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Old 12-11-2013, 02:21 PM   #1
DreadPirateRob
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The Sing-Off

Anyone watching? In general I skip the singing shows (I quit American Idol after 2 seasons, and I've only watched a handful of eps of The Voice, although I like that much better), but I have a soft spot for a cappella music and for show choirs, so I enjoy The Sing-Off. I like that the judges (Ben Folds, Jewel, and Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men) are complete music nerds - sometimes I have no idea what they are talking about - but they are very helpful with their constructive criticisms.

One thing I've noticed so far this season (first ep was Monday night, next one is tonight) is that in this first season after Pitch Perfect came out, there is a lot of bad aca-punning going on, but I generally enjoy that as well, since it fits right in with the loud outfits.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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If anyone missed the premiere - and really, the whole season is going to be "blink and you'll miss it" since the eps are scheduled to air on 12/11, 12/12, 12/16, 12/18, 12/19, 12/21 and 12/23, here's a great EW recap with video clips of the notable performances:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/12/10/th...on-4-premiere/
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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Yeah, I noticed the influence of Pitch Perfect as well. The battle round at the end isn't precisely the same as the "riff-off" from the movie, but it seems like it might be inspired by it.

I agree, I love that this is really the only show where they have the judges give specific and detailed musical advice to the contestants. I'm sure that probably occurs to some extent with The Voice, but they don't show it as much as on this show.

So far, I haven't seen any groups that are an instant run-away favorite, like Pentatonix was last season (two years ago).

On the other side of things, I didn't get Voice Play at all. They seemed like an NBC Universal "plant," given that they perform at Universal Studios and were given free reign of the park for their introductory video. And frankly, they weren't good at all. Honey's voice is just an awful fit for acapella (and, IMO, is flat out bad in general).
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:57 PM   #4
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I watched a couple of the performances and have the rest of the episode recorded, plus a SP set up for the rest. I really enjoy acapella music as well, and have enjoyed previous seasons of this show. I also think that the addition of Jewel is an excellent choice. Judging on this show is not about getting in stupid sound bites (dawg) and being critical just for critical's sake. These judges really know what they're talking about and provide excellent feedback.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:42 PM   #5
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Yeah, I noticed the influence of Pitch Perfect as well. The battle round at the end isn't precisely the same as the "riff-off" from the movie, but it seems like it might be inspired by it.
I couldn't decide if the battle round was a nod to Pitch Perfect or if it was something that Mark Burnett (who is the new producer) came up with, since it seems like something he would lobby for incorporating. Probably a bit of both.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
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Record it, FF/skip through everything BUT the actual songs. Even more skipping than I do on The Voice... For that, I watch virtually the entire show through the auditions, THEN have been skipping everything but performances since then.. (and skipping most country songs, or rap songs, or the guest of the week if they're someone I don't care about..)
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
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Watched the first round last night.

Seems a little weak after last season, but the winners were exceptional (google Pentatonix - Little Drummer Boy for an example of how it's done!).

Maybe it'll improve. Got last night's on the DVR. Wife's a el asmusic major, so she loves the technical aspect of the judging - and Ben Folds is what ALL judges should aspire to be!

I'm liking Jewel as a judge, too.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:03 AM   #8
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I thought I would like this show, but after watching the first two episodes it seems that pretty much every song just sounds like an inferior version of whatever song it is, to me.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:21 PM   #9
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I think the judging might be my favorite part. Ben Folds kind of dumbed down his judging in the first ep, but in the second ep last night he aca-geeked () out in the best way. And Jewel is a really good addition as well.

I don't really love any of the groups right now though. I feel like Filharmonic is probably the best, but they weren't great last night. They're setting up the country group (Home Free) to be a favorite, but they don't do anything for me (although their bass is killer). I like Street Corner Renaissance, but I feel they're really limited in what they can do (although they do it well).
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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I thought I would like this show, but after watching the first two episodes it seems that pretty much every song just sounds like an inferior version of whatever song it is, to me.
What I like about the songs - and what really sets them apart from the originals - are the arrangements. When done right, the a cappella version can stand on its own and can be enjoyed on its own merits. Plus you can do things like mashups (seamlessly combining two songs) much more effectively when its all vocal. And as someone who has done some singing/performing, I can appreciate just how incredibly difficult it is to do what they do.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #11
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I think for me, Home Free, Filharmonic, and Ten are probably the front-runners. None are anywhere close to the caliber of talent from last season.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:01 PM   #12
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Here is hoping we see a lot of improvement. I felt like the lead vocals on all the groups were the weakest part more so than the arrangement/harmony/...

When I think of the group MO5AIC that I heard on Allure of the Seas this year, I feel like this set of groups has a lot of work to do.

Listen to MO5AIC's Bohemian Rhapsody www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdOe0R29dhk‎
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:45 PM   #13
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I think for me, Home Free, Filharmonic, and Ten are probably the front-runners. None are anywhere close to the caliber of talent from last season.
Yeah, those are probably the strongest groups. I think Ten probably has the most talent, but they're the least experience in terms of the group dynamics. I also like Vocal Rush, mainly because I'm amazed that they're all high school kids.

Of the remaining groups, I think Element is the weakest.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:46 PM   #14
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Almost forgot my favorite exchange last night (between Lachey and Folds, right after Ten sang "Hot In Herre"):

Nick: I noticed your clothes are still on despite them repeatedly telling you to take them off.
Ben: Nick, you know I don’t even begin to defrock until it’s …...98 degrees!
Nick: Then that explains the creepy fan mail we were getting all those years…

Lachey is so cheesy that it kills me, but it's all good-natured, and the banter is fun. He was so proud of himself when he called the mom from AcoustiKats an "acousti-cougar"
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:06 PM   #15
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Of the remaining groups, I think Element is the weakest.
I think you're right.

I'm also very annoyed at Voice Play for one reason: Honey. She makes absolutely no effort to try and blend in with the rest of the group, and as a result it just sounds like "Honey and her backup singers" rather than a cohesive group. Without her, they'd be a relatively decent group; because of her, they're never going to have a chance.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:03 AM   #16
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Disappointed with tonight's ep, although the ultimate result was correct. But whoever divvied up those teams should be shot. Element and Voice Play should have been on opposite sides of the bracket.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #17
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I thought I would like this show, but after watching the first two episodes it seems that pretty much every song just sounds like an inferior version of whatever song it is, to me.
That's not completely inaccurate for this season unfortunately. As some one else mentioned, the groups are not of the calibre of last season for sure. For almost every performance I keep thinking, "Pentatonix would have KILLED doing this song."

So if you'd like to hear some arrangements that are often better than the originals, go find stuff by Pentatonix (they won last season).
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #18
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Even Urban Method (3rd place last season) is better than most if not all of the groups this year.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #19
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I suspect the caliber issue why they are burning it all off during December rather than other traditional scheduling.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:52 PM   #20
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I suspect the caliber issue why they are burning it all off during December rather than other traditional scheduling.
Not necessarily. This sort of scheduling is how the show was prior to last season. When they expanded the show to a half-season show, the ratings flagged quite a bit. They had hoped by switching it back to a holiday "event" programming that the ratings would bounce back.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:16 PM   #21
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Not necessarily. This sort of scheduling is how the show was prior to last season. When they expanded the show to a half-season show, the ratings flagged quite a bit. They had hoped by switching it back to a holiday "event" programming that the ratings would bounce back.
Agreed. I'll bet they planned to air it all in December before they even booked the acts for the show.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:14 AM   #22
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I think the judging might be my favorite part. Ben Folds kind of dumbed down his judging in the first ep, but in the second ep last night he aca-geeked () out in the best way. And Jewel is a really good addition as well.
Agreed. I don't watch many of the singing shows anymore, but even when I did, I would typically fast forward through the judges. Not here.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:08 PM   #23
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I can only imagine the judges have been told not to say anything bad about Voice Play. That's the only explanation I can come up with, because they're just not good, yet they've been getting bathed in praises.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:05 PM   #24
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I think they've gotten better each week, but they're still not great. I do think they were much better than Element last night, and were better than Vocal Rush as well.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:59 PM   #25
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I suspect the caliber issue why they are burning it all off during December rather than other traditional scheduling.
I think they're doing it all at once because the ratings for the last go-round (when Pentatonix) were absolutely abysmal, even though the talent was better. It's up against far less competition for new programming right now.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:04 PM   #26
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Now we're down to the final four teams, and the judges got it completely right. Ten, Home Free, The Filharmonic, and Vocal Rush were clearly better than the other groups from the start, I thought, and that's who's left. Of the remaining 4, I think Ten and Home Free have to be the favorites, with the other two being spectacular sometimes, but then falling apart during the middle of the songs on others.

I did think there were some amazing moments in last night's show, though. The opening soloist on the Vocal Rush leads off with a very soulful, plaintive edition of "Against All Odds", and then drops back into vocal percussion as the rest of the group chimed in? Astounding. As Shawn Stockman said, I don't think I've ever seen that before.

And the three ultimate sing-off/battle/challenges/whatever were all great. In fact, the best one was probably between the AcoUstiKats and VoicePlay, and they were the groups who were sent home. And the battle of the beat boxers between Home Free and Filharmonic was pretty awesome as well.

EW's great recap: http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/12/19/th...-episode-five/
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:07 PM   #27
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Oh, and Jewel's boobs are becoming a real star of the show as well.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #28
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Oh, and Jewel's boobs are becoming a real star of the show as well.
I had to rewind many times as I often became distracted and didn't listen to what she said.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:36 PM   #29
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I wonder if she got them fixed at the same time she got her teeth fixed? I don't remember like that before. Of course, it could just be architecture as well.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:01 PM   #30
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Does the public get to vote at some point?
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