Network executives may be greedy and creatively bankrupt, but they aren’t stupid. As soon as Glee became the breakout hit of the Fall season, it was only a matter of time before one of the Big Three cranked out their own reality version of an a cappella singing show. The Sing-Off is actually better than expected–decent groups singing popular songs with a tolerable host and knowledgeable judges. NBC made the right call making it only a four-night event, but I’m sure if it’s successful, we’ll see it come back with more episodes.
The best part of the show has been Ben Folds. He’s the most refreshing TV judge since Simon Cowell first came to America. Folds is sweet, intelligent, and actually gives real, tangible musical criticism and advice to the contestants. Hopefully The Sing-Off serves as a great audition tape for when people grown tired of Ellen’s dancing.
Thoughts on the groups:
Beelzebubs: I never knew Frodo Baggins was such a good singer! They have too many members and the arrangements get too muddled. Need to tone down on the facial expressions. Anyone who sings “Sweet Caroline” is dead to me.
Maxx Factor: Easily my favorites. Loved their song choices, wardrobe and old-school harmonies. I’d much rather listen to a four-piece tastefully interpret a song than nine Emerson College rejects audition for Rent. I think the producers axed them before the voting round. There was no way these middle-aged women from Baltimore were being on the ballot for their young, hip Glee rip-off.
Voices of Lee: Is this group a church choir or a Gap ad? Their hideous wardrobe is almost matched by them playing the southern religious card. Odds on favorite to win.
Nota: The most consistent group who I’ve really enjoyed except for when they break every song down into a Puerto Rican Day parade. Did you know they are Latino? Probably should win, but won’t. Oh, and another observation–the guy from Man vs. Food is a great baritone.
BYU Noteworthy: An all-girl Mormon rock and roll singing group? Is that even allowed in Provo? They totally lost me with the lead girl rocking the bleach blond faux hawk. She looked cute in the pre-roll packages with her hair down, then transformed into a blond Adam Lambert for the stage. Come on NBC stylists!
The Socals: Practically every song they sang was already on Glee. Really? This is a show that is supposed to demonstrate how real singing groups arrange songs, not how you saw them done on YouTube. They butchered “Somebody to Love” and “Already Gone” then rubbed salt in the wound by going with a Journey medley, closing with the most fucked out song of the last ten years. Thank god they are gone.
I don’t think I would have watched the show if I didn’t have DVR. If the show comes back they better dial it back to one hour and feature more groups. It’s a cute little show that could have success as long as they don’t try to put it in the same time slot as Idol or CSI. I think Voices of Lee are going to win but my heart will always be with Maxx Factor.