The holiday special has come to a close! Pentatonix and Home Free, previous winners, came and tore up their guest appearances. PTX sang their holiday song “That’s Christmas To Me” and Home Free performed “Stand By Me” with the judges. After a 2 hour special, all the results are in:
The first 3 eliminated:
A Squared: Incredible minds and great guys. While the judges didn’t take kindly to their use of technology, it definitely brought a new element to a cappella. Beyond that, it sounded great! Their rendition of Bastille was innovative and sounded great, and was incredibly inspiring. This season they opened up the competition to allow for pedals, loopers, FX, etc, so it was strange to us to hear the reaction to their expert use of those tools. BTW they can SIIING! Our dressing rooms were next to each other, and we heard Jackson work his riff. We had to get up, go to their room, and gas him up!
San Fran 6: Strong performance of “Break Free” by positive, enthusiastic people. With some awesome competition-style beatboxing, pop-caliber leads, and an arrangement filled with all kinds of cool changes, SF6 gave a solid, clean, fun performance. The members are all ringers and everything was well done. We were next to them during much of the group rehearsal and got really close with them, mostly joking under our breaths! Love these guys!
Timothy’s Gift: Great story. Great people. Timothy’s Gift rocked ‘Ghost’ despite a beat-boxer free ensemble. Their full act is with a band-drums, guitar, bass, keys. We got to hear their full act live, and we were blown away. Incredible. But now to hear them purely a cappella was fantastic. The best thing about Timothy’s Gift is that they’re constantly singing and practicing. I’ve met bands and heard of other people who sing together for money or happenstance. They legitimately seem to like it! That’s what we’re all about–great to meet people of the same heart!
The 2 runners up:
Traces: Great, energetic, and inspired vocals. Often pegged as “gospel” sounding, they brought great energy to the stage. A charming all-female group with a low female bass and beatbox, nothing was left lacking in their set. Traces has been a huge force in a cappella for a long time now. Down to earth and friendly people that are just plain fun to be around. I hope you like them as much as we do! We got to hang out with them a little bit on trips to get a little food…some of the most fun we had during the filming. Go TRACES!!!
The Exchange: Us! We gave everything we got! Our second song “Sing” was a nice contrast to “Love Runs Out.” Got the chance in our performances to show off Chris singing lead, Jamal singing every note, Sperb’s versatility and stage performance, and Richie’s new and improved drumming. We really feed off the crowd-they fuel us in everything we do and it was great to be in front of such a huge audience on an amazing stage.
Melodores: Congrats fellas! An inspired performance of “Take Me To Church” ended in tears for some of the guys. The first college group to win the show makes a great headline, and it was well earned. Charming, good vocals, and fun arrangements–it’s a testament to the college sound and why so many colleges around the country love it! Their group is not particularly old (in contrast to long-standing groups around the country), and they’ve done a great job moving up the a cappella ranks in short order!
The Sing Off works as a holiday special. This is a lot of very specific-sounding music 2 hours every week. The beauty of a cappella is that it has such attention and detail, perhaps explaining its collegiate appeal. The best groups out there seem to take the thinking out of it for the audience; they take them for a ride. With a new producer this year, a bigger and shinier stage too, The Sing Off seems more polished and less campy than ever. With high enough ratings it’ll be renewed, and with good reason. The tours are successful, the fan-engagement nears religious fervor, and the show’s cult following keeps buying the iTunes cuts.
With that, Season 5 is a wrap!