Recaps for The Sing-Off

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The Sing-Off Recap: I Do Want to Miss Some Things

  Man, I started this mini-season of The Sing-Off with high hopes, but the show’s lazy devotion to the tired-ass tropes of the singing-competition genre is wearing me down. I mean, we’ve already got the shiny floor and the overwritten host copy and the comedy packages, so I should have seen Movie Night coming. But they got me, you guys. Bang-bang, my a cappella contest shot me down. Tonight, the remaining six groups will sing songs from famous movies, or songs that have the same name as movies, or songs that were playing in the background of scenes in movies. Join me and together let us count down the seconds until “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”  Read More... //

'The Sing-Off' Recap: Movie Theme Songs and a Double Elimination

Tonight on The Sing-Off , the six remaining groups perform hits made famous by beloved movies over the years. Jewel mentors the groups this week with her keen musical ear and big heart. For the first time ever, each group will go head to head in the ultimate sing-off, leading to a double elimination.  Read More... //

The Sing-Off Recap: Aggressive Irritation

Hey, did you want to see a pretty young white woman in a glittering minidress tell you through a beaming pageant smile that she hopes she dies before she gets old? Well, tonight’s The Sing-Off has you covered. The theme of this episode is “My Generation,” (which means chart toppers that span the decades [which means nothing]), so we start off with a great big group rendition of the classic Who song (which makes me want to die before I get old [which I’m already a couple of decades too late for, so instead I’ll just drink my weight in bourbon and hope for the best]).   Tonight, Ben Folds is the guest mentor, as the groups struggle to fit their unique, sassy brands into songs that … are not unpopular? (What does this theme even mean? ) The kinda effeminate big dude in Vocal Rush says, “Ben Folds is gonna … help us out and give us … his … opinion … on what we should do to help us out … and so … thank goodness,” and it’s as succinct and accurate a description of the judges’ jobs as I’ve heard so far. As Shawn did in the last episode, Ben mingles, gives vague advice, and barely scratches the surface of what he can bring to the process. The judges-as-team-leader trope has been beaten into the ground by now, but these judges — who, uniquely in a crowded field, actually know what they’re talking about — need to be given specific tasks. Don't give me a Ben Folds, a Jewel, and a Shawn Stockman, and then sit them behind a table. Tables are for Paula Abduls. Get these people involved!  Read More... //

'The Sing-Off' Recap: Iconic Hits of the Decades

Half of the remaining eight groups performed number one hits last week, and tonight the remaining four groups perform iconic songs that span the decades. Judge Ben Folds mentors the groups this week. The bottom two will face one another in the ultimate sing-off and one group will be eliminated.  Read More... //

The Sing-Off Recap: Age Does Not Win Over Youth

  You guys, I’m going to be honest with you: If you have to sit through an hour-long half-episode of The Sing-Off , the absolute worst time to do it is in between a Dismemberment Plan concert and the discovery that Beyoncé has dropped a new album. An innovative and underappreciated band coming back on its own terms on one side, the world’s biggest artist brilliantly subverting the hype machine on the other. And in between, a show that could do either of those things and does neither. Tonight has brought me some sneakily sublime musical experiences, and they highlight the flaws of The Sing-Off , a show that could be great if it would just stop trying to be big .  Read More... //

'The Sing-Off' Recap: A Party Playlist and Proposal Rock Week 1 (Video)

The Sing-Off returned to NBC this week with , three episodes and plenty of high notes to kick off its fourth season – a doo-wop One Direction cover, a party-playlist opening number and an onstage proposal among them. The breakout personality thus far is none other than Jewel – the musician fits perfectly between Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman and a cappella mastermind Ben Folds , and all three of them dish out quality commentary on everything from the courage of an arrangement to the cohesive personality of an ensemble. Their critiques are collectively constructive to the group, critical enough to help them improve their future performances, yet friendly enough for viewers watching for the first time to understand the mechanics of what they just seen and heard.   Read More...   //

'The Sing-Off' Recap: Number One Hits and a Proposal

Only four of the remaining eight groups perform tonight, leaving the remaining four to perform next Monday. The bottom two will go head to head in the ultimate sing-off and one group will be eliminated. Bonus: the first Sing-Off proposal on stage! //

The Sing-Off Recap: Let’s Get This Party Started Differently

Tonight’s episode of The Sing-Off requires the remaining nine vocal groups to perform “party anthems” — you know, as opposed to “solemn party marches” — and it opens with a medley of “Let’s Get It Started,” “Die Young,” and “Don’t Stop the Music” that highlights everything that doesn’t quite work about the show. It looks and sounds like what you’d see on Idol and The Voice , and it’s a poor introduction to a show that brings something altogether different to the table. To me, The Sing-Off is all about the interesting places you can go with the human voice, but the show’s design and structure is an exact copy of every other singing competition on television, where the only thing to place with your voice is Melismatown, USA. Let the other guys have the shiny floors and glittery sets. We want innovative song arrangements, chipper little harmonies, and matching sweater vests. A cappella will never be glamorous. Let’s face that fact and move forward. Otherwise, it all just comes off like when ESPN tries to get the Scripps Spelling Bee kids to do comedy sketches.  Read More... //

'The Sing-Off' Recap: Party Anthems

Energy and emotions are high as the a capella groups tackle party anthems on tonight's episode of The Sing-Off.   Read More... //

The Sing-Off Season Four Premiere Recap: All In

  It was only a matter of time. Thanks to the surprise success of Pitch Perfect , a cappella groups are suddenly more popular socially acceptable tolerated than ever before, Macklemore’s commercial breakthrough has diminished our collective skepticism toward the concept of white people beat-boxing, and savvy online retailer has brought reasonably priced, brightly colored trousers to the masses. The stage could not be more perfectly set for the return of NBC’s The Sing-Off , surely the most breezily enjoyable of the Idol -come-latelies. By taking itself a tiny bit less seriously than its competitors, and by managing its hopefuls’ expectations — nobody is trying to convince anyone that a college a cappella group is going to be the next Mariah Carey — The Sing-Off has managed to do what almost no singing competition can do these days: put a winner on the charts. Right now, season-three winners Pentatonix’s Christmas album is in the iTunes top ten. A cappella may not be a glamorous genre, but in 2013, it’s possible that we’ve taken glamour as far as it will go.  Read More... //