First, let's talk about some things.
The Judging Situation. No Ben Folds. He's one of the best parts of this show! I'm just relieved that Jewel could be there. She's smart and gives very thoughtful critiques. Patrick had a few helpful things to say. A few. And Shawn is just Shawn. Sometimes he says things that are so right on and sometimes ... he doesn't. Overall, it was an okay combination. I mean, anything is better than the long line of American Idol judges we've seen, that's for sure. I think if The Sing-Off can uphold an intelligent and well-respected lineup of judges, the show will always be a success.
Only One Night. I realize this show isn't everyone's favorite show, but just one night?? Surely we can all agree it showcases the most raw singing talent that there is. I couldn't believe we only had one night of it this year. I hope they change their minds for next season.
Okay, the groups.
Timothy's Gift - Really nice. Loved how they featured everyone. I think it took a while for them to find their groove, but once they got there, they were solid. Like Jewel said, it was interesting that they didn't have a lot of bass and had zero percussion. However, it was still a beautiful performance. They had a really great unison and some great dynamics. I don't usually love all-girl groups in real life, but on The Sing-Off, they tend to be my favorite. They were no Delilah, but I really enjoyed them.
a.squared - Loved the looping and the effects. It was fun to listen to, but I do agree with the judges in that it was a bit much at times. Sometimes the technology overpowered the actual live singing, which was unfortunate because I think they could've made it past the first cut if it wouldn't have.
Traces - This group seemed a bit hollow in the middle. I heard the bass, percussion, and lead vocals, but I felt it needed to be filled out more. I wasn't as crazy about it as the judges. I thought the wild vibrato of every singer could've been tamed a bit more. For me, they were just good.
The Exchange - They were extremely tight. I loved the chords in the middle section, like Jewel said. They were very creative and I like that they took some time to showcase the whole group singing together. The run at the end was right on.
SanFran6 - The lead was a bit too nasal for me. Her pitch was great, but I wasn't into her tone. I thought the instrumental breakdown part was really fun. For some reason, I was expecting more out of them once they started. If they could've performed again, I'm certain they would've bumped it up a few notches.
Melodores - Well, that's the best that "Trumpets" will ever sound, no doubt. The intro immediately caught my attention. The lead vocals were great - I especially loved the blonde guy. I love that they did so much trumpet-esque stuff. In my opinion, they are the best all-male collegiate group that has ever been on the show. They did an amazing job with such a ridiculously crappy song. It's kind of unbelievable.
The top 3 were The Exchange, Traces, and the Melodores. I was pretty surprised that Traces made the cut. They were actually my least favorite group overall. I would've loved to hear more from Timothy's Gift.
The Exchange's and the Melodores' last performances were wonderful. I definitely think the Melodores were deserving of the win. In the past, all of the male collegiate groups have just been way to hype-y for me. The Melodores were exciting and fun, but also very tight and very musically interesting.
The problem with a one night show is that everything is rushed and we don't get to know these groups. We don't get to watch them grow and progress throughout the competition, so there's less excitement when watching. We don't get to see versatility, multiple lead singers, and growth in musicality/arranging when everything is crammed into one night. Also, the resounding theme of needing to be "entertained" was kind of strange to me this year. That idea hasn't reigned in past seasons. I think they had to focus more on entertainment this year because of it only being one night.
But as long as The Sing-Off is on TV, I'll watch it. However, I hope they're smart and decide to bring back multiple episodes for next year's season.
What did you all think?