRn ?) #flop #opportunity #flopportunity ?

    >> @rdietz
    @vocalblog @eckie I did indeed, that’s what prompted the question. Curious if there’s more insight to be had on the reason for the ratings?

    >> @ellenklinkt (Ellen Bakker)
    @vocalblog @maysplace @katiamariamusic @rdietz55 Oof, that’s a challenge! ;-) Let’s see. 1st show, 1.3 million viewers. Screaming ///

    @vocalblog @rdietz55 \\\presenters, superficial jury comments (very!), no singing in the back-stage moments, just toe-curling interviews, //

    @vocalblog @rdietz55 \\\and 19 minutes of actual singing. (show was 90 minutes, I think) Some okay groups, some good, no total wows.///

    >> @rdietz55
    @Ellenklinkt @vocalblog Interesting, so part of it was a talent issue. The interviews and jury comment sound on par with US version…

    @Ellenklinkt @vocalblog …but 19/90 mins of singing is baaaaad news.

    >> @ellenklinkt
    @vocalblog @rdietz55 \\\2nd show, couple of thousand viewers, same format. The groups could not compete with all the bad stuff and viewer///

    @vocalblog @rdietz55 \\\gave up. Here’s @gentlevoices, winners, with their 1st show song. They stood out! :-) http://youtu.be/nsopyLoIWAM

    @rdietz55 @vocalblog Yep. Very disappointing for us acappella lovers! On http://www.thesingoff.nl you can judge the talent for yourselves.


    end of thread. ^FSt

  2. 21. April 2011, 17:26 | #2

    (via Facebook, Joep Hopstaken/Fans van The Sing-Off World-Wide (twitter: #thesingoff)

    On 12th of november 2011 there is a dutch a cappella competition where only the national best vocal groups will appear. It is organised every two year by BALK. It would be nice if the young and talented groups that have participated in the SBS6-television event The Sing-Off also will take part. There will be an expert jury on this event! Enrolment until the 1rst of June. http://www.balknet.nl/Evenementen/btf2011-informatie.htm

    ^FSt / Vocal Blog

  3. 21. April 2011, 17:33 | #3

    (in response to the Facebook post above, Deke Sharon and Joep Hopstaken wrote the following:)

    Deke Sharon:
    I’ll bet whoever signs up from the Sing Off will win – so much talent! Season one Sing off group Maxx Factor won the next Sweet Adeline international competition they entered, and Pitch Slapped just won the ICCAs this past weekend. Time for #3!

    Joep Hopstaken:
    This is an excellent recommendation! Thank you Deke. They are definitely grown during the intensive pressure cooking event. Noblesse Oblige as the french say!

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