29 September 2013 | vinylj45
Sing-Off Review (seasons 1-3)/Preview (season 4)
I'm so excited! After a year off, NBC's unique singing competition is set to return to TV for the 2013 holiday season. It's unique because it's all a cappella--no musical instruments except the human voice. Surprisingly, with outstanding harmonies, talented bass singers, and amazing vocal percussionists, the viewer rarely notices the absence of instruments; the singers and their vocal arrangements are that good.
This cult favorite show was brought back in part by grass roots pressure from avid fans and especially as a result of the recent successes of the film "Pitch Perfect" and season 3 winners Pentatonix.
From 2009 through 2011, a total of 32 groups competed for cash prizes and recording contracts. While the winners of the first 3 seasons--Nota, Committed, and Pentatonx--were excellent, many of the other groups were extremely talented as well with great lead singers and tight harmonies. Street Corner Symphony, the Dartmouthaires, Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town, North Shore, Groove for Thought, Afro-Blue, Delilah, the SoCals, the Backbeats, Voices of Lee, and the Yellowjackets were all outstanding.
Even though the show is not available on DVD, fortunately, most of the performances are available on YouTube for viewing and purchase.
Hosted by 98 Degrees' Nick Lachey, the show features insightful group performance evaluations by 3 judges: Ben Folds; Shawn Stockman (Boyz 2 Men); and Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls), who was replaced in season 3 by the charming and funny Sarah Bareilles. Since Bareilles wishes to pursue other ventures, she'll be replaced in season 4 by Jewel.
I'd recommend sampling the clips on YouTube to see what exciting performances there are. To start I recommend the Queen medley, absolutely nailed by the Dartmouthaires; "Let's Stay Together" by Committed; "The Lazy Song" by North Shore; "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Afro-Blue; the delightful "You Don't Own Me" with Nicole Scherzinger accompanied by the Beelzebubs; and "Born to Run", a mind-blower by all the males who competed in season 3.
I wholeheartedly recommend watching the upcoming 4th season; you won't be disappointed in the countless, entertaining, show-stopping numbers.