The Sing Off Season 4 Finale

Here we are, the finale of what will hopefully not be the last ever episode of The Sing off. Ratings have been decent, so I suspect we might get another season next year, particularly if Pitch Perfect 2 actually happens this year.

The opening number is Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” a song which I have loved a cappella since I first heard a cover back in the late ’90’s on BOCA Vol. 3 by the Tufts Amalgamates. I dig the arrangement, some of the ladies are a little flat on the top line but there are some cool chords and textures going on which more than make up for it.

This is as good a time as any to point out that the three finalists are nominally Home Free, Ten, and Vocal Rush, but I sincerely doubt Vocal Rush will win. In fact, I’m pretty much certain that won’t happen not because they don’t deserve it, but because it simply doesn’t make sense for Sony or whomever awards the prize/contract (and thus makes the decisions) to try and promote a high school group. So, the real finalists are Home Free and Ten. If I had to guess, I’d say Home Free win because (a) they have this pseudo-country thing which the show hasn’t done before; (b) the gospel-tinged R&B thing happened with Committed (Season 2); (c) Home Free fit the mold of 5 or 6-member group (see Nota, Committed, and PTX).

I’m not super interested in the holiday numbers with the judges, so I’m gonna skip right past them.

I will, however, mention Pentatonix singing “I Need Your Love,” mainly because I love them, but also because I think it highlights just how much better they are than any other group that has ever competed on the show. That’s right, I went there. I know I’ve written about the elements which set them apart in the past, but it bears repeating- the rhythm section is super-tight, plus Kevin does all kinds of ridiculous things on the drums, and the top 3 parts are just so perfect for each other. They lock, they complement each other, and they are really just one of the best examples of what a cappella has to offer- and one of the most unique. I mean, Avi finishing that solo was just rubbing it in as to how talented they are from top to bottom.

Home Free sings “I Want Crazy” by Hunter Hayes, which is right in their wheelhouse. This is fun, light, easy on the ears. Wow, that low note by Tim Foust is just sick. There are a couple of awkward moments where the group loses the tempo a bit, but nothing too disturbing and nothing which would suggest that they don’t deserve to win it all.

Ten is singing Beyonce’s “Love on Top,” and it has some of those lush chords which they are entirely capable of exploiting, but it somehow still feels a little empty; I think this has been the biggest problem for them from the beginning. They have these chords, this energetic style, but it never feels complete. Tonight, I actually think the solos are just pushing over the rest of the group, which hides some of those chords and this is actually disappointing for me.

Last up, Vocal Rush is singing Katy Perry’s “Roar.” I love the simple pad in the beginning, but the entrances after that are a little awkward. Then, the group starts rushing on the pre-chorus and I remember that they are just. so. young. Oops, spoke too soon, because #THOSEBELLTONES. I really love these kids, they have so much potential. I know that Sarah Vela is now singing with VR’s music director, Lisa Forkish, in a group called The Riveters, doing this

So, here we are. I think it’s gotta be Home Free, and… it is! Congratulations to the guys of Home Free, who were the best non-scholastic group in the competition, and certainly the most consistent. Kudos also to Vocal Rush, who really impressed me and opened some eyes about what high school a cappella groups are capable of.

If you haven’t read it, here is an interesting post by Deke Sharon about the persistence of Home Free, who auditioned for every season of the show:

http://www.casa.org/dekeposttso4win

There’s also a great interview with Deke right here:

http://www.casa.org/feistinterviewdeke

and an interesting article by Rob Deitz about arranging for the show:

http://www.casa.org/dietztso4arranging2

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this season as much as I did, and I can assure you that, barring some major life change, if there is a Season 5, I will be back to full blogging strength and longer, more detailed recaps.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment and let me know what you think about my recap or about the show!

What do you think?