Really? Season 2 of “The Sing-Off” is already over? Craziness. Pure craziness. So…there was a bunch of interesting performances happening tonight. I’m not quite sure how to approach this recap, really. It might be kind of a mess. Also, our TV was being incredibly temperamental for the first hour of the finale, so I was a bit distracted for most of the first half. If…recap…start…cutting…out….times…then…cheese….(static)… Whoops, had some technical difficulties there. Anyways, the point is, I might be kind of spotty on remembering some of the performances, mostly because for an hour or so, I was trying to make sure our digital antenna actually let us see them in the first place. Sorry about that. Oh, and now that I’ve babbled enough, who won the whole thing tonight?
That would be…well, we’ll get to that, won’t we? For now, we’ll start at the beginning…
The Celebrity Guest Performances/Collaborations
Committed kicked things off (well, after the loads-of-fun group performance opened the show) by singing with Boyz II Men on “Motownphilly.” It was an interesting little puppy. That bald member of the Boyz in the middle kind of had some shaky moments, but aside from that, it was a good time. After that, The Backbeats took on “King of Anything” with…SARA BAREILLES!!!!!!!!!!! (Excessive exclamation points and all. Don’t worry, this blog has NOT been hijacked by a 13-year-old girl. [Yet.] I just love Sara Bareilles. A lot. ) The Backbeats sounded a tiny bit off pitch-wise, but Sara nailed it, and I loved them together. Nicole earned her keep for the entire season with some fiery vocals with Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and although at times it seemed like she was auditioning for the lead role in a Diana Ross biopic, Jerry and her sounded great together, and the backing vocals were soulful and rock-solid as always. (Sadly, my TV decided I didn’t need to hear the final notes of the performance. Boo hiss, cheap antenna…boo hiss.) Finally, Street Corner Symphony rocked it with Ben Folds (AKA the coolest judge ever) on his own song, “Gone.” The rest of my family, which was paying cursory attention to the show tonight, didn’t dig Ben’s voice, but I thought he sounded terrific live, and the arrangement was outstanding. Another win for Street Corner Symphony, y’all.
But wait, there’s more! (That informercial-esque moment was provided by…well, it just mostly happened out of the blue, really. ) Sheryl Crow and a nameless backing vocalist/co-guitarist took the stage with The Backbeats and Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town for a wonderful take on “Long Road Home.” I really dug the acoustic guitar-a cappella sound combination, and even though I guess you couldn’t truly call it a cappella, it was an awesome performance, and I really loved it. (Add Sheryl to the long list of performers who sounded stellar in a live setting tonight.) Neil Diamond proved that he’s a legend…and also that he’s getting a wee bit older…with a fine, world-weary “Ain’t No Sunshine,” in conjunction with Street Corner Symphony & Committed. It was just good, solid music…and although Neil isn’t quite the belter he used to be, he still can give a great performance, and SCS & Committed’s backing vocals were, as always, deliciously warm and inviting. Finally, all the groups came out and had a party with Nick Lachey singing “What Christmas Means To Me.” COURTNEY SANG LEAD! She really rocked it. Nick can sing much better than he hosts, and all in all, it was one of the most delightful performances of the night, and it was very cool to see all the last 4 groups together.
You know, I could break out the bullets again, but I don’t think I will. I guess they have the night off. (Oh, and before I forget…I enjoyed how they had the eliminated groups each have a chance to sing us into the commercial breaks. Even if the first group to do so, the Whiffenpoofs, sounded incredibly off-key. Also, seeing all the finalists go and give back to the community was very sweet.) Anyways…The Backbeats started off this round with a terrific performance of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Kenton really shined on this song, and I think he does best when he tones it down a bit and just…sings. Wonderfully. Without acting all crazy and whatnot. (P.S.: I was fishing around on SoundCloud a few days ago and stumbled across a solo tune of Kenton’s. It was surprisingly terrific. Just look up “The Backbeats” and you’ll probably find it pretty easily, I believe.) My TV was acting up quite a bit here, but I think Courtney was also featured as a soloist here, and once again, she really did amazing. Committed sounded simply beautiful with “Hold My Hand” (a song I’ve pretty much never heard before, but loved anyway). Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town were a wee bit shaky on “Love Train,” but I still liked it…how can you not dig them? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…they have soul, class, and everything they do is solid. They just make good music, and at the end of the day, what more can you need? Finally, Street Corner Symphony closed off the round with a gorgeous take on “Fix You.” I thought it was weird that they had all the other groups come out mid-song, at first (that didn’t happen with the other three finalists…), but the effect was so cool, and the sound so beautiful, that I really didn’t mind by the end. Shoot dang, I was pretty close to crying, in fact, seeing all the finalists up there, singing a heartbreakingly lovely Coldplay song, and looking like they were one big, happy family. One of the best moments of the season, for sure.
After that, things got tough, and the two groups that didn’t get enough votes to be the Top 2 were announced. As I had suspected, those 2 groups were Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town, and The Backbeats. It was a real bummer to see them go, but they both helped make this an absolutely terrific season. Jerry & the boys gave a groovy (yeah, I know, strange word choice, but it just seems right) farewell performance of “Hit The Road, Jack” (aw, Jerry, I’m going to miss you…), and The Backbeats kind of stumbled a bit as they exited, handing the lead vocal reins to one of the lesser-featured members, a blonde girl who didn’t sound that great, and singing a song that I didn’t even know. I still love them, though. They really gave some truly outstanding performances this season, and I hope to see them around soon. (Especially Courtney. She’s the tops. )
And then…finally…they announced the winner, after going through some “let’s look at their journey” montages that made me all warm & fuzzy inside. Even though I knew one of my very two favorite groups would take home the grand prize, that didn’t make the suspense waiting for the name of the winner any less intense. Who did America vote the winner of Season 2 of “The Sing-Off”? That would be…
It was so awesome to see Committed win, even though it was sad to see SCS fall just short of the title. (Their “swan song” performance of “Drift Away” was awesome, btw.) Just seeing them hold up the (kind of random) trophy, and hearing them talk about how they hope to be touring with some of the other groups in the future, and knowing that they’ll be coming out with an album soon…it just made me really happy. They’ve delivered some top-notch music this season, and I think they fully earned their win. Congrats to y’all, Committed. (Also, having all the groups in the entire competition come and hang out with them at the very end, when they were singing “We Are The Champions,” made me the tiniest bit teary. So much talent! So much love! I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED this season.)
So there you have it. Season 2 of “The Sing-Off.” It’s done. Finished. It’s been great recapping all the episodes, and with this post, I’ve reached a blogging milestone…this is the very first season of a reality show that I’ve fully recapped (from the beginning to the very end)! I know, it’s embarrassing that it took me this long to do so. And granted, this particular season was only five episodes. Still, it’s a step forward for me, and it’s been fun. See you later this week with some Christmas music goodness (that Song Shuffle Game I’ve been promising is first on my to-do list, and of course it will have a holiday theme), and thanks for reading. (P.S.: Be sure to subscribe, using that handy dandy little button on the right-hand side. It’s the best way to keep up with all the good stuff happening here at Harmony Avenue, and the more, the merrier!)