The Sing-off – Season 3 kicks off today!
Today is the day: NBC will broadcast the first episode of the long-awaited season 3 of The Sing-Off. After two very successful series during the holidays (and one failed and cut-off Dutch season we’d rather forget about quickly) the show is back and bigger than ever. In collaboration with my friends at Vocal Blog, I will be writing a weekly recap of all 11 episodes.
The Sing-Off is getting way too big to write a full review of all performances during the show and go in-depth with all participating groups. To lay a solid foundation for the recaps coming up, I’ll fill you in today on the basics.
Last two years, the show was aired as a holiday special with four and five episodes respectively, each episode two hours long. It has been one of the most popular new shows in the States and as such was promoted this year to a weekly show with 11 two hour episodes. First prize is still a Sony recording contract, while the complementing cash-prize has been upped from $100.000 to $200.000. (Holy shit!)
There’s a new stage, which looks great judging from the promo-videos. Also, and I’m really stoked about this one, female judge Nicole Scherzinger has been replaced by cutie-pie Sara Bareilles. Nicole was generally regarded as the “fluff-judge”. The one that mainly is there to up the atmosphere. She liked mostly every group, danced on up-tempo songs, cried on sad ones and was there not in the least because the Pussycat Dolls, which she frontwomans, were huge in the U.S. Sara might be a little less known, but at least she is a true a cappella geek, like her co-judges Shawn Stockman and Ben Folds. Also, I’ve recently fallen in love with her album Kaleidoscope Heart and she seems to be a very likable and quirky character overall.
|It’s the judges! Don’t you just wanna give ‘em a big hug?|
More episodes, of course, means more groups to enjoy! This year there are 16 groups competing for the grand prize. A few weeks ago I already wrote some first thoughts on the contestants and later this week I’ll post a comprehensive “Who’s who”, including the judges and host, with links to more information on all of them.
What’s interesting though, is that the creators of the show decided that 16 groups in one episode is just too much. Which kinda makes sense when you come to think of it. So the first two episodes will both be marked as season premieres and will each feature eight groups. Around episode five (don’t pin me down on that one) all remaining groups will meet each other in the same episode, whereafter the series will continue like a regular talent show. (Even though it’s not a regular talent show on so many levels.)
Watching the show
Unfortunately, The Sing-Off can’t be watched from outside of the U.S. (Unless maybe if you are subscribed to a digital cable service that broadcasts NBC.) Worse than that, NBC is using the archaic method of geo-blocking to make sure nobody outside of the U.S. can even watch most of their promo videos. I can’t think of any explanation to make sense of this. It’s probably based on copyrights, but really music business, do you think we will buy less music because we heard an a cappella version of your song in a promo? Don’t you think such a promo might actually turn us on to the song and, heaven forbid, that we might even buy it on iTunes?
Same goes for online streaming of the show. I’m telling you NBC, I will watch your commercials. You could easily tailor them to me since you already know that I’m Dutch. But alas, no such option. Which means I’m gonna rely on torrent sites to see the show. Seeing the immense popularity of The Sing-Off, I’m pretty confident they’ll appear quite quickly after they’re broadcast.
Broadcasting will happen late monday night (European time) and as long as the episodes are appearing on the torrent sites, I’ll be blogging about them every wednesday, sharing about the highlights and where possible posting videos and images. If there’s anything you’d like to know or discuss about the show until then, feel free to leave me a message below, on twitter or on facebook.