The finale of "The Sing-Off" aired live on Monday, December 21, 2009. I'm posting this a few days later, and only know of one of the groups that didn't win. I'm watching this as I type (as I did the other shows in this series), and here are my reactions.
Opening Number: "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (U2) -- sung by the 3 finalists, Beelzebubs, Nota and Voices of Lee. The leads were in the middle of the stage, with their groups behind them. Nicely done. The 2 guys were a little bit under pitch at the beginning, probably due to nerves, but they all recovered nicely.
Voices of Lee were shown to make an appearance at Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I wonder if the other groups got to do appearances, too. They showed the stage to some of the kids.
The theme for this segment is "Songs of Hope"
"Stand By Me" -- Voices of Lee
I have far too much emotional attachment to this song. A couple of the chords did not agree with my ear, especially the ones at the intro and the ones with the high soprano. Otherwise, the lead was very good. Why is Jack Black there in the audience? OK, Ben, go talking about tri-tones. Hey, maybe those are the harmonies that I didn't like during the song. Tri-tones aren't what I expect to hear in that song, more like in a piece with, I don't know, sadness, which this was not about. Nicole, "Your warm sweet blend of harmonies and sounds"?! I don't know why that bugs me so much.
Beelzebubs visited Hollenbeck Palms, a senior center. That one guy was cute when shown singing with the guys. Aw, they serenaded that woman -- sweet!
"Where is the Love" -- Beelzebubs
Some harmonies a little bit off, but it was nice. I don't really like rap during a cappella stuff, because I feel like, "Dude, if you can sing well, why don't you just SING it?!" Nicole just doesn't have anything to say, but I guess since all of the votes are in, it doesn't matter. "Bubtastic", huh? Ben is pimping out daughters across America to them. Yes, thanks, Tufts, for letting them come out for the show. Maybe that's why the other college groups (the ones that I'm aware of and that I think also deserve to be on this show) didn't come.
Nota visited Someone Cares Kitchen and Tutoring. That's cool that they helped serve food.
"Lean on Me" -- Nota
What is it about this group that makes me just dislike their harmonies? Maybe it's just the opening ones this time. Oh, there's that guy, singing flat again. OK, it got better. Like hearing the vocal drumline, wish it could have gone on longer. Shawn says that they've got a flavor unlike anybody in this competition. Sigh. Yeah, because they're FLAT all of the time! Down, Sherry. Calm down. Nicole, all of the groups showcase what the voice, as an instrument, is capable of. It's not just Nota. Why, Ben, are you saying that you could drop any of them and the groove would go on? OK, I'm just sensitive about people leaving groups right now. I'll shut up.
Ooh, Voices of Lee gets to sing with Natasha Bedingfield? She's awesome.
"Pocketful of Sunshine" -- NB & VoL
I like the acoustic feel of this song when it's done a cappella. OK, but Natasha, you should keep up with your own song! ;) Nice recovery, though.
Beelzebubs were cute with the lovin' of Nicole.
"You Don't Own Me" -- NS & The Bubs
Is it possible for Nicole to sing a song without it being sexy? Seriously. OK, I get it. When she's not being as sexy, she's not on the pitch. This is a Girl Power song to me in its original incarnation, so this was an interesting touch.
Uh-oh. The group that I don't like, Nota, is singing with someone I'm not fond of: Smokey Robinson. I know he's a legend. I 've just never been fond of him. So are they only going to concentrate on the moves and not the actual music?
"Tracks of My Tears" -- SR & Nota
Smokey is used to singing with The Miracles, so this group is a good fit for him. Since that guy's not singing the lead, they didn't sound flat to me, either. Perhaps they should just add Smokey to their group, and Ben can have his way by getting rid of somebody. Oh, that's right. I said I'd shut up about that.
"Christmas" -- all finalists, joined by Nick Lachey
I'm just crazy. Everytime someone from Nota was featured, I didn't like it. That's cool that Nick is singing with all of them. That Voices of Lee gal is going to be a star, she's so pretty, and has a great voice. OK, there's too much snow now.
Medley by BoyzIIMen
*Someone* needs to tell me why there are only 3 of them now. Some of the harmonies of their old songs just seem wrong without their bass.
Bobby McFerrin doing improv with the finalists = Yay!
Results for Top 2: Beelzebubs and Nota
Aw, disappointed that Voices of Lee wasn't in 2nd place. (I did know before today that they didn't win). Oh, that girl needs braces before she becomes a star (I told you that I was mean).
Swan Song by Voices of Lee: "So Long, Farewell"
Hmmm...not sure that key change was planned. :
"Why Can't We Be Friends" -- Ben Folds with Nota and Beelzebubs
So if Voices of Lee had made it to the top 2, they'd be the ones singing with Ben instead of whomever? Um, Ben is not that great of a singer, I'm just telling you right now, so he has no business judging an a cappella competition if he's not vocally trained. He should have been the Paula, too. Yeah, I know, he's still a musician with a musician's ear, but ... oh, whatever.
Closing Remarks from Judges:
Shawn is crying because he remembers when the Boyz first got their deal. How totally sweet! I'd be crying along with him if I hadn't cried myself out earlier this week.
Ben tells them not to change.
I have no idea why Nicole is near tears, except perhaps because Shawn is still crying.
Winner is Nota. Congratulations.
Of course. I TOLD you they'd torture me with this group until the end.
That's one less CD I have to buy.
Thanks to all of the participants for bringing the world of a cappella to the nation. Nick is saying "What a run!" as if the show took 6 months long. Um, Nick, it was 4 shows. FOUR.
Swan Song by Beelzebubs: "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place" -- I'm going to chalk those bad notes to their grief in not being named champions.
Didn't he already announce that Nota won the grand prize? He's just wacky.
Nota: "Down" -- Torture for me throughout the show, as predicted. I need to go lay down now.