The Sing-off Season 3 Episode 2 – Highlights
by my Dutch blogging buddy and Sing-off specialist Robert-Jon Eckhardt (original article posted at http://a-cappella.robert-jon.nl on October 2nd, 2011)
Wow. I almost thought my blogging-adventure was over. I even reached out to the a cappella gods on the day I was supposed to publish my second review of season three. But the a cappella gods answered my prayers and the second episode of The Sing-Off appeared online in high quality, allowing me to give you the highlights of this week!
Lots of good
I’m finding it very hard this week to choose which videos to show you guys, since there were many good performances, but no clear winners that were completely amazing or flawless. Since this is my personal blog, I decided to start out with the only performance that really touched me: Feels like home by the Delaware Deltones.
I love their motto “Friends First, Singers Second”, which can easily be mistaken for a lack of professionalism. I love it, because for me it says: We accept each other completely. We are able to give each other space. And we are able to be completely honost with each other when necessary. All of which I consider to be essential when singing together.
The jury was divided on whether or not the lead singer was suffering from nervous-pitchiness. But on the first listen, I was so taken in by her beautiful voice, the warmness of the backing choir and the skillful gradual build-up that I didn’t even notice.
Second up is Sonos. I knew them from before The Sing-Off and it’s safe to say these guys are really good. But in their intro-video, I was touched by how they apparently struggle to make a living and keep the band together, even with multiple albums and tours on their collective resumé. It’s gonna be very interesting to see them participate in a contest like this.
The group radiates professionalism. They all have great voices, Ben has some insane beatboxing skills and they occupy the stage as a single unit. I was sucked into their performance, but also found myself criticizing the emptiness in both their arrangement and their stage presence. Thoughts that were echoed by the judges’ commentary afterwards.
These guys do have the chops, big time. It would be amazing if the judges and coaches on The Sing-Off could help them find that special something, change that little bit in their style that would transform them into a group that has the chops and appeals to a massive audience.
The shape of things to come
The last video i’m featuring is E.T. by Pentatonix. I’m not posting this performance for being flawless, because it wasn’t. In some parts they were sloppy on the timing, which is unforgivable in a clubbing-song. Also, giving four people each their fifteen seconds of fame within a two-minute song made it a little messy and some effects, like the skipping beat, weren’t tight enough to be really effective.
No, the reason I’m featuring this video is because when they win The Sing-Off Season 3 in november, you’ll be happy you saw all their performances from the get go. These guys are just so innovative and I know they can perfectly pull off the minor things that didn’t work so well this time. They look good, they move well, their voices are amazing and they have a really, really good mix of people in their group.
What will get them there is their immense ambition that shows from their arrangements and presentation. Look out for a special feature later this week, where I will dive deeper into why these guys are so amazing, based on a performance they did about a year ago. (When there were still only three of them.)
I didn’t get to show all I wanted to show here. Right now you should really go watch Higher Ground by the Dartmouth Aires and Runaround Sue by North Shore, as their performances were probably technically better than the videos I showed you above. I just didn’t know as many interesting things to say about them.
Also I need to say this to the guys from The Collective: I have my doubts as to why you are on the show. If you don’t sing a cappella for the love of the artform, please don’t do it at all. If you are on the show to boost your individual solo-careers, you won’t make it and it is showing in your performance!
No sexual innuendos from Sara B. this time. I’m disappointed!! Haha. Maybe next time! You can expect some more background pieces on The Sing-Off later this week on a-cappella.robert-jon.nl, but if you need some more reading now, here’s some links to keep you busy:
- Ben Folds on Episode 2 – link
- Shawn Stockman on both episodes (second blog is really nice) – link and link
See you next time!